Share This Page

Ex-president of France generous to the Obamas

| Saturday, April 27, 2013, 7:21 p.m.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave President Obama at least two gifts geared toward Obama's frequent pastime of golf.

WASHINGTON — Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his supermodel wife, Carla Bruni, were clearly taken with President Obama and his family in 2011.

The Sarkozys gave the Obamas more than $41,000 worth of presents that year, becoming the most prolific foreign gift-givers to the first family, documents released Friday show.

The gifts ranged from designer golf and travel bags and fine crystal to soaps and perfumes, according to the State Department's Office of Protocol, which catalogs gifts to U.S. officials from foreign leaders and publishes an annual accounting, often one or two years late because of processing.

Among the goodies presented to the Obamas by the Sarkozys were a large black Hermes golf accessory bag worth $7,750, two Baccarat crystal table lamps on silver pedestals worth $5,500, two Baccarat crystal statuettes depicting golfers, a monogrammed black leather Louis Vuitton business bag, his-and-hers Christian Dior bathrobes and a black leather Dior clutch.

But don't expect the Obamas to furnish a post-White House residence with the items, because under law, most nonperishable gifts to the president and other U.S. officials must be transferred to the National Archives or General Services Administration unless the recipient reimburses the Treasury for their estimated value.

The Sarkozys' largesse may have been a function of France hosting the Group of Eight summit in 2011, at which the world financial crisis was a main topic of conversation, but most other leaders' gifts to the Obamas were more modest.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, for example, gave the president an autographed Toronto Raptors basketball, while Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard presented him with a green and white iPod shuffle and Australian football jerseys.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.