The New Rules of Presidential Etiquette

For eight years, the Republicans gave President Barack Obama and his family grief.  I’m not even talking policy here, not talking about ACA, Afghanistan, Gitmo, or any of a thousand other issues.  I am talking style, demeanor, etiquette.  Just a few examples:

  • For a time, during the 2008 campaign, before Obama was even elected, he was criticized for not wearing the flag lapel pin that all candidates wear to signal their patriotism, even as they are lying through their teeth. Obama stated in 2007 that he felt the wearing of the lapel pin had become a substitute for true patriotism, but to hear the republicans, why he might as well have been an axe murderer.
  • During a White House press briefing in 2014, President Obama had the unmitigated gall to … GASP … wear a tan-coloured suit! He might just as well have come to the briefing in his flannel jammies and bunny slippers, for all the hullabaloo over the ‘casualness’ of his attire.

tan suit 2

  • In August 2013, there was “shock, outrage and mocking criticism” as a picture hit the media of President Obama with … GASP … his feet on his desk! Perish the thought!!!

feet on desk

  • And hold on to your seats, folks, for in April 2009, Obama had the cheek to actually toss a football … in the Oval Office!!! How this man was not impeached, we’ll never understand!
  • At one point, Obama was even criticized for eating Dijon mustard on his hamburger, and Fox News’ own Sean Hannity referred to him as ‘President Poupon’. Why, he must be some sort of communist pinko, eating that there French mustard … what’s wrong with good ol’ American yellow mustard?

These stories were all headline news at the time, and the republicans were shocked, horrified, and disgusted, but unfortunately, they were not rendered speechless as we might have hoped.  But it didn’t begin and end only with the president.  His family was to feel the wrath of the republicans also.

  • michelle-4Often and repeatedly Michelle Obama was criticized for ‘weighing too much’, despite the fact that she is quite slim and in excellent physical condition. She was criticized by Sarah Palin for not paying enough attention to dessert.  She was criticized for wearing a sleeveless dress.  She was criticized for doing push-ups.  And of course she was criticized for making healthier school lunches a part of her agenda as First Lady.

While any president’s minor children are typically considered to be ‘off limits’, the Obama girls, Malia and Sasha, took their share of criticism.

  • They were criticized for their dress and behaviour and told to ‘try showing a little class’. Note that when Obama was inaugurated, Malia was 11 years old, and Sasha was 8.  Given their ages and the situation into which they found themselves thrust, I would say they showed remarkable class (remember George W. Bush’s daughters?)  But they were criticized during their 8 years in the White House for everything from their dress to Malia’s choice of a college in 2016.

So as we can see, it appears that the public and particularly republicans, are very particular about things like etiquette and deportment of the president and his family, yes?

Republicans guide etiquette

The Republican’s Guide to Presidential Behaviour

In May 2017, three months into Donald Trump’s regime, the New York Times ran what would become a series, The Republican’s Guide to Presidential Behavior.    It is a tongue-in-cheek series outlining how the standards have changed in the short time since Trump has been in office.  A few examples from the May article:

If you are the president, you may freely:

  • demand personal loyalty from the F.B.I. director

  • attack private citizens on Twitter

  • accuse a former president, without evidence, of an impeachable offense

  • call the media “the enemy of the American people”

  • intimidate congressional witnesses

  • hide the White House visitors’ list from the public

  • vacation at one of your private residences nearly every weekend

  • criticize specific businesses for dropping your family members’ products

  • review and discuss highly sensitive intelligence in a restaurant, and allow the Army officer carrying the “nuclear football” to be photographed and identified by name

  • hire relatives for key White House posts, and let them meet with foreign officials and engage in business at the same time

The list goes on, but remember, that was only in the first three months!  Well, the article, written by he Times’ Editorial Board, was originally intended to be a one-shot thing, but by October, it became obvious that a follow-up was needed, so they came up with another:

In 2017, there’s a whole new bar for tolerable conduct by the commander in chief. Our original guide cataloged several dozen examples. Almost five months later, it’s clear that an update is necessary. This expanded list is meant to ensure that Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and other congressional Republicans never forget what they now condone in a president.

