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Michelle Obama''s first slip up? Has this happened to you?

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Italiahaircolor

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According to AOLnews, Michelle Obama may have made her first boo-boo since entering the White House. Apparently, she "under-gifted" when the British prime minister and his family visited.

The Obama''s were given lavish gifts of clothing and antique pins, colorful childrens books, ect... While on the other hand, Obama''s gave the prime minsters'' family 25 movies and replicas of the plane Obama flies in (similar models are priced around $15.00 on Amazon.com)

So...do you all think this is a big deal? When gifting, should it always be fair and balanced? Have you ever been the one that found themselves over/under gifted?
 

Definitely. Maybe

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I HATE gift shopping for this EXACT reason. I constantly worry if it is going to be good enough/not enough/ too extravagent/ etc. LOL I get serious anxiety over it, because I would hate to make someone feel guilty for it not being even.

As for Michelle Obama- Shouldn''t someone have mentioned the ''norm'' for these things? I mean I know I wouldn''t know what to give a prime minister!
 

Elmorton

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Undergifting = not a big deal, IMO. I believe that gifts are an expression of some sort of gratitude, and thus a person should give a git that they believe is appropriate, but I don't believe in "matching" gifts. For example, if a friend came to my wedding and bought me a $120 item off my registry, I'm not going to go out of my way to spend the same amount when my friend gets married. I'm going to spend what I can afford in order to give her a gift that I'm proud to give.

In regard to the Obamas' gifts, well, the US is hurting in a really big way. I'm actually pretty glad that they're not giving lavish gifts (I think it would send the wrong message to the 8% of Americans who are out of work, not including underemployed part time workers), and I've never understood why the extremely wealthy give each other lavish gifts in the first place. On Friday, Oprah was talking about how Tyler Perry gave her a white Bentley. Um, okay, but you both can afford one if you want one. What's the point?

I am still trying to figure out what exactly was such a disaster about this visit. I heard a segment on the news yesterday that our friends over the pond aren't too happy, but I've been too lazy to go check out the BBC to do some sleuthing. Just sounded like a lot of groundless complaining, to me, where folks were feeling "snubbed" due to insanely silly miscommunications.
 

Skippy123

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Date: 3/8/2009 9:12:10 PM
Author: Elmorton
Undergifting = not a big deal, IMO. I believe that gifts are an expression of some sort of gratitude, and thus a person should give a git that they believe is appropriate, but I don''t believe in ''matching'' gifts. For example, if a friend came to my wedding and bought me a $120 item off my registry, I''m not going to go out of my way to spend the same amount when my friend gets married. I''m going to spend what I can afford in order to give her a gift that I''m proud to give.

In regard to the Obamas'' gifts, well, the US is hurting in a really big way. I''m actually pretty glad that they''re not giving lavish gifts (I think it would send the wrong message to the 8% of Americans who are out of work, not including underemployed part time workers), and I''ve never understood why the extremely wealthy give each other lavish gifts in the first place. On Friday, Oprah was talking about how Tyler Perry gave her a white Bentley. Um, okay, but you both can afford one if you want one. What''s the point?

I am still trying to figure out what exactly was such a disaster about this visit. I heard a segment on the news yesterday that our friends over the pond aren''t too happy, but I''ve been too lazy to go check out the BBC to do some sleuthing. Just sounded like a lot of groundless complaining, to me, where folks were feeling ''snubbed'' due to insanely silly miscommunications.
You make some really great points. I agee with you.
 

scarleta

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This said it right:
"
"In regard to the Obamas'' gifts, well, the US is hurting in a really big way. I''m actually pretty glad that they''re not giving lavish gifts (I think it would send the wrong message to the 8% of Americans who are out of work, not including underemployed part time workers), and I''ve never understood why the extremely wealthy give each other lavish gifts in the first place. On Friday, Oprah was talking about how Tyler Perry gave her a white Bentley. Um, okay, but you both can afford one if you want one. What''s the point?"

No more to add
 

iheartscience

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I just wonder why no one told them what to give the prime minister and his family? Although actually, someone must have picked the stuff out-I highly doubt Michelle Obama goes shopping herself for gifts for visitors. It sounds like a silly misunderstanding to me, too.
 

Efe

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This is a pretty big faux paus because something like this can be interpreted as an insult not only to the individual, but to the entire country. It will be a big deal initially, and then it will blow over. Fortunately, it was Britain. It could have been a lot worse. There really is no excuse, from an administrative perspective, for this to happen. The President and First Lady have entire staffs filled with people whose job it is to make sure these types of things don''t happen. Someone didn''t know what they were doing, and didn''t bother to do any homework either. Common sense tells you that you don''t give a head of state a boxed set of cds. It is hard to use the excuse of a bad economy, since the White House is having lavish parties on a regular basis.
 

