Social grace, in Washington

In a comical episode of military brass interacting with official Washington, four-star General Peter Chiarelli,  the #2 general in the U.S. Army, showed decency and good humor when White House official Valerie Jarrett mistook him for a waiter (because of the similarity of his dress uniform and that of the wait staff), and asked him for more wine. He was not offended and, in fact, demonstrated a light touch by pouring her a glass of wine. In fact, there’s trying to work out a time for her to come to his home for dinner.

Graciousness is always worth mentioning, but this exchange also reminded me of the opposite, an ungracious Washington moment. The general’s grace is a striking contrast to Barbara Boxer’s pout when a brigadier general testifying before a Senate committee addressed her as ma’am. In one of the strangest demonstrations of Washington ego in a city full of overinflated egos, Boxer asked the general to address her as Senator, not ma’am.


About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group ( Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
This entry was posted in Encouragement, Funny, Jim Jewell, Politics, Virtue and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Social grace, in Washington

  1. Ben DeVries says:

    I just noticed this the other day myself, Jim, what a remarkable article and demonstration of grace and humility – Ben

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