So, if you are the president, you may:

  • Mock a foreign leader with a demeaning nickname and threaten his country with nuclear annihilation over Twitter

  • Call for the firing of “son of a bitch” athletes who choose to exercise their right to free speech

  • Criticize victims of that hurricane still living without drinking water or electricity by saying they “want everything to be done for them”

  • Attack a senator battling terminal cancer

  • Behave so erratically and irresponsibly that senators of your own party resort to saying you’re treated like someone at “an adult day-care center” to keep you from starting World War III

  • Spend one of every three days as president visiting at least one of your own properties

  • Tweet GIFs of yourself violently attacking the media and your former political opponent

And again, the list goes on.  But the new standards weren’t yet complete, even in October, so once again, this month, January 2018, the Times’ Editorial Board saw a need to further update the list:

As part of our continuing effort to resist the exhausting and numbing effects of living under a relentlessly abusive and degrading president, we present, for the third time in nine months, an updated guide to what Republicans now consider to be acceptable behavior from the commander in chief.


  • Imply, without evidence, that a television anchor was involved in a murder

  • Question the authenticity of a recording of you bragging about sexual assault, even though you previously admitted it was real

  • Retweet inflammatory and fake anti-Muslim videos from an ultranationalist British group

  • Call the American justice system a “joke” and a “laughingstock”

  • Have your lawyer pay $130,000 in hush money to a porn star with whom you had an affair while your wife was at home caring for your new son

  • Exploit a White House event honoring Native American veterans to mock a senator with a racially charged slur

  • Tell your rich friends after your tax bill passes, “You all just got a lot richer”

And still, the list goes on.  I strongly suspect there will be a fourth installment of this New York Times series, unless we are fortunate enough to see Trump leave the Oval Office sometime in the coming months.  They said that the Obamas lacked dignity and grace, had no class?  President Obama had more class in his little toe than Donald Trump will ever have.  Stay tuned for more …


Where Have All The Big Macs Gone?


77 thoughts on “The New Rules of Presidential Etiquette

    • “Obama had class” are you joking. Obama the man who stated publicly “the one good thing about being President and being in the Oval Office is you can FUCKING SWEAR” and you say CLASS!! Give it a break about President Donald Trump, there were enough people who voted him as President and don’t you dare insult those people that did, just like you call all those including myself who voted BREXIT, Racist, please don’t both denying it. Those who disliked Donald Trump had the choice not to vote for him they lost, get over it just like BREXIT, GET OVER IT. President Trump has achieved more, look at the economy how well that is, in such a short time. To attack a child of 11 because his Father is President is beneath contempt. To attack the First Lady, the best looking First Lady since Jacqueline Kennedy is pathetic. Obama’s wife, be serious.

      America had Bill Clinton who couldn’t keep his dick in his pants, “That Famous Dress” he left his DNA on! even accusations of Rape. Jack Kennedy had so many whores in the White House, Jacqueline Kennedy only stayed because her Father-in-Law paid her vast amounts of money to do so, she had enough of her husband’s adultery. FDR and his Mistress. The list goes on. Goodness sake, stop all this hatred and think of the damage you are doing to yourselves.


    • Thank you so much, John! Isn’t it amazing the double standards that are in play here? Could it … might it … have anything to do with the colour of President Obama’s skin? GASP!

      Thanks again, mu friend!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Naw… that would be racism. Good grief, Obama is and was beyond reproach but he was mercilessly attacked by the racists throughout his two terms. I wish there was a cure for that ugly illness.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Agreed. But in order for one to be cured of any disease, one must admit that they have that particular disease. Those who criticized Obama for everything and nothing, are highly offended by the suggestion that his race or the colour of his skin had anything to do with their hatred. They wear blinders, and until we can get those off, there is little hope for an end to bigotry in any form. Seems like we would learn something along the way, doesn’t it?

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: The New Rules of Presidential Etiquette | By the Mighty Mumford

  2. Dear Jill.

    Just thank the Lord that you are not married to him. They missed putting on the list, how this man treats his wife.

    He must be upset about the FBI having interviewed AG Jeff Sessions because he has been tweeting about the FBI having agents who are biased against him.

    He must know, his days are numbered. He does act like a guilty man. There is no way that his weight is only 239 lbs. He weighs at least 275 lbs.

