I Covered The G20 And All I Got Was This Lousy…

A report on President Obama’s overseas trip devolved into swag talk on CBS News’s The Early Show this morning:

BILL PLANTE (in London): Now, of course, no meeting like this would be complete without a gift bag. [Holds aloft a plastic-looking tote with “London” written all over it]. Not quite as tacky as ours, but here we have some of the swag here, it’s very similar to what [the world leaders] are getting. These are tough times, but this is a $110 tie from Savile Row. An Irish linen tea towel.

What do you think?

HARRY REID SMITH (in New York): Very good.

PLANTE: How about a box of chocolates? Got to have that. And a $60 scented designer candle. What do you think?

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ (in New York): We like it. Bill, what do the reporters get?

PLANTE: You know, we haven’t gotten anything yet. I’m getting a little miffed. We usually get swag bags at these things, too, but I haven’t seen it yet.

SMITH: I still have some really cheap, bad cuff links from a…G-7…that’s how many years ago?

RODRIGUEZ: We’re up to [G]20.

PLANTE: A lot of plastic pens, Harry. A lot of plastic pens with things written on them…

RODRIGUEZ: Bill, you get to travel to Europe. That’s pretty good.


UPDATE: Also from CBS News:

It may be that Europeans were bound to like whomever followed President Bush, but French journalist Agnes Poirier agrees that Michelle and her husband have a certain je nais sais quoi.

“Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are a very alluring and very sophisticated couple and that plays well with the French,” Poirier says. “They like seeing sophistication at the helm of power.”

UPDATE II: I knew I shouldn’t have looked to see how the Obamas’ overseas trip was handled on the fourth hour of NBC’s Today Show. But, I did. And:

KATHIE LEE GIFFORD: Imagine if you were our first lady, Michelle Obama. Going on your very first European trip.

HODA KOTB. This is a big deal.

GIFFORD: And all eyes are upon you and you have to live up to the standard of Jackie Kennedy.

KOTB: There’s a lot of pressure.

GIFFORD: Enormous pressure.

KOTB: And everyone wants to know, is she going to wear sleeves or no sleeves? That’s the issue.

GIFFORD (sleeveless): I don’t know that it’s that important.

KOTB: It’s interesting! Come on, look how cute her outfit is.

GIFFORD: We may not have a world in a month, and we’re worried about her sleeves?

KOTB: It’s called a distraction from reality.

GIFFORD: Oh, this is a distraction.

KOTB: We’ve read in certain news reports that she’s wearing a J. Crew skirt. She’s kind of mixing and matching, because J. Crew’s one of her favorite designers.

GIFFORD: She wears some expensive, beautiful things as well.

KOTB: Yeah. It will be interesting to see how she compares with the other first ladies. Because you can’t help, two women sitting next to each other, people comparing them.


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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.