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Can You Spot What's Wrong With This White House Statement on the Passing of Gen. Schwarzkopf?


“With the passing of General Norman Schwarzkopf, we’ve lost an American original."

Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, left, confers with a very young Gen. Colin Powell in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in 1990 (Getty Images)

Let’s play a game.

Let’s see if you can spot what’s wrong with the White House’s initial statement on the passing of Gen. "Stormin'" Norman Schwarzkopf:

“With the passing of General Norman Schwarzkopf, we’ve lost an American original. From his decorated service in Vietnam to the historic liberation of Kuwait and his leadership of United States Central Command, General Schwarzkopf stood tall for the country and Army he loved,” reads the original message, which was sent by the White House at 9:45 p.m. ET Thursday night.

“Our prayers are with the Schwarzkopf family, who tonight can know that his legacy will endure in a nation that is more secure because of his patriotic service,” the well-written and heartfelt statement adds.

So have you figured out what’s wrong yet?

If you noticed that it says the statement comes by way of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and not President Barack Obama (the Commander in Chief!) then you’re a winner.

“While the nation and the Schwarzkopf family were surely gratified to have Jay Carney honor General Schwarzkopf on their behalf,” writes Keith Koffler of the White House Dossier, “someone in the White House with a decent sense of history – or just a decent sense of propriety – must have belatedly realized that the man who cleared Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait and gave the United States victory in war deserved a mention by the president.”

Not long after they released the initial statement, White House staffers caught their mistake and issued a “corrected” version:

“The issuance of statements out of the White House is normally done carefully but is not rocket science: the important stuff is attributed to the president, the minor stuff to the press secretary,” Koffler writes.

“Staff probably writes most of the statements, and it’s unlikely that the president even sees all of the messages crafted for him,” he adds.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

Featured image courtesy Getty Images.

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