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Bush Bombs With Bomber Jacket Gift for Brown

Funny how the British press corps found out about the gift that President Bush presented to Gordon Brown during the new British prime minister's visit to Camp David early this week.

Brown, intentionally it seems, did not reveal the gift to the boorish brood of scribes traveling with him. They found it by happenstance: a gold box with a presidential seal sitting neglected in an empty seat in the back of the plane taking Brown back to London.

Much too curious, they took a look inside the box and - much to their amusement, knowing how formal their country's new leader is - found a fur-trimmed bomber jacket emblazoned on the front with the official presidential seal and "Camp David" logo on one side and a "Rt. Hon Gordon Brown" name patch on the other.


Someone in the (probably tipsy) group snapped some photos, which wound up in today's daily newspapers across England.

The British reporters took it for some kind of intentional insult, perhaps a joke, some suggested, by Bush.

The headline in today's Times of London blared: "Presidential Gift Offers Brown the Chance to Become a Flash Gordon." The headline in the Independent newspaper asked, "Has the President misjudged Mr. Brown's Style?"

"The item is garish, camp and seems deliberately unlikely to appeal to the new Prime Minister's more austere aesthetic," the Times of London reported.

The story, written by former Washington Post Stern fellow Sam Coates, went on to say that Brown "failed the first test with Mr Bush: unlike his predecessor, Mr Brown refused to put it on while with the President, insisting that both he and the Mr Bush dress formally as they whizzed around the mountain retreat on 'Golf Cart One'." And it was noted, of course, that Tony Blair happily wore the bomber jacket given to him by Bush during his visit to Camp David in 2001.

Under the British government's ethics rules, the Times of London reports, Brown "must pay the equivalent cash value of the jacket if he wants to keep it, but is thought unlikely to do so."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  August 2, 2007; 11:38 AM ET
 
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Comments

No wonder most of the rest of the world hates us ! Way to go Frat Boy, tick off one of the few friends we have left.
Can't we have the election this year and get rid of this clown now?
The Brits have it right. A vote of "no confidence" in Congress and these Constitution shredding, war mongering liars would be gone.

Posted by: jmsbh | August 2, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Deliberately? I thought the London Times would have a better read on Bush by now. I think it's safe to say that the gift was given in good faith. The incurious President, oblivious to lifestyles and customs other than his own, undoubtedly thought Brown would fall over himself with appreciation. Not unlike the free shoulder rub he offered Chancellor Merkel, or when we were greeted as liberators in Iraq.

Posted by: Tim B | August 2, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure it's just a jacket and a gift. I don't think Bush's feelings are hurt and I don't think Brown's "rejection" of it is some international incident.

Maybe when people realize that world leaders are people too, not just politicians, they'd realize that they can give and get gifts (and enjoy or not enjoy them) without it being news.

Posted by: Nick T | August 2, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

For a country that nearly fell, but for the performance of its RAF pilots (Never has so much, been owed to so few, by so many.), which now stands beside us as our greatest ally on the front of two wars, perhaps the President thought the Prime Minister might appreciate a personalized USN G-1 Aviator's Jacket. Every United States Naval Aviator prizes their issued leather jacket as a symbol of the hard work and sacrifice it takes to earn one - a fact, not surprisingly, lost on the media of both countries.

Posted by: Steve | August 2, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure that the President has time to go to Brooks Brothers to select the "proper attire" that the Prime Minister might consider wearing! It was a gift for goodness sakes. Wear it or throw it away - who cares? I've never seen a President that is the cause for everything bad that happens in the world. Weather - Bush caused it. War - He caused the WTC take-down. Poverty - He has too much money. Global Warming - he's to blame for all the soot in China, Japan and Korea. On and on and on and on.......... Stop it.

