Friday, June 24, 2011


When President Obama spoke at Fort Drum, New York yesterday, he committed a rather glaring faux pas, involving a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. From the blog of Dana Ritter, White House producer for CBN News:

"Throughout my service, first as a senator and then as a presidential candidate and then as a President, I’ve always run into you guys. And for some reason it’s always in some rough spots.

First time I saw 10th Mountain Division, you guys were in southern Iraq. When I went back to visit Afghanistan, you guys were the first ones there. I had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously.

But as Ms. Ritter reminds us, Jared Monti died in combat and his family received the medal posthumously--from President Obama--less than two years ago.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed the flub. He said that Mr. Obama was speaking without notes, and had previously honored Monti in remarks made in Afghanistan last year.

An honest mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. No wonder some of those soldiers at Fort Drum looked uncomfortable during Mr. Obama's remarks. In fairness, the President did present the Medal of Honor to SSGT Salvatore Giunta at the White House last year; Gunta received the nation's highest award for valor for his actions in Afghanistan back in 2007, while assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, not the 10th Mountain Division.

Where's that Teleprompter when you need it?
ADDENDUM: As far as we can tell, the only press outlets who've covered the gaffe are CBN and Military Times. Wonder what the media reaction would have been if George W. Bush had made a similar mistake?


F said...

10th Mountain, 173rd Airborne -- they're only numbers to someone who has never served and has no respect for service. The President is out of his element. He'd be a lot more comfortable working alongside Jesse Jackson to shakedown large companies. This talking to troops is not his idea anyway -- his handlers tell him it looks good for the re-election campaign. F

Unknown said...

On addition to the "flub". I find it demeaning that the President would call the men of the 10th Mountain Division "guys". Julie