Gen. Dempsey breaks into song

Ignatius was wrapping the hour-long event when he noted that press members who have traveled with the new chairman have reported Dempsey has performed the song three different times, and he prodded the general to sing it again.

Dempsey initially balked.

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As the audience egged him on, Dempsey started to come around, but with a catch: He asked the camera operators in the back of the room to shut down.  

The chairmen said he had no desire for another performance to land on YouTube.

When the camera operators resisted, Dempsey quipped: “I’m the chairman. Turn ‘em off, or we’ll find a way to do it remotely.”

The audience roared with laughter as one camera operator told an Atlantic Council official, “We’re live. I can’t [shut down].”

The chairman, informed of the pressure of live television, seemed resigned to his fate. He soon broke into song.

As he wrapped up the tune, the audience responded with a standing ovation — appearing to applaud Dempsey’s good humor as much as the performance.

Catch it here, beginning at 1:16:43.