Posted by: Jon | August 2, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure that the President has time to go to Brooks Brothers to select the "proper attire" that the Prime Minister might consider wearing! It was a gift for goodness sakes. Wear it or throw it away - who cares? I've never seen a President that is the cause for everything bad that happens in the world. Weather - Bush caused it. War - He caused the WTC take-down. Poverty - He has too much money. Global Warming - he's to blame for all the soot in China, Japan and Korea. On and on and on and on.......... Stop it.

Posted by: Jon | August 2, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Jon: "I've never seen a President that is the cause for everything bad that happens in the world."

I take it you weren't around during the Clinton years.

Posted by: Tim B | August 2, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't Gordon Brown loosen up a little?

Posted by: Briney Mac | August 2, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

The British should worry about national security...they shgould be more worried about the terrorists around them instead of a jacket..frankly in their boat maybe a bomber jacket is really appropriate!!

Posted by: Lori J | August 2, 2007 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Jon, I'm really surprised that unlike New Orleans Ray, the mayor of Minneapolis didn't blame the bridge collapse on Bush. I'm anxiously waiting for the conspiracy theorists to chime in on this one.

Posted by: r man | August 3, 2007 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least it wasn't a Mickey Mouse hat, but I think that those have all been distributed to the White House staff.

Posted by: CG, Whittier, CA | August 3, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Why didn't he give him a "White House" plate or an "engraved silver spoon" like the rest of us get?

Posted by: Pat Ortman | August 3, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I remember in the 90s when anything that went wrong was *somehow* was Hillary Clinton's fault. Well, it's the 00s now, so I'm pretty sure we can blame the bridge collapse on Dick Cheney. Not sure how, I'll leave that to the bloggers and talk radio folks to figure out. But I'm sure it's his fault!

Posted by: MN coldboy | August 3, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

While I'm sure it's safe to say this is much ado about nothing, this gesture does strike me as not only in bad taste (can't this guy think of something with more positive overtones?) but bad politics (doesn't Bush know or care that Mr. Brown is facing the same sort of domestic revulsion with this war in Iraq as he does, with the added concern that Brown might turn out to be Bush's new lap dog in this misbegotten war, and that such a gift would seem to signify just such a relationship?). Is it any wonder that Brown chose not to wear the jacket in public? I doubt it was because it conflicted with his aesthetics.

Posted by: tdbach | August 3, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? This is a story? This is another example of the domestic and international media trying to twist something the President does to be critical. The state department makes these decisions before the meeting. Its all under strict protocol. It's unfortunate we have so many uninformed journalists looking to make a story out of nothing.

Posted by: Steve | August 3, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Bush has about as much class as a three day old txxd in a toliet bowl.

Posted by: bear | August 3, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Come on people--it's a gift. You've never received a sweater from your mom or a tie from your kids that was just horrendously ugly? Do you automatically assume they hate you? If you do, life must be really lonely. And as Steve mentioned, for us Naval Aviators, we take pride in those jackets. I know long retired WWII vets who still break it out on occassion, with nostalgia and reverance. While the jacket may not have "fit" the recepient, you can't seriously believe Bush would choose something that would be "deliberately unlikely to appeal"? Why would Bush intentionally offend Brown? More likely, it was meant well and just failed to hit the intended mark.

Posted by: naval aviator | August 3, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

As an English man recently returned to the UK, I would like to say to the scribes of the press corps accompanying Prime Minister Brown, GET A LIFE for Gods sake.

Start writing about things that matter.

Frank.

Posted by: Frank | August 3, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

What the world REALLY wants to know is did Mr. Smirk trip up again on Begin's lost yarmulke?

Posted by: Philip V. Riggio | August 3, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I think a bomber jacket suits bush as a war president..

Posted by: tricia | August 3, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I think a bomber jacket suits bush as a war president..

Posted by: tricia | August 3, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Cheney phoned Rove, who then selected the jacket, who gave it to Bush (as a joke), but Bush didn't "get it", and gave it to Brown.

