June 3rd, 2009
05:00 PM ET
11 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. demwit

    Are we in a depression yet? Or do all recessions last 2 years??

    Progressively speaking of course..

    June 3, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  2. demwit

    Hey.., maybe he can trade it in at Goober Motors for a car!!

    June 3, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  3. TCM

    @FORMER republican, NEVER again! –

    Idiot, don't you realize when the country's being sold out by this false messiah..? He's a muslim, and that's why he's treated like a king over there....such an absolute disgrace.

    June 3, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  4. RealityKing

    The Suadi'd are mocking Obama as a steriotypical AfroAmerican, and he doesn't even get it...., what a clown.

    June 3, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  5. Samuel

    When Barry went to his knees I thought he was going Sinclair on him.

    June 3, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  6. Otto

    The good news is yet to come but the president is laying the ground work. Peace in the Middle East will never be easy or bear fruit quickly.

    He has the guts and insight to begining a quest that's long over due. I am quiet sure every American will rest easy if there are less threats to us. Why not start with dialogue?

    What's the alternative?

    June 3, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  7. Jasmine in Germany

    Thank you, Saudi Arabia! It is truly a great honor to the United States that President Obama receive such a distinguished gift ; King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit.

    For those of you who may be unaware: this Order of Merit is awarded for meritorious service while in government office. It was presented formally by King Abdullah to President Obama and the action certainly represents the willingness for friendship between the nations.

    President Obama is seen worldwide as a refreshing change to the former US administration, and Saudi Arabia recognizes Obama's sincerity.

    And don't worry, US taxpayers: President Obama will not be allowed to personally keep the gift . Public servants are not allowed to accept gifts over a certain amount. It will belong to the White House (the people) and have a protected place with other gifts from other world leaders.

    Thank you once again, King Abdullah.

    June 3, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    American Presidents DO NOT keep the gifts they receive!
    They always turn them over to US Treasury for keeping. I believe these gifts are actually go on display somewhere but I am not sure about it.

    June 3, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  9. RUFF!

    @Brian G, Sugar Land, TX June 3rd, 2009 5:50 pm ET
    The pres got bling! ***How about your dog collar is it too tight ..Down boy here is your Bone ***
    ***The necklace is officially called the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, the kingdom's highest honor***

    June 3, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  10. gregg45

    as the real world fades ,,we have a person of color as our president, who wants world peace,, no disasters , to ever happen,, all religions . to live in harmony,, no wars,, all the world should bow to our leader and do what he says,, i will die for my leader,,,, sound familiar?? get a mind grip amerika,, why i still look at this blog from the oba channel.. to let you all know ,, there is still time to redeem your vote.. i 4 1 will not be lead by a police state,, americans , read your bill of rights,

    June 3, 2009 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  11. Legna

    Should have been a crown. Would have been more appropriate. Hope Obama declares it so he can pay gift taxes....

    June 3, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
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