Sunday, March 30, 2008

Media and Titles

Until recently I seem to recall the media referring to former Presidents as just that, but nowadays Mr. Clinton is seemingly always addressed as and referred to as “President Clinton.” It makes it sound as if our nation has two Presidents; a rather horrifying thought, given the damage that is being done to the office and the nation by the present one.

Or perhaps we now follow the example of emerging nations, and maybe Russia, and now elect our highest office as “President-For-Life” which is another pretty appalling thought.

If either of those is the case, we need to rewrite the hand-book.

From the Hand-book of Official and Social Etiquette and Public Ceremonials at Washington,
FORMS OF SALUTATION: (… ) The right to use the title of President ceases with the retirement of the individual from office. There can be but one President, and the title belongs to the office and not to the man. It is proper to use the title Ex-President, and this should be used in speaking to or writing of a retired President.

Another classic display of ignorance by our media.


  1. Or (he would not like this): Mr. Hilary Clinton? I know, technically not correct, but ......
    Maybe just plain "Mr. Clinton"?

  2. Anonymous10:00 PM

    Mr. xxx or former president xxx is best. Margaret Truman famously said "hello, Mr. Truman" in her autobiography of her father, and Mr. Truman grinned from ear to ear. I'm sure Mrs Truman felt the same. Just another reason I do not want Hill & Bill back in the White House.