The Spectacle Blog

An Officer and a Gentleman

By on 2.13.11 | 6:01PM

CNN contributor and former Chicago Tribune columnist Bob Greene tells the story of a gracious act by Four-star Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli toward White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, after President Obama's longtime friend mistook the General for a waiter at a dinner and asked him to bring her a glass of wine:

Rather than take offense, or try to make Jarrett feel small for her blunder, the general, in good humor, went and poured her a glass of wine. It was evident that he wanted to defuse the awkward moment, and to let Jarrett know that she should not feel embarrassed.

As Chiarelli wrote in an e-mail to CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr:

"It was an honest mistake that ANYONE could have made. She was sitting, I was standing and walking behind her and all she saw were the two stripes on my pants which were almost identical to the waiters' pants -- REALLY. She apologized and will come to the house for dinner if a date can be worked out in March."

Greene cites a few other good examples of consideration and grace. However, he did not mention for contrast any examples of rudeness and disrespect, so let me offer one.

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