Jim Jones for President

James L. Jones Jr., the dashing and charismatic former Georgetown University basketball standout, has been named National Security Advisor by President-elect Barack Obama.

He also happens to be a former commandant of the Marine Corps who went on to become Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (though we won’t hold his NATO affiliation against him). He has proved perennially popular with politicos and military types alike, and everyone seems to want him around. ABC News recently called him “a chiseled Marine straight out of central casting.” He is fluent in French and possesses the genteel ways of Old Europe.

In 1985, Jones took command of 3rd Battalion 9th Marines. There was talk then that he was destined for multi-stardom, and probably the big house at 8th and I.

Soon after then-Lt. Col. Jones arrived at Camp Pendleton, his motor-transport officer introduced him to a female friend, but before he could tell him that his friend was a Marine Corps lieutenant, Jones expressed what a pleasure it was to meet her and lifted her hand and brought it to his lips. The two recent Naval Academy grads were stunned. How exactly would they tell Jones that the hand he kissed was on active duty?

In the months that followed, Jones always was warm and welcoming, a gracious host to his Marines and their guests. He continued to greet the active-duty hand in the same manner. The hapless duo saw their panic turn to dread turn to resignation. There was no good way to tell him.

It was the Marine Corps Ball when Gentleman Jim approached the guest. Without hesitation, he was complimentary, “I understand you are a Marine. I think that’s wonderful.” (Or something more eloquent.) “Thank you,” she said, thrilled he knew. It was over. The matter was never discussed. No one else ever knew. He never kissed the guest’s hand again.

Jim Jones: Decorum isn’t dead.

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