It’s Good to Be President! Obama Gets Gifts from World Leaders Including Hermès Bags and Vodka

By Leah Bourne, The Vivant

President Obama and Michelle Obama The State Department has just released a report on the haul of gifts that President Obama received from world leaders in 2011 and the gifts are not to be believed! The Philippines Ambassador gave Obama a bamboo bicycle, the Afghan Ambassador gave him a rug, the Australian Prime Minister gifted him an iPod shuffle, the President of El Salvador gifted a wooden mask carved into the shape of a jaguar, the Polish Prime Minister gifted vodka, and the German Chancellor gave him a putter set.

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The most generous gifter was former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni who gifted the First Family over $40,000 worth of items including a Hermès golf accessory bag worth $7,750, a Louis Vuitton men's bag, two Baccarat crystal lamps worth $5,500, and children's clothing from Bonpoint Paris.

And don't think Obama was the only administration official to get some serious swag. While serving as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was given an emerald and diamond necklace worth $8,000 from the First Lady of Zambia, a strand of pearls worth more than $3,000 from a Chinese official and a navy quilted calfskin Christian Dior handbag worth more than $2,000 from a French official.

US officials aren't allowed to keep gifts from foreign officials and must turn them over to the government. Instead of returning them to the gift giver, and risk offending them, the presents are turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration.

What do you think of Obama's gift haul? Do you agree with the rule that he isn't allowed to keep the gifts?

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