Ken's Project Blog

February 4, 2011

Ms. Jarrett and the General

Filed under: In The News,Politics — Ken @ 9:27 am


Last week, Jake Tapper posted a Political Punch blog posting about the incident between Valarie Jarrett and a previously unidentified general at a Washington D.C. function – where she confused the general, who had his back to her, for a waiter and asked for another glass of wine. From twitter:

@jaketapperRT @PoliticalPunch: Valerie Jarrett Mistakes Vice Chief of Staff of Army for Waiter: http://abcn.ws/gACdZk

I’m not particularly interested in the gaffe, I’ve seen the same scenario play out among lesser people than one of the President’s senior advisors and a four star general, and I have no reason to think our politicians are immune from such mistakes, but I did have an observation on the kerfuffle – here’s my comment on to Jake Tapper’s posting:

A little late, but glad to hear who the general involved was… Seems like it took a long time to sort through only 4 generals, but anyway…

The general’s reaction doesn’t surprise me in the least – this man gets shot at for a living, thinking he’s a waiter instead of a 4 star general probably doesn’t even register to him.

Ms. Jarrett made what could be seen as an honest mistake – the people behind her were usually waiters, his back was to her (she couldn’t see his chest full of medals), in this context it’s an understandable mistake. (I don’t consider her not wearing her glasses an issue)

Compare this with Sen. Boxer who literally stopped a congressional hearing to upbraid a general to refer to her as Senator (“I’ve worked so hard for it…”).

I wish everyone involved could just act like grown-ups, I don’t see a reason for a ‘wine summit’ – everyone involved seems to be going to great pains to try to look like the ‘bigger man.’

You can read a lot into this story if you like, many are, but honestly it’s a simple mistake.

What I would like answered is how did anyone past the head table find out about this? I doubt Ms. Jarrett shouted for her wine, I doubt the general ran away and cried on the shoulder of a reporter, so someone near the head table overheard this and got the ‘news’ out – I wonder who that was…

Sources:

Wikipedia.com: Jake Tapper
ABC News: Political Punch

YouTube.com: Sen. Boxer: condescending, disrespectful, or just mean?, Barbara Boxer’s title, Boxer: “Call me Senator, I’ve earned it!” General demeaned at Senate hearing over Ma’am “title”

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