Monday, November 12, 2007

Small Things Matter

In the infamous “Mission Accomplished” aircraft carrier event, Bush flew aboard the carrier in a jet rather than the usual helicopter and, in response to being asked why, his office explained that this was done because the carrier was too far from the coast for a helicopter to reach. Turns out the carrier was actually within sight of the coast and they had to be careful to avoid revealing the San Diego skyline in the camera shots that day. He flew in the jet, it seems, because he wanted to do it.

Showmanship and the inaccuracy of his message aside, so what if he wanted to come aboard in a jet rather than a helicopter?

What baffled me at the time was, why would his office lie over something so trivial? Or did they not know the answer and just say whatever came to mind that would sound good?

I couldn’t quite decide at the time which was worse; that they would lie so inconsequentially, or that they would simply make up answers that would seem to reflect credit on their man.

This was certainly not any kind of major crisis of leadership, but these were people who were representing the person holding the highest elected office in this nation. Their careless hubris embarrassed him (well, would have done if he had any capacity to be embarrassed) and reflected discredit, however small, upon the nation.

Which brings us to Hillary Clinton and her staff, and a tip that was not left at a restaurant. It has now been established that the tip was, in fact, not left. I could care less about that and the waitress herself has pointed out that the country has far more important things to discuss than whether or not she received a tip. Very true, and this post is not about Clinton leaving a tip.

Clinton’s staff contacted the reporter and not only claimed that a tip was left, they specified an amount that was disproportionate to the dinner tab, and they were apparently rather snottily critical of the reporter in the process. And their claim was false.

To paraphrase my question about the “Mission Accomplished” event,

What baffles me is, why would her staff lie over something so trivial? Or did they just say whatever came to mind that would make her sound good?

Sort of makes her promises of bringing change to government sound hollow, doesn’t it? Do we really need four more years of this kind of nonsense?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:59 PM

    I beg to differ. While the post is not about the tip, the waitress is wrong. The COUNTRY probably does have "far more important things to discuss"; I am not so sure that the ELECTORATE does. Whether or not she received a tip IS important, because it reflects both on Hillary's competence and on her character.

    If Clinton can't even manage to make sure that a simple restaurant bill gets paid correctly, why should I trust her to run this country? And if she can't hire campaign staff competent enough to live their daily lives, what kind of blunders will her cabinet produce? And if anyone thinks it is too trivial to matter, it is not just competence that is at issue.

    Wait-staff depend on their tips, without it they don't even get minimum wage. Few people can live on $$700-800/month, which is what a full-time minimum wage job nets you after taxes, etc. Without tips, I would have GROSSED about $500 a month as a waiter. That won't cover a month's rent--before taxes! Either they were totally oblivious to the economic realities of the working class, or they were callous to the point of cruelty. Either way, they don't sound like the kind of people I want running our government. Worse yet, when they got caught, they tried to cover their butts.

    On the up side, I guess they ready to hit the ground running and fit right in: they already know how to lie, cheat, and steal; not to mention "cover-up, cover-up, cover-up."