March 3, 2009
"One reason for the secrecy might be that the gift seems markedly less generous and thoughtful than the presents taken to Washington by the Prime Minister." London's Evening Standard newspaper, reporting on the controversy over a gift swap between Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during Brown's visit to Washington in early March.
Obama allegedly gave Brown a "special collector's box" of 25 classic American DVDs while Brown gave the U.S. President an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet and a first edition of the seven-volume biography of Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert, among other things. 10 Downing Street reportedly tried to keep Obama's gift to the PM a secret. Once the gesture was made public, they declined to say what movies were included in the set.