Italiahaircolor

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Date: 3/8/2009 9:50:04 PM
Author: BizouMom
This is a pretty big faux paus because something like this can be interpreted as an insult not only to the individual, but to the entire country. It will be a big deal initially, and then it will blow over. Fortunately, it was Britain. It could have been a lot worse. There really is no excuse, from an administrative perspective, for this to happen. The President and First Lady have entire staffs filled with people whose job it is to make sure these types of things don''t happen. Someone didn''t know what they were doing, and didn''t bother to do any homework either. Common sense tells you that you don''t give a head of state a boxed set of cds. It is hard to use the excuse of a bad economy, since the White House is having lavish parties on a regular basis.
I agree with the above highlighted portion. If lavish gift giving was part of forgein policy...then there should be a budget that doesn''t reflect the current economy because one essentially has nothing to do with the other. The Government, in my honest opinion, is more or less a huge corportation--with budgets for this, that or the other. If gift giving is expected or done...then the Obama''s need to step up, and just do it right.

However, I don''t think...when it comes to gifts...one hand washes the other. I love gifting, and usually find myself spending great sums of money on things people would rarely buy for themself. I''ve been known to buy Coach purses, game systems, and other luxury items...and giving those things make me happy, because I can afford too. However, I would never expect them in return.
 

purrfectpear

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The entire gift exchanging between politicians is nothing more than an ego stroke to begin with.

They don''t get to keep the gifts, so why bother. Someone should pass a UN resolution/agreement to limit the dollar value of gifts exchanged. Then all the countries could save money.
Seriously, who benefits when you get some fabulous jewel or piece of art that only goes into the museum coffers? I''d rather have a $100 gift from their native country that I could take with me when the term is over.
 

snowflakeluvr

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i think the point is being missed here...it''s the gesture not the gifts dollar value. i know when dh and i were invited to his company''s president''s holiday party in december, i asked around about what was appropriate to give as a token gift.( i think i asked here on ps) i am sure that white house staffers know the protocol in situations like this. when my mom and my neighbor from pa visit(she''s like another mom to me and another grandma to my children) i always have little goodie bags for them-it might be something local(like amish caramels, or buckeye candies when we lived on ohio)-it''s the gesture. i''m thinking of you and anticipating our time together, it''s great to see you. i don''t know if the obama''s have a prior relationship with the prime minister but if it would have been me, i''d have wanted to be especially gracious. my hubby on the other hand would have had NO problem watching the big tv in his sweats with whats-his-name
 

Diamond*Dana

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Date: 3/8/2009 9:12:10 PM
Author: Elmorton
Undergifting = not a big deal, IMO. I believe that gifts are an expression of some sort of gratitude, and thus a person should give a git that they believe is appropriate, but I don''t believe in ''matching'' gifts. For example, if a friend came to my wedding and bought me a $120 item off my registry, I''m not going to go out of my way to spend the same amount when my friend gets married. I''m going to spend what I can afford in order to give her a gift that I''m proud to give.

In regard to the Obamas'' gifts, well, the US is hurting in a really big way. I''m actually pretty glad that they''re not giving lavish gifts (I think it would send the wrong message to the 8% of Americans who are out of work, not including underemployed part time workers), and I''ve never understood why the extremely wealthy give each other lavish gifts in the first place. On Friday, Oprah was talking about how Tyler Perry gave her a white Bentley. Um, okay, but you both can afford one if you want one. What''s the point?

I am still trying to figure out what exactly was such a disaster about this visit. I heard a segment on the news yesterday that our friends over the pond aren''t too happy, but I''ve been too lazy to go check out the BBC to do some sleuthing. Just sounded like a lot of groundless complaining, to me, where folks were feeling ''snubbed'' due to insanely silly miscommunications.
Very well written...I agree!
 

Hudson_Hawk

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They should have had the girls make the PM a gift There''s nothing like a macaroni necklace to get the diplomatic juices flowing...
 

kcoursolle

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Date: 3/8/2009 9:00:44 PM
Author:Italiahaircolor
According to AOLnews, Michelle Obama may have made her first boo-boo since entering the White House. Apparently, she ''under-gifted'' when the British prime minister and his family visited.

The Obama''s were given lavish gifts of clothing and antique pins, colorful childrens books, ect... While on the other hand, Obama''s gave the prime minsters'' family 25 movies and replicas of the plane Obama flies in (similar models are priced around $15.00 on Amazon.com)

So...do you all think this is a big deal? When gifting, should it always be fair and balanced? Have you ever been the one that found themselves over/under gifted?
In general, I guess I don''t think the first lady should be soley responsible for picking out gifts for prime ministers! How is she supposed to know what to give? She should have a pr person that is in charge of helping with these sorts of things.
 

