I know the Valerie Jarrett mistaking the 2nd highest ranking man in the US army for a waiter story is an old one, but there are two things worth noting about it.
The first is as Glenn Reynolds pointed out, the difference in how the MSM is playing it:
It’s a good thing Sarah Palin didn’t make this mistake. Because if she did, it would be a univerally reported indicator that she’s an idiot and should never be allowed anywhere near issues of public policy. Luckily, since it was Valerie Jarrett, it’s all in good fun.
This is so axiomatic that it’s almost not worth saying but we’re going to KEEP saying it to make the lie out of the “Sarah Palin stupid” , “Sarah Palin ignorant”, “Sarah Palin evil” nonsense that we are bombarded by regularly that one has to call them on it.
The second it the part of the story that nobody is talking about. The class of the general, Four-star Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli, to wit:
“The guy dutifully went up and got her a glass of wine, and then came back and gave it to her and took a seat at the table,”
No objections, no ranting about rank, not even an: “Excuse me I’m not a waiter but I’ll find you one.” By going and getting the wine for Ms Jarrett not only did the General act with humility but he deliberately acted in such a way to keep from embarrassing Ms Jarrett.
Imagine just for a moment if we replaced General Peter Chiarelli with John Kerry? Let’s quote an old Howie Carr piece:
One off the surest ways to get the phones ringing on any Massachusetts talk-radio show is to ask people to call in and tell their John Kerry stories. The phone lines are soon filled, and most of the stories have a common theme: our junior senator pulling rank on one of his constituents, breaking in line, demanding to pay less (or nothing) or ducking out before the bill arrives.
The tales often have one other common thread. Most end with Sen. Kerry inquiring of the lesser mortal: “Do you know who I am?”
I’ll never forget one of my most embarrassing moments. I was at a dinner with a bunch of military and ex military a couple of years ago. I was sitting at a table with two genuine heroes, one from WW 2 and one from Vietnam. It came up in conversation that the gentleman from Vietnam had earned 3 purple hearts in his tour, I absent-mindedly said “Just like John Kerry”. You could have heard a pin drop, his wife coldly commented: “No not like John Kerry”. I felt a real fool, particularly being one who never served.
It is that humility that makes the military one of the most respected institutions in the nation and the congress and the white house not.