Saudi Arabia's king was the most generous gift-giver, according to documents released by the State Department on Tuesday.
Saudi King Abdullah gave Obama, his wife and daughters nearly $190,000 in luxury baubles in 2009, including the single most valuable gift reported to have been given to U.S. officials that year: a ruby and diamond jewelry set, including earrings, a ring, a bracelet and necklace, for the first lady worth $132,000
But don't be looking for the first lady to be wearing the dazzling gems anytime soon. By law, most gifts to U.S. officials must be turned over to the government and the jewelry has already been sent to the National Archives.
A bribe? No. But with oil prices heading above $100 and the economy ready to tumble one of the few cards the President can play is using his influence to get OPEC to increase production.
By accepting these gifts the President is signaling to the SA king that what the king is doing is okay.
What Obama should have done, and it is not too late, is to return them while explaining that since the price of oil is too high and so destructive to the average American that he cannot accept them.
Don't hold your breath.
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