Wednesday, February 02, 2011

She Knew What She Was Doing

It's being dismissed as a faux pas, or maybe she was just a little tipsy. We refer to White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett and her insulting request to a senior military officer the other night, at an exclusive dinner hosted by the Alfalfa Club.

From the Daily Caller, citing a source who saw it happen:

According to our tipster, Jarrett was seated at the head table along with several other big-name politicians and a handful of high-ranking military officials. As an officer sporting several stars walked past Jarrett, she signaled for his attention and said, “I’d like another glass of wine.”

White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, who was seated next to Jarret, began “cracking up nervously,” our tipster said, but no one pointed out to Jarrett that the man sporting a chestful of medals was not her waiter.

“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,” our tipster said. “Everyone is in tuxedos and gowns at this thing, but the military people are in full dress uniform.”

While most of the MSM has ignored this story--or they've tried to explain it away for Ms. Jarrett--the truth is painfully clear. Fact is, Ms. Jarrett is anything but stupid. And, assuming she wasn't intoxicated, she certainly knew the uniformed officer wasn't her waiter. Indeed, I haven't seen a waiter's outfit that even remotely resembles the dress uniform of a military officer. But she still asked a flag officer to top off her drink.

No, it wasn't a social gaffe, or the product of too much wine. Rather, it was a display of utter contempt towards the U.S. military, by one of the administration's highest-ranking officials. Ms. Jarrett pulled her little stunt because she knew she could get by with it. Having the president's ear has certain advantages.

And, she probably knew the military folks in attendance wouldn't challenge her. From Jarrett's perspective a two or three-star general or admiral is little more than an office flunky, and she probably has an equally low opinion of their superiors. Readers will note their hasn't been a peeo from the SecDef or the JCS Chairman. They're too busy trying to minimize defense cuts and don't want to get on Ms. Jarrett's bad side. If it means a career officer gets humiliated at a tony dinner, that's the price they're willing to pay.

And sadly, the officer went along with Jarrett's request, so (apparently) senior officers have been told to honor her wishes. Too bad the officer didn't remind the White House adviser that their job description doesn't include fetching drinks. And too bad the military brass (hellooo, Admiral Mullen) didn't follow up with a formal complaint to the White House.

Unfortunately, we've been down this road before. White House staffers insulted General Barry McCaffrey during the early days of the Clinton Administration, and Hillary herself pressed uniformed military aides into service as waiters at a White House function. Now Ms. Jarrett (who is cut from the same ideological cloth) expects senior officers to serve as wine stewards--and her request was honored.

Military officers serve at the pleasure of the commander-in-chief. But nothing says they must honor unreasonable and insulting requests from one of his cronies. In another era, the White House adviser might have received a different response. Where's Barney Greenwald when you need him?


Vigilis said...

Ms. Jarrett is not only a Senior Advisor, as a lawyer she is also a ranking member of the "Lawyer-Political Complex".

Quite correct of you to mention Hillary Clinton in this continuing vein of disrespect for the world's premier military.

George Washington only needed one Judge Advocate General for the entire Continental Army. Now, each service has thousands. And the reason is...?

I am passing your great tidbit along.

kitanis said...

Personally... I wish the General did get her a drink.. and drop it right over her head.

But we all know in this military.. that would never happened

J.R. said...

>>"Indeed, I haven't seen a waiter's outfit that even remotely resembles the dress uniform of a military officer."

You're kidding, right? You were in the Air Force, and in how many years of service, you never got mistaken for a waiter at a mixed formal function? I've gone to four black-tie weddings in my USAF mess dress and was mistaken for staff each time. Because it was an official function and the person asking was not even remotely in my chain, I had the liberty to say "I think the drinks are over there," or "Someone will be around with puff pastry later."

Wipe the bias out of your eyes and try Hanlon's Razor on this one. She made a mistake, and the officer -- rather than embarrass her any further -- did the gracious thing, knowing Ms. Jarrett would hear about it plenty after the fact.

On the other hand, I guess it's possible that you have an inside source who can speak credibly on Jarrett's intentions.

Storms24 said...

And how many stars are on your mess dress uniform, JR?

Safe to assume that the attendants and protocol at your friends' weddings are not the same as at such an official function, hmm?

1389 said...

Here is yet another insult to the military - not directly on the part of the Obozo administration, but still...

Virginia Military Institute Sells Out To The Jihad

Straight 8 said...

I've never served in the military, but I've been to enough black tie events to be able to discern between a wine steward's and a military officer's uniform and general bearing. My guess is Ms. Jarrett, being a "superior" minded attorney and Senior Presidential Adviser, has even more experience with such social events. Every attorney I know takes great pride in observing, and pointing out, minutiae. I'm also guessing that there is a chance she's received some sort of instruction in Washington etiquette. If not, it's time for a crash course for this entire crew. Yes, it is possible to "break boundaries" when making assumptions about the intent behind someone's words, actions, or motivations, but if you look at the entire context of the situation it's pretty hard to imagine that she didn't know full well what she was doing. If she did, I'll break another boundary and say she enjoyed every minute of it. And maybe she didn't need that additional glass of wine. Are we paying these people to get drunk?

Chuck said...

Perhaps a senior political advisor during the Reagan, Bush I , or Bush II administrations mistakenly asked uniformed service officers for table service , but I am certainly unaware of it. IMNSHO, Jarrett's crass actions underscore the contempt that the current obama administration has for the military. On the other hand, I'd be happy not to attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. Especially in Jarrett's case.

crosspatch said...

Looking at this picture, I have to admit it could be mistaken for a waiter:

john said...

Well - according to Jake Tapper she was mortified. I certainly hope she was.

Nancy Reyes said...

the officer was being a gentleman when he got the wine Jarrett requested.

And I think this shows Jarrett is ignorant about the military.

I don't say this to defend her: it shows how insular and ignorant the present administration is.

SwampWoman said...

Only a total idiot could possibly make a mistake like that.

Then again, we are talking about one of Obama's advisors..... said...

off topic...would like your thoughts on the Obama administration handover of uk nuclear secrets to the Russians