The 5 Worst Diplomatic Gifts Obama Received In 2011

Some of the diplomatic gifts Obama received were strange or stingy.

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President Barack Obama speaks at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel, Saturday, April 27, 2013, in Washington.
President Barack Obama speaks at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel, Saturday, April 27, 2013, in Washington.

On Friday, after President Barack Obama released a list of all the diplomatic gifts he accepted in 2011, the National Journal asked what the tiny West African country of Gabon was doing giving Obama a present that cost more than $52,000.

But we say: what's with so many countries giving POTUS awful gifts two years ago?

[READ: Obama on the Defensive at Press Conference]

Historically, diplomatic gifts to a president on behalf of a country are – for better or worse – quite lavish, designer-made, and total in the tens of thousands of dollars. But in 2011, some of the gifts to the president seemed stingy or just plain weird.

The five worst gifts Obama received, below:

1) An iPod shuffle, courtesy of Australia, because it appears Prime Minister Julia Gillard couldn't spring for the iPod Nano or iPod Touch.

2) An orange grocery/tote bag with a dandelion on it, courtesy of France. The item description clarifies that the bag is "reusable," as if it makes this gift any better.

3) A five-inch tall condiment pot, courtesy of Chile. We're guessing it's for that spicy dijon Obama loves to put on his burgers instead of ketchup.

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4) A plexiglas sculpture called "Wrapping Flag Candy USA," which depicts an upright Tootsie Roll whose wrapper as the American flag, courtesy of France. Because nothing says America's economic prosperity like penny candy.

5) Stickers and playing cards related to "Witcher 2," a popular Polish role-playing video game, courtesy of Poland. Sadly, this wasn't the only country that gave Obama a sticker as part of its gift. Australia tried to justify its diplomatic gift to Obama of a "dragonfly silver ash wood trinket box" by noting the box had an "Australia" sticker on top.

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook or reach her at eflock@usnews.com.