Mr. Obama?

Chip Reid, chief white house correspondent for cbs, said “Mr. Obama” four or five times tonight on the news.
Is that proper?

They called the previous guy Mr. Bush, so why not? It’s not like he has to be constantly referred to as Mr. President or President Obama, the title isn’t a necessary prefix

“Mr. President” is the form of address, you call him “President Obama”, but I don’t see how it could be incorrect to call a citizen of this country “Mr. Obama”.

I believe the practice is to refer to the President as ‘President [name]’ the first time he* is mentioned in a report, and as ‘Mr. [name]’ in subsequent mentions.

*So far.

Actually, I never noticed what they called the ex-president. I think I only noticed tonight because it seemed like Reid said it so often. Plus, I pay more attention to Obama than I did to Bush.

Of course.

Both the NYT and the Washington Post style is to refer to the President as “Mr. Lastname” on second reference and thereafter, with an occasional “the President” sprinkled in for variety. They’re not now dissing President Obama, if that’s what you mean.

The AP Styleguide says about presidents that on second reference only the last name should be used, but I’m uncertain if that’s in contrast to it’s prior clarification on when to use the first and last names or not.

Also according to the AP, courtesy titles (Mr., Miss, etc) should be used in direct quotations, when it is neccesary to distinguish between two people who use the same last name, or when a woman specifically requests it. They are mum on any further specifics about the President.

I do know, though I don’t have a cite for it, that the New York Times uses President _____ on first reference in an article, and any subsequent reference is Mr. ____. (Two examples) I believe that the same format is used for former presidents, i.e., “President Clinton did the dishes, then Mr. Clinton took his pet gopher for a walk.”

It is not (unless the citizen happens to be female, of course ;)). Yes, “Mr. Obama” is a correct way to refer to the President. “President Obama” is usually used for the first reference in a given story or article, after which the writer or speaker may switch to “Mr. Obama” to avoid repeating the more unwieldy title every time.

No, my question was simply about the protocol. Reporters of Reid’s stature rarely disrespect anyone.

If that’s the format the Times uses (and I don’t think it is, but I don’t have a cite), then they are wrong and Miss Manners is gonna dope-slap them:

Likewise, Mr. Clinton (or Governor Clinton) is not “President Clinton” anymore, and if he still wants people to refer to him that way then he needs to learn to let go. And if the New York Times or anybody else still wants to refer to him that way, then they need to learn to let go.

He may also be identified as “former President Bill Clinton” when that’s relevant in referring to him, but it’s more of a descriptor than an honorific.

Not that I practice what she preaches.
But I am delighted to see that our gentle Kimstu would never use the awkward term “bitch-slap”.

This is an interesting tidbit: when Colin Powell was Secretary of State, the NY Times would refer to him as “Secretary of State Colin Powell” in the first reference, and thereafter as “General Powell.” Somewhere along the line, the Times changed their policy and started referring to him as “Mr. Powell.”

2001 story, 2008 story.

Perish the thought. Plus, the dope slap (brought to you by the guys at Car Talk) is actually a different thing:

The reality is that ex-Presidents are still referred to as “President” as a matter of course, not only by the Press, but also by elected officials, including sitting Presidents. Miss Manners can protest it all she wants, but the practice is what it is, and it’s not going to change.

Darn. You slipped in ahead of me.

The notion that former presidents are not to be called President is total crap. It has about the same authority and lineage as the notion that you can’t split infinitives or end a sentence with a preposition. You see it only as a vestige of some distant era of Etiquette that may still exist when deciding seating protocol at a State dinner but nowhere else in our society. I’m old enough to remember when Judith Martin wrote a humor column. As far as I’m concerned, her advice as Miss Manners is still humor and not to be taken seriously. It’s certainly almost never right.

Mangeorge, calling the President Mr. X has been the norm for your entire life, since I can trace it easily in newspapers back as far as McKinley. In fact, I found articles on him in which the first as well as subsequent references were to Mr. McKinley, although the headline did refer to the President.

I support referring to former Presidents just as “Mr. Lastname.” Harry Truman said when he left the White House that he looked forward to going back to being plain ol’ “Mr. Truman.” Lifetime honorifics for retired politicians (other than the formal prefix “The Honorable” in correspondence, which I don’t mind) creates the appearance of a quasi-aristocracy and is counter to the republican (little “r”) simplicity the Framers had in mind, IMHO.

I’m also glad the Times changed its policy on then-SecState Colin Powell. To be referring to the country’s top diplomat as “General” sends all the wrong signals to the juntas and dictatorships of the world.

It’s correct to say Mr Obama or President Obama, or Mr President.

If we’re going this route, I support calling current Presidents “Mr. Lastname”* because President is a job description, not a feudal title: An election doesn’t change your social status, it merely places you in an office that is accorded respect by others based on established traditions. The respect is part of the office, just like the White House and the really snazzy limos, and is ultimately being accorded to the people of the United States of America, who chose that President to represent them and their interests on an international stage.

Former presidents will be called “President Lastname” because the English language is a language, not a board game, and it abides by no fixed rules.

*(Obviously selected from “Mr./Mrs./Ms.” according to the gender and preference of the person in the office.)

Um… cite?

I’m pretty old myself. I recall Judith Martin had a theatre and film review column, and before that was a White House reporter; I don’t recall her ever doing a regular humor column.

But I may well have missed it… educate me.