Bush’s Booty: Presidential Gifts Unveiled At National Archives

This morning, Think Progress visited the National Archives, where a small selection of President Bush’s presidential gifts were unveiled before the press. The collection included Head of State and domestic gifts that will eventually be stored in the Bush library at Southern Methodist University. An archive will be available online starting January 21.

Among the gifts that President Bush received:

— A baseball bat signed by every living member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame (top left image)
— A pair of handcrafted boots emblazoned with the name and likeness of Bush’s beloved dog, Barney (bottom images)
— An intricately carved rifle from Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek (not pictured)

Among the gifts that Laura Bush received:

— A purse from Queen Sirikit of Thailand (top center image)
— An original collage from Eric Carle’s highly popular children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar (top right image)
— A first-edition copy of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (not pictured)


Other gifts previously received by the Bushes include a diamond and sapphire jewelry set, valued at $95,500, from Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and “an $11,000 Cartier Santos Dumont watch with an 18K white gold case” from Thailand’s Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.

Strict ethics laws dictate that a President must purchase gifts worth more than $335, which is why any particularly valuable items aren’t likely to end up on display at Bush’s new home in Dallas.

(ThinkProgress has been keeping a close eye on developments with the Bush library, and we will continue to do so. Read our related posts here.)

Emily Aden, Matt Finkelstein, and Michael Wilson