Posted by: lostcat1 | August 3, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Can't we have the election this year and get rid of this clown now?
Posted by: jmsbh | August 2, 2007 12:47 PM
You didn't get the memo? Cindy Sheehan and just about every other leftist I know, personally, and in numerous places in the left blogosphere is convinced Bush 43 is going to Declare Martial Law and cancel next yrs. elections, after a False Plag Provocation by the USG which will get blamed on Al-Q.
Martial Law Threat is Real: Good Thing the Military is Breaking Down
by dlindorff
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/7/27/112020/784

Posted by: Michael Pugliese | August 3, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

True, 'the Jacket', while inappropiate for Brown, does symbolize the bravery and sacrifice of American Combat Pilots; however, it is also an ironic reminder of our President's cowardice in the service of the USA, in the Past and Today.

God Help Us...

Posted by: M C Connaughton | August 3, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey bloggers lets have some insight here. The bomber jacket is war memorbilia. The war in Iraq is not something to celebrate. Not something the British prime minister is eager to be associated with either. Brown inherited the Bush war and has no love for it.

Posted by: afgail | August 3, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

OBVIOUSLY... GEORGE W. BUSH IS A DRY DRUNK $OCIOPATH, A MAN WITH THE INSIGHT OF A JACKASSS AND THE HEART OF A JACKEL.

Posted by: GUY FOX | August 3, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

The President has access to the advice of almost anyone he chooses, therefore it is noteworthy when he does something as tacky as this.
This man having the power he does has brought all sorts of thuggish, dishonest creatures out, and emboldened them... I hope that we will be rid of him and his cronies soon!

Posted by: mozcram | August 3, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Fur-trimmed? Where did the fur come from, a canned hunt by the Great White Draft Dodger, Deadeye Dick?

Posted by: citizenjane | August 3, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, this is an insult all right.

No one looks at as an insult to all those brave aviator living and dead that EARNED the jacket HONORABLY.

GOD BUSH wants to think that avoiding the draft during Vietnam qualifies him for an Aviator Jacket.

Again.. another miscue by the CHIMP..

Continues to dishonor our military by giving gifts of his presidency... that are reserved for his betters. `

Posted by: Bob51550 | August 3, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

People are dying in Iraq. Bush has put Americans in the middle of a civil war where both sides are killing them. It way past time to get the hell out.

Sorry, but I have a one-track mind.

Posted by: MARYALICE RICHERT | August 3, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

People are dying in Iraq. Bush has put Americans in the middle of a civil war where both sides are killing them. It way past time to get the hell out.

Sorry, but I have a one-track mind.

Posted by: MARYALICE RICHERT | August 3, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Response to Steve,
You are right about real aviators, you know ones who didn't try to get out of real combat, real aviators in our Air Force do cherish their bomber jackets. When a fake, never saw a second of military action clown, who thinks his mission is accomplished gives you something he never earned, but assumed he had, the gift leaves a bad taste, ask real pilots, not wimped out punks like Bush

Posted by: Pepe | August 3, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

"....it was meant well" - have you heard this one? "The road to h**l is paved with good intentions." Bush is nothing but a barstool pilot, unlike the brave men and women who actually fought in a war and those who are fighting in this misbegotten mess now.

Posted by: Utahreb | August 3, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

dress formally while in a golf cart,eh? brown's perogative, of course. if he had been a good sport-i believe this the courteous diplomatic thing to do-he should acknowledge the gift, wear it, set it aside.

aides say brown's fussy.i will agree.

Posted by: boredwell | August 4, 2007 3:41 AM | Report abuse

For Everybody's information the brown leather jacket displayed in the picture is NOT a bomber jacket. It is,however,an A-2
Flight Jacket, that is proudly worn by our Navy's fighter pilots, who are, most assuredly, more braver than a bomber pilot.I was a SK2 in the Navy, and I issued enough of those jackets, to pilots (Naval Aviators is the correct term.)to know the difference.

Posted by: johnvanderslice | August 4, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

... looks like the jacket bombed ...

