Another couple of protocol blunders for our 'smart' foreign policy

Our Keystone Kops foreign policy continues to amaze and worry the world as our rookie president presented himself at Buckingham Palace to meet Queen Elizabeth and once again, embarrassed the United States by giving her a gift that not only was common, but a reflection of the self-absorbed nature of our chief executive:

Barack Obama gave the Queen of England an I-pod that not only included pictures of the Queen's trip to America in 2007 but, just in case she needed a little inspiration, speeches of our messiah:

President and First Lady Obama gave Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II a video iPod with inscription, songs uploaded and accessories, plus a rare musical songbook signed by Richard Rodgers.

Uploaded onto the iPod:

  • Photos from the Queen's 2007 White House State Visit
  • Photos from the Queen's 2007 Jamestown, Va., Visit
  • Photos from the Queen's 2007 Richmond, Va., Visit
  • Video from the Queen's 1957 Jamestown Visit
  • Video from the Queen's 2007 Jamestown Visit
  • Video from the Queen's 2007 Richmond Visit
  • Photos from President Obama's Inauguration
  • Audio of then-state senator Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and
  • Audio of President Obama 2009 Inauguration Address
Britain's Press Association reports that the Royal couple gave the Obamas "a silver-framed, signed photograph of themselves."

From one narcissist to another, I guess. If the White House protocol office had bothered to check, the queen received an I-Pod as a gift from her grandson last year. Oh well. I guess you can never have too many I-Pods.

At least she'll be able to get inspired at a moment's notice by listening to Obama's thrilling speeches. I'm sure she's grateful for that.

The other protocol gaffe was more serious; The president referred to Great Britain as "England" in his welcoming remarks. Our Ivy League educated president apparently didn't know that there's more to "Great Britain" than just "England:"

The goods news out of London is that Barack Obama has reaffirmed America’s “special relationship” with the U.K. The bad news is that the “affinity and kinship” that the U.S. president spoke of apparently only extends to England.

Mr. Obama’s first major foreign trip has been seen as a test not just of his leadership skills, but of his ability to navigate the protocols of diplomacy. In the U.K., that means mentioning the famous special relationship between the countries, which has been important here ever since Winston Churchill first referenced it after World War II.

On Wednesday at a joint conference with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Mr. Obama made a pass at acknowledging the special relationship. Unfortunately, he inadvertently broke a cardinal protocol by at one stage using England to denote U.K.

“We owe so much to England; that when you come here there’s that sense of familiarity, as well as difference, that makes it just a special place,” he said, leaving Wales, Northern Ireland and Mr. Brown’s home country of Scotland out in the cold.

Boy, am I glad smart people are running our foreign policy now.