Maria D

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Date: 3/8/2009 9:12:10 PM
Author: Elmorton
Undergifting = not a big deal, IMO. I believe that gifts are an expression of some sort of gratitude, and thus a person should give a git that they believe is appropriate, but I don''t believe in ''matching'' gifts. For example, if a friend came to my wedding and bought me a $120 item off my registry, I''m not going to go out of my way to spend the same amount when my friend gets married. I''m going to spend what I can afford in order to give her a gift that I''m proud to give.


In regard to the Obamas'' gifts, well, the US is hurting in a really big way. I''m actually pretty glad that they''re not giving lavish gifts (I think it would send the wrong message to the 8% of Americans who are out of work, not including underemployed part time workers), and I''ve never understood why the extremely wealthy give each other lavish gifts in the first place. On Friday, Oprah was talking about how Tyler Perry gave her a white Bentley. Um, okay, but you both can afford one if you want one. What''s the point?


I am still trying to figure out what exactly was such a disaster about this visit. I heard a segment on the news yesterday that our friends over the pond aren''t too happy, but I''ve been too lazy to go check out the BBC to do some sleuthing. Just sounded like a lot of groundless complaining, to me, where folks were feeling ''snubbed'' due to insanely silly miscommunications.
I''m with definitely,maybe -- gift giving with people I don''t normally share gifts with gives me so much angst for the same reasons.

I''ve been in situations where I didn''t know the group norm and "gifted" badly. Too expensive and "formal" when everyone else did "joke" gifts and too casual when everyone else did serious gifts. Arrggggh!

I saw the Oprah episode to and thought the same thing Elmorton! What is the point of getting Oprah a Bentley? If she wanted a Bentley wouldn''t she just go get one? If I were Oprah I''d think, fool -- what did you get me a Bentley for -- why don''t you donate money to my school?
 

FrekeChild

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Date: 3/8/2009 9:29:49 PM
Author: thing2of2
I just wonder why no one told them what to give the prime minister and his family? Although actually, someone must have picked the stuff out-I highly doubt Michelle Obama goes shopping herself for gifts for visitors. It sounds like a silly misunderstanding to me, too.
Ditto! And if Michelle needs help shopping, I''m sure Thing2 could help her out!!!!
 

JulieN

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Not sure if it''s a slip up...do the Obamas get to even keep any of these gifts? I am not sure.
 

Ellen

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Date: 3/8/2009 11:27:27 PM
Author: purrfectpear
The entire gift exchanging between politicians is nothing more than an ego stroke to begin with.

They don''t get to keep the gifts, so why bother. Someone should pass a UN resolution/agreement to limit the dollar value of gifts exchanged. Then all the countries could save money.
Seriously, who benefits when you get some fabulous jewel or piece of art that only goes into the museum coffers? I''d rather have a $100 gift from their native country that I could take with me when the term is over.
Actually, they get to keep gifts valued at less than 335.00.
 

neatfreak

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Date: 3/9/2009 8:58:00 AM
Author: Ellen
Date: 3/8/2009 11:27:27 PM

Author: purrfectpear

The entire gift exchanging between politicians is nothing more than an ego stroke to begin with.


They don''t get to keep the gifts, so why bother. Someone should pass a UN resolution/agreement to limit the dollar value of gifts exchanged. Then all the countries could save money.

Seriously, who benefits when you get some fabulous jewel or piece of art that only goes into the museum coffers? I''d rather have a $100 gift from their native country that I could take with me when the term is over.
Actually, they get to keep gifts valued at less than 335.00.
$335? Who the heck came up with that random number?
 

Ellen

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Date: 3/9/2009 9:07:59 AM
Author: neatfreak

Date: 3/9/2009 8:58:00 AM
Author: Ellen

Date: 3/8/2009 11:27:27 PM

Author: purrfectpear

The entire gift exchanging between politicians is nothing more than an ego stroke to begin with.


They don''t get to keep the gifts, so why bother. Someone should pass a UN resolution/agreement to limit the dollar value of gifts exchanged. Then all the countries could save money.

Seriously, who benefits when you get some fabulous jewel or piece of art that only goes into the museum coffers? I''d rather have a $100 gift from their native country that I could take with me when the term is over.
Actually, they get to keep gifts valued at less than 335.00.
$335? Who the heck came up with that random number?
lmao That''s what I thought when I first read it in an article. The, govt.??
 

neatfreak

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Date: 3/9/2009 9:21:03 AM
Author: Ellen
Date: 3/9/2009 9:07:59 AM

Author: neatfreak


Date: 3/9/2009 8:58:00 AM

Author: Ellen


Date: 3/8/2009 11:27:27 PM


Author: purrfectpear


The entire gift exchanging between politicians is nothing more than an ego stroke to begin with.



They don''t get to keep the gifts, so why bother. Someone should pass a UN resolution/agreement to limit the dollar value of gifts exchanged. Then all the countries could save money.