Posted by: Dave | August 4, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm not exactly sure who is the bigger waste of life. Bush or the Ann the Slueth for crap that flushes from her brain into print.

Posted by: the.man_in_black | August 4, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Way to Go Mr. president! Another well thought out plan that makes me so proud to call you My President!NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please tell me we can vote out the Republicans soon!Tomorrow wouldn't be too soon.

Posted by: Linda Webber | August 5, 2007 2:05 AM | Report abuse

does it drive your attention what is to be a dave and daved, with alchemy?

and what do people do here in this camp and what do they learn with the language of hermetics and Thor and Hermes, "Andreas" in Greek, Andrew in English, the master of cloths and tailoring?

Posted by: you'll be rhymer, yul brynner | August 5, 2007 5:49 AM | Report abuse

Hermes is known with "READING MUCH". in its main language "Quran" is also "TO BE READ". Mr Bush is every morning at 5 AM gets up and reads the bible, as well as i know.

and till Americans get "ready" and "read" what Mr Bush has done in these at least five years, then Mr Bush shall be happy to have been the president of this wide public of America. and this language is available in the jails of USA also, very efficiently used and spoken.

till then Get Ready, do you understand? blessings to Barbara Bush. she knows what readers and writers speak of, to ride. who whispers to the horses can govern a country.

and who hears "ishmael&isaac" can be happy and cheerful, can courier cheer and happiness to each and everyone in the public. at least everyone shall hear and read and ride. simple.

Posted by: you'll be rhymer, yul brynner | August 5, 2007 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Of course, as is the case of much reporting these days, nothing in the article factually supports the idea that Brown disliked it - good thing the media is no longer held to a burden of proof standard anymore. God forbid we get news, instead of Op-Ed masquerading as news. If Bush is guilty of anything in this case, it's giving a grossly unseasonable gift - I don't go anywhere near my flight jacket in July!

Posted by: Steve | August 5, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

OH MY GOOOOD! I just read this! Are you KIDDING ME???? A bomber jacket for PM Brown, with his name patch???

Please, people, tell me the Prez was joking! Oh, this man is UTTERLY CLUELESS! And the funny thing is, 99 out of a 100 Americans THINK that the Brits are our best friends, love us, always right with us, ooooh if they ONLY KNEW! IN poll after poll, the Brits disLIKE for everything and anything "American" is well told! Of course, if you have Brit friends and have spent any time at all in the UK, you know that for a fact, because every other sentence out of a Brit mouth is one of their oh-so-clever put-downs of Americans and the American way of life, which most Brits pretty much detest!

But I digress. Back to the subject at hand---Sheeesh! Yeah, this is one where I will give it to the British press-it's like a joke, but the Prez was no doubt completely sincere in thinking that Brown would cherish it and wear it around 10 Downing, and maybe even for an audience with the Queen! Oh, tears of laughter at his stupidity and obtuseness!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I believe that the president meant the gift in a very sincere way. He did not mean to ruffle the brits feathers. If you cannot accept a gift with grace and thankfulness then don't come visit our country. To have just thrown the jacket aside was down right rude. And to have refused to wear it while with the president was even more rude. Brown needs to loosen up a little. Sounds like he is wound a little too tight.

Posted by: brnagn | August 8, 2007 7:04 AM | Report abuse

The missed point is that the jacket (w/ no dishonor to servicemen & women) is part of the dynamic duos uniform....Dick is the head gunner & GW is the decider & Brown is being drafted as a scout when the boys replay Xbox greatdog fights of history

Posted by: Hawk42 | August 8, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

The missed point is that the jacket (w/ no dishonor to servicemen & women) is part of the dynamic duos uniform....Dick is the head gunner & GW is the decider & Brown is being drafted as a scout when the boys replay Xbox greatdog fights of history

Posted by: Hawk42 | August 8, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Not a fan of Bush, but the Jacket was a nice gesture. It's not for everyone though.

Posted by: R Grant | August 13, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

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