The Most Outrageous Gifts Given to Obama

Do you think that the president has it all? Guess again. Check out some of the most outrageous, extravagant, or just plain unusual gifts given to Obama during his presidency.

Also, check out some foreign gifts given to the U.S.

July, 2012

David Beckham Gets Intimate with Obama

Soccer superstar David Beckham gave the president a rather unusual gift: 50 pairs of fitted boxer briefs from his own H&M line. Beckham, who promised Obama that he would send him a "big box of underwear" back in May, was a little late with the present, but nevertheless sent the intimate present to the White House this afternoon.

The president and the British midfielder's love fest began, when the LA Galaxy Soccer Team was invited to the White House after winning the Major League Soccer Cup. Obama ribbed Beckham for being both a soccer star and an underwear model.

"He is tough," the president said of Beckham. "In fact, it is a rare man who can be that tough on the field and also have his own line of underwear. David Beckham is that man."

March 2012

David Cameron Plays Around with Obama

British Prime Minister, David Cameron presented the Obama family with a lighthearted and fun gift for the whole family to enjoy. A customized Dunlop table tennis table complete with U.K. and U.S. flag bats was given to the president earlier this year.

The gift was intended to commemorate President Obama's visit to the Globe Academy London last May. Here, the president and the prime minister challenged a few students to a friendly ping pong match.

The table was made by a British company called Dunlop, which was founded in 1886, and operates, in over 70 countries.

In exchange for the table, Obama gave the Cameron's one of America's greatest pastimes- a grill. The one-of-a-kind Braten 1000 Series Grill was hand made by Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers of Paxton, Ill. The gift was meant to symbolize the friendship between the two families, commemorating the Cameron's visit to 10 Downing St. in May 2011 where the president and prime minister grilled and served food to American and British Armed Service Members together.

March, 2012

Ludacris Gives Presidential Swag

During a fundraiser for President Obama in March, 2012, famed rapper, Ludacris presented Obama with the gift of customized headphones. The presidential swag given by Ludacris was red white and blue headphones with the President of the United States seal gracing each ear piece.

Later that day, Ludacris touted his excitement tweeting, "Just gave Barack his @SoulbyLudacris headphones. Re-elect Obama 2012! Preach!"


Saudi Arabian King Drapes Obama in Jewels

During his first year as president, President Obama received an outrageous assortment of gifts from Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah. The king presented Obama with around $300,000 worth of gifts which consisted of a variety of jewels, rare books and other items. This token of appreciation is considered to be the most expensive gift given by one ruler to another in recent times.

Luxury gems, a marble ornament adorned with miniature gold palm trees and camels, diamond earrings for the Obama women and a Jaeger-LeCoultre brass clock were all among the costly gifts bestowed upon the president. The king's generosity even extended to senior White House officials, who received tens of thousands of dollars worth of watches and jewelry.

March 2009

Gordon Brown Gives Better Than He Gets

In March 2009, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown presented Obama with a series of gifts that were valued over $16,000. These gifts included a black and gold pen with a wooden pen holder, along with the framed commissioning certificate for HMS Resolute and a first edition seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert. The elaborate pen was made from the timbers of HMS Gannet, a sister ship of the HMS Resolute (which is the ship that the White House desk is made from).

The president received criticism for giving Brown, a box set 25 classic American films selected by the American Film Institute. The box set included Raging Bull, Casablanca, Psycho and The Graduate.


The Pope Presents a Present

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, known for his generosity and humble nature, presented President Obama with an elaborate assortment of gifts valued at almost $8,000. The gifts included a gilt framed and matted mosaic depicting St. Peter's Square, a decorative gold coin with the inscription "Benedict XVI Pont Max Anno IV" and the profile of Pope Benedict the XVI, a silver keychain and a variety of religious books.

In return, Obama gave the pope a liturgical stole that for several years lay with St. John Neumann in Philadelphia

March 2012

Bibi Gives a Gift With Political Meaning

In lieu of the Jewish Holiday of Purim, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave President Obama the gift of the Book of Esther in March 2012. As a response to his gift giving and the trip made by Netanyahu acknowledging the gift giving as well as his relationship with the United States stating, "I return from a very important visit to the U.S. and Canada I was received warmly, we have many courageous friends. We are returning for Purim, and this evening we will read in the Book of Esther about those days in which Jews were not masters of their fate and could not defend themselves. Today we are in a different world and a different era; we have a strong state and army. The threats have not disappeared, but we can defend ourselves. We have very many friends that stand at our side and will do so at all times."

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...