Seriously, who benefits when you get some fabulous jewel or piece of art that only goes into the museum coffers? I''d rather have a $100 gift from their native country that I could take with me when the term is over.
Actually, they get to keep gifts valued at less than 335.00.

$335? Who the heck came up with that random number?
lmao That''s what I thought when I first read it in an article. The, govt.??
Yeah...I am getting my Ph.D. in public policy so needless to say I am knee deep in the idiotic policies that some people have come up with...is it really too hard to make policies that have reasoning and logic behind them???
 

Ellen

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Date: 3/9/2009 9:24:02 AM
Author: neatfreak

Date: 3/9/2009 9:21:03 AM
Author: Ellen
lmao That''s what I thought when I first read it in an article. The, govt.??
Yeah...I am getting my Ph.D. in public policy so needless to say I am knee deep in the idiotic policies that some people have come up with...is it really too hard to make policies that have reasoning and logic behind them???
Apparently. I swear, sometimes I think they TRY to make things as idiotic/confusing as possible.
 

neatfreak

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Date: 3/9/2009 9:26:44 AM
Author: Ellen
Date: 3/9/2009 9:24:02 AM

Author: neatfreak


Date: 3/9/2009 9:21:03 AM

Author: Ellen

lmao That''s what I thought when I first read it in an article. The, govt.??

Yeah...I am getting my Ph.D. in public policy so needless to say I am knee deep in the idiotic policies that some people have come up with...is it really too hard to make policies that have reasoning and logic behind them???
Apparently. I swear, sometimes I think they TRY to make things as idiotic/confusing as possible.
Apparently that is a skill required for all politicians.
 

Dreamgirl

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I think this whole situation is stupid. Who cares if she gave them less gifts than they gave her? I probably wouldn''t have given them anything but a nice meal...times are rough! lol
 

musey

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Date: 3/8/2009 9:08:02 PM
Author: Definitely, Maybe
I HATE gift shopping for this EXACT reason. I constantly worry if it is going to be good enough/not enough/ too extravagent/ etc. LOL I get serious anxiety over it, because I would hate to make someone feel guilty for it not being even.
Me too. Besides, we can't all afford the same caliber gifts... I'm going through this with my brother's wedding, which is automatically in immediate and direct comparison to mine (being five months later). I asked my mother what an appropriate gift amount would be, and she said what he gave me sounds good. Except that he makes a LOT more than we do, lives in his own house vs. our teeny tiny apt., drives a new car vs. our hand-me-downs, etc. and still has cash to spare vs. our very tight and strict budget. He overspent our gift 'because he could.' Now we have to 'overspend' on his? That doesn't seem fair to me (but we're doing it anyway
).


Anyway, that's really on a different scale than gifts between world leaders (didn't know they even had to do this?). I agree that someone should have been cuing her on this, anyway.
 

tlh

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I''m surprised no one informed MRs. Obama what sort of gift would have been expected? or whomever purchased the gift on her behalf...

I think if they are trying to set a tone, Americans are hungry, 12.1 million are currently w/o jobs... they would be better cutting some of there other spending - in ADDITION to only giving trinkets as gifts.

Now the gift itself isn''t a big deal... but a lot of political relationships are built on these gifts... if it wasn''t, would lobbyists be as successful as they are?
 

ATM

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It does not matter. Other world leaders see Obama as weak and a pushover already.
 

Ellen

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Date: 3/9/2009 12:57:49 PM
Author: ATM
It does not matter. Other world leaders see Obama as weak and a pushover already.
And you know this how?
 

musey

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Date: 3/9/2009 3:34:05 PM
Author: Ellen
Date: 3/9/2009 12:57:49 PM
Author: ATM
It does not matter. Other world leaders see Obama as weak and a pushover already.
And you know this how?
Didn't you hear, Ellen? They talked about this at the joint world leader press conference on FOX news.

 

Lauren8211

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Date: 3/9/2009 3:50:07 PM
Author: musey

Date: 3/9/2009 3:34:05 PM
Author: Ellen

Date: 3/9/2009 12:57:49 PM
Author: ATM
It does not matter. Other world leaders see Obama as weak and a pushover already.
And you know this how?
Didn''t you hear, Ellen? They talked about this at the joint world leader press conference on FOX news.

Wasn''t gonna chime in on this one... but...


LOL!
 

Ellen

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Date: 3/9/2009 3:50:07 PM
Author: musey

Date: 3/9/2009 3:34:05 PM
Author: Ellen

Date: 3/9/2009 12:57:49 PM
Author: ATM
It does not matter. Other world leaders see Obama as weak and a pushover already.
And you know this how?
Didn''t you hear, Ellen? They talked about this at the joint world leader press conference on FOX news.

OOOOOOHHHHHHHH
 
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