June 3rd, 2009
05:00 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama's bling: U.S. deficit reduction plan?

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (CNN) - President Obama's royal welcome here from King Abdallah included a gigantic gold necklace so ostentatious that White House aides are privately joking it could help solve America's debt problem if it was turned in to a pawn shop.

The necklace is officially called the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, the kingdom's highest honor. It's so massive that when Obama draped the necklace over his neck, it seemed to hang down near the commander-in-chief's waist.

Perhaps mindful that such a showy bit of bling might not exactly go over well in the middle of a U.S. recession, the president quickly removed the necklace by politely saying it would be good to take it away for "safe keeping."

One senior White House official later joked to CNN that the necklace is the administration's new "deficit reduction plan." Would the White House really sell it off?

No way, the official quickly added with a smile, because the move "might not be received well" by his Saudi hosts.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. The Original No Incumbents 2010

    @Lacrosse Mom and FORMER republican NEVER again!

    I guess the next president should make out with the Saudi King?
    What's your point? Surely you are not saying 2 wrongs make a right?

    June 3, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  2. skyhawkdriver

    I hope the saudis are fueling up air force one with free jet-a while obumbler is there..I can't afford it..my phillips 66 card is tapped..nice jewel though mr president..I heard they gave you a duncan yo-yo to give to joe biden..I hope he doesn't hurt himself with it

    June 3, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  3. Mark in LKWDNY

    If you people would stop trying to spin everything that goes on maybe you would see it as it truly is an expression of goodwill to a head of state from an ally. The Saudis can be very generous to their guests. And no I'm not a Dem.

    June 3, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  4. IsaacTheForcedCatholic

    Rob "I'm so confused with all the lies."

    Thats what happens when you listen to the republican's talking points. Use your brain (yeah, i know its small) and find out the facts by yourself!

    June 3, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  5. Doug

    I can see why Stu is confused living in Las Vegas – or should I say lost Wages.

    June 3, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  6. Matt

    Bow for your Bling Barry.

    June 3, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  7. decent american

    how is this different that bush cozying up to him?

    June 3, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  8. Proud DHS radical

    King Abdulla is merely reward Obama for that bow he gave the king at their last meeting.

    June 3, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  9. annie for Palin

    To gerry – You had better lay off the kool-aid. With obama in charge for 4 yrs., the United States will not be here in 20 to 30 yrs and if there are any books around they will be about how obama sold this country out in less that a yr. The Destruction of the USA by obama and his chicago criminal gang.

    June 3, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  10. Nope... I dont' buy it....

    President Obama received the "King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit", the kingdom's highest honor

    But hey... he STILL doesnt have an honorary degree from ASU!

    (oh c'mon... SOMEBODY had to say it...)hahaha....

    June 3, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  11. Eric

    Its what pimping America gets you. I'll bet he wears it in China, Egypt and at parties in the Whitehouse.

    June 3, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  12. JON

    As i read some of the right BS I wonder how you guys find your way home at night. 1) Many presidents get gifts, it a custom that has gone on for over 100 years. 2) This president has been trying to clean up the mess from the last 8 years and we have not had a president like him that has worked as hard in the first 100 days. And for you that think this is a hip-hop thing do you really think that King Abdallah even knows what hip-hop is. If you would stop watching FIX_NEWS you would not be killing off those brain cells.

    June 3, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  13. ella

    Obama must be doing something right. The Republicans' comments hint heavily at jealousy. .

    June 3, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  14. Florida Voter

    I believe that it is customary in Arab culture that a gift befitting the rank of
    military leader, high government official or Potentate or leader of the guest country is given. Also that any gift becomes the property of the government of the USA and can never given to the individual even when
    they leave office. The gifts remain in the government archives and cannot be sold as that would be an insult to the host country

    June 3, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  15. Michael Honohan

    The amount of ignorance displayed here is astounding. I will not bother to point out where they erred. I have finally come to grips with the fact that people hear what they want to hear and believe what the want to believe.

    June 3, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  16. Brandon V in DFW

    @Tom

    Do you think the President personally presides over the bankruptcy of companies, even ones the size of GM? That is what the Treasury Secretary and his staff are for.

    All leaders whether American or Saudi or British or any country have to be able to do multiple things, (i.e. be a diplomat, head of state, law enforcer, commander in chief).

    You may not be a Bush supporter but if you think we are headed in the wrong direction then you must have thought the last several years were the right direction.

    Facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Dep. the President took unprecedented steps to keep you, me, and everyone out of soup lines. I hate the defecit being as high as it is as much as you do. But I rather the President try to stave off another depression than do nothing.

    June 3, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. Letcommonsenseprevail

    Do we not have anything better to comment about than what gift the president receives from another world leader?

    I am not a fan of the current president, however, it is customary when world leaders meet for the first time to exchange gifts. Blame whomever you want, and spew whatever vile you desire, but seriously, just once, I'd like to see an intelligent debate on here.

    June 3, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  18. max

    If I had given a gift like that to someone i would be pretty pissed if my staff publicly joked about selling it. quite an insult to the person who gave the gift.

    June 3, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  19. Richard-Arkansas

    No Rachel,

    The bling will be sent to the National Archives just like the one that Bush got and probably Clinton got also. Any gift over $250 is considered a gift to the American people. Some of them end up being displayed in the presidential libraries (which are run by the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA))..

    June 3, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  20. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    He had better claim all that gold on his income taxes as a gift unless he leaves it to the country when he leaves office in 2012.

    June 3, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  21. Ryan

    Rob, you're downright stupid!

    June 3, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  22. JT from MO

    Tom, your concern about this country is very reasonalble and very understanding. I know just about each and every one of us would want a magical fairy to wave a wand and all would be fixed, but years and decades of greed and irresponsibility is going to take a bit more than just 6 months to fix. Compare this situation to a calculator. If I had a perfectly good calculator and abused it for years what to you think would actually happen. Right, it will break into tiny little pieces that each would take time to put together. Each piece would need to be examined, and each piece needs to be put together in the correct order to ensure that the calculator would need to work again. It would take a lot longer for me to fix the calculator than for me to break it. It is the same thing with the country. A lot of things are messed up in this country, and each piece is going to have be put together correctly with precison. That takes time.

    June 3, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  23. S Callahan

    Oh goodness..please tell me that President Obama did not give King Ab a six pack of cd's....

    June 3, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  24. Osama Bin Laden

    That's it the muslims kill over 2000 of our citizens and they give OBAMA gold bracelets. Heck fire OBAMA this is not two tribes of Africa you're trying to work a peace agreement with. We are a failing nation with all open borders for the incoming people who don't give a darn about our welfare and your rewarding people with your presence who want to see us fail. BUlL CRAP DID WE NOT PUT THE WRONG PERSON IN OFFICE. WHERE'S HILLARY.

    June 3, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  25. Unhappy Dem

    Exercise in futility. Waste of time.

    June 3, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
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