Every single gift given to an American president goes straight into a vault. So there's no point in giving anything really expensive.
Yes and no. Take a tour of a presidential library sometime. It's facinating to see what gifts other nations gave our presidents. I recently visited the Clinton library, and the gifts there ranged from unique pieces of art, to one of the bikes Lance Armstong rode in the Tour. Some gifts had little monetary value, others were of immesuarbale worth. But they all personified either the person that gave the gift or the people that person represented. Bush 43 would frequently give handmade cowboy boots with big "W"s on them. Rarely are state gifts about the recipient - they are about the giver, and are also symbolic of the relationship between the two parties. So if you think about it, a box set of DVDs is actually quite symbolic, and not necessarily in a negative way, as is the iPod. What's more American than a portable music player these days? And don't say "a failing bank kept afloat with public funds" -- the UK already has those.
What's your worst boss horror story?Rickover grilled McGowan, a recent top graduate from Ole Miss, about how many dates he had a week. Five, McGowan guessed. "How long did the dates take?" Rickover asked. Three hours, he replied. That's 15 hours a week, Rickover barked. What a waste of time. Why don't you take three women out at once and spend only five hours a week on dates?