A few years ago, I was standing outside my office building when I saw an official looking car pull up to the curb. Out jumped three men. I looked closely and noticed that one was former Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder.
At the time, he was Mayor of Richmond, having decided to run for that office in the twilight of his political career. In my mind, I immediately wondered, “should I call him Governor Wilder or Mayor Wilder?”. I had to make a quick decision as he walked toward me.
There are many in the Democratic Party who are excited about a Hilary Clinton campaign for President. Ms. Clinton as the first female President would be another barrier knocked down.
Along with that, she would be known as Madam President. Not the routine Mr. President. That begs the question as to what would everyone call her husband. Would it be the First Man or would he also be called Mr. President. Of course, some would just prefer that they both be called former.
I still don’t know the correct answer for either. I remember calling Mr. Wilder Mayor as he walked toward me. Since I don’t know the accurate answer, I decided to try to find it. Here’s what I found:
In the book Honor and Respect the author tells us not to refer to former office-holders as Mr. President or Governor. Protocol instructs us call them Mr. or Mrs.; And in writing, to address as The Honorable. Conversely, EnglishPlus.com says that it’s acceptable to call a former officeholder by their original highest elected office title, out of respect to their previous position. Both sources agree that, in writing, The Honorable is the preferable title.
Whatever is the proper title, I am certain that we are about to embark on the weekend. It’s always good to call it that.
And for pic o’ day, how about a selfie: