Tag Archives: Manners in the White House


By now most people have either  read or heard about the Obamas’ shabby treatment of England’s  Prime Minister Brown, one of America’s resolute allies.  I promised myself that I would let this pass, but I can’t.  There are faux pas and then there are faux pas, and this one was a dozy . . . by the Obamas . . . the duo who wants us to think Jack and Jackie every time we see them!

Candidly, I am ashamed that the Mr. Obama, America’s faux President, behaved in such a low class and boorish manner. You better believe the Kennedys’ would never have behaved with such a stunning lack of sophistication. This is from Canada Free Press:

Obama, the man that would “fix” our (America’s) “bad image” with the rest of the world, has just dissed Churchill after only one month in office. […] the British government has been made nervous about the relationship between England and the U.S. because of the casual return (given to President Bush immediately after 9/11 as sign of solidarity between our countries) of their generously loaned Churchill bust.

It isn’t just the shabby thoughtless gifts that the Obamas exchanged with the Prime Minister and his wife, it is the obvious fact that Obama and his team were clueless & didn’t recognize that the stagecraft needed for a visit from the British Prime Minister required the same careful stagecraft and planning as was displayed  by Obama during his run up to the presidency.

British officials admit that the White House and US State Department staff was utterly bemused by complaints that the Prime Minister should have been granted full-blown press conference and a formal dinner, as has been customary. They concede that Obama aides seemed unfamiliar with the expectations that surround a major visit by a British prime minister.

(Say what?)

[…] the mood of the event was at times strained, as Mr. Brown handed over carefully selected gifts, including a pen holder made from the wood of a warship that helped stamp out the slave trade, a sister ship of the vessel from which timbers were taken to build Mr. Obama’s Oval Office desk.  Mr. Obama’s gift in return, a collection of Hollywood film DVDs that could have been bought from any high street store, looked like the kind of thing the White House might hand out to the visiting head of a minor African state.

My immediate thought, after hearing about the Hollywood collection of DVD’s (presented in a format that the British PM cannot play in England) was hey, “why not also give Prime Minister Brown and his wife coupons for Pizza Hut or Kentucky Fried Chicken?”  At least the coupons could be redeemed!  After all, what kid doesn’t like pizza?  Maybe the DVD collection can be used for a door stop.

Is it necessary to point out that:

“British Prime ministers are just not treated this way by American presidents.  They are personally greeted at the airport. They are treated to state dinners or overnights at Camp David. Their private meetings are always followed by a long joint press conference in which members of each nation’s press get to question both heads of state at length.”

Well, apparently it is necessary to point this out to the Obamas. Here’s something else, “he made Prime Minister Brown look foolish back home, something that will not be lost on other heads of state.”

Making a guest look foolish is simply unforgivable, particularly when the guest is a representative of one of America’s most steadfast allies.  One wants to scream, “Are you kidding me?  Obama, are you so lame, so dumb, so self-absorbed as to not get this basic point?”

Memo to the Obamas: visits by Heads of State and British Prime ministers are not to be taken casually. Visits of this nature demand that you, America’s representative, present the very best of our country.These visits can either cement relationships or destroy them.

These visits should be handled with grace and dignity (DVD’s don’t qualify as dignified) and you should be aware that they require statesmanship, staging, and clarity of purpose.

BTW, Barack, you know those little gauze covers placed on lemon halves that sometimes accompany meals? They are to be left on when squeezing the lemon. It is gauche to remove them and demonstrates a lack of breeding.

Also, I bet if Michelle takes the time to look, she can find a book on proper White House etiquette that you two can read, before you welcome guests to our White House, again!  I’m not sure, but I think Letitia Baldrige may still be available for advice.



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