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.