Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 143, June 18

Handling gifts has always presented problems when one is serving as President of the United States.  As the chief executive of the world's most powerful country, the president must be both diplomatic and wise in receiving--and declining--gifts. 

Even two hundred years ago, when the nation was far from the earth's most powerful nation, the president had to be careful in accepting gifts from foreign governments.  Thomas Jefferson had occasion to tip-toe through the minefield of gift-receiving when the government of Tunisia presented him with a fine white stallion.

President Jefferson felt he couldn't refuse the gift.  It would have insulted the Tunisian government.  So he placed the stallion in the Presidential stables and made him available for stud.  The stud fees for the stallion were then donated to the government.

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