    How can anyone living with so much anger, resentment and suspicions about others? It must kill him to realize that his Black brother has so much more class and dignity than he does.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Perish the thought!!! I could not stand to have him touch me, let alone have to look at him across the dinner table, or worse yet, sleep in the same bed. 🤢

      Yes, I think that although he may be in denial, somewhere deep inside he must realize that his reign is coming to an end, and I’ve said before that I fear what erratic things he may do at that point. Hold on, Gronda, for I think we are in for a wild ride this year.

      One wonders, since he was born into wealth, where all his anger comes from? Just a spoiled brat who isn’t getting his way and is engaging in a temper tantrum?


      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill, who knew lying routinely, demeaning critics or perceived critics, sexually assaulting women, patting yourself on the back, attacking the free press, attacking institutions and not doing your homework were traits suitable to the GOP for a President. Maybe Harvey Weinstein would get some votes. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, who knew indeed. And I was thinking about this … I would bet money that Harvey Weinstein could garner some votes, and especially if he ran on a platform of bigotry and strict immigration control. Look at Roy Moore, after all. Just when you think it cannot possibly go any lower … it does.


    • Yes, as I just told another UK friend, Memoirs of a Husk, I would rather we had stayed under British rule than to be going through what we are going through. You’re welcome to take us back, but you probably don’t want us now. Who could blame you? Sigh. Some days I am glad I’m old. Hugs, Jack.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well no doubt your other British Friend will deny this but this is a fact, more people in this Country say they would love it if we had Donald Trump as our Leader. We are ashamed and embarrassed that President Trump and His First Lady have not been invited on an Official State visit. We had to put up with Obama who spoke in our famous Westminster Hall, not because he was a new President but because he was Black. We have a very weak PM in Theresa May and the thought of an extreme Left Wing Labour Party gaining power, with marxist Corbyn and IRA Supporter Macdonnell as deputy. What we desperately need is someone like President Trump or another Margaret Thatcher, because this Country of mine the UK is in an absolute mess not just because of the Government, but other very very dangerous factors, and one can smell the blood that is going to be flowing in my Country before too long because the real British have had enough of all the shit they are being forced to accept, all Politicians totally ignoring all the warnings from the Police from all the Reports they request and cost us the Taxpayers £millions.


        • First of all, welcome. Since you are new to this blog, you may not be aware of my policy, but we treat each other with respect here and engage in civil discourse. Personal attacks and profanity are not welcomed, for they are counter-productive to any attempt at gaining an understanding of others’ views. While you may not, apparently do not, agree with my views, they are informed views. I have a M.A. in Political Science and have completed coursework toward a Ph.D. in International Relations. My posts are well-researched and fact-based. I welcome all ideologies and opinions, for I truly believe that civil discourse , listening to others, is the only way to solve the great divide in this nation. But I do not welcome personal attacks nor do I tolerate profanity. I hope that if you choose to comment further, you will keep that in mind. Thank you.

          Liked by 2 people

          • First of all I used a word to explain what is going on in the UK and how people view the situations.. The words used earlier were the words used by your former President Obama, not me, his charming words on entering Office. Secondly, I have made no personal attacks, Opher and myself have engaged on so many occasions regarding President Trump and vindictive incorrect in many cases views on him and Brexit, I am not a Racist and I object to being referred to as a Racist by Opher and others who claim that all those who voted Brexit are Racists. By the way do you not object to former President Obama using obscene comments when he referred to my Country and also his stated “hatred” for the British, his words not mine. I am pleased for you that you have an M.A in Political Science, does not make you better than anyone else. You put out this Blog for all to see and comment, if you did not want to read objections to your blog then you should not have made it public. I have not slandered or been obscene to anyone.


  4. If Obama had done even one of the things Drumpf does on a daily (minutely) basis, he would have been impeached. We all know what it’s about. My uncle who live in New Hampshire (Democrat) told me years ago (based on endless conversations he had had with Repub friends) that it was racism pure and simple. Everything else was just an excuse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! This is a point I have made many times … there was not a hint of scandal during Obama’s entire 8 years, and I cannot recall once seeing him lose his temper publicly. Yet, even today, people still hate him … the same people that love Trump. What does this tell you? Yep, race and skin colour. We are such a racist nation that it sickens me to no end.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Oh, the irony and the hypocrisy!! Maybe President Obama wasn’t perfect but … there’s no doubt in my mind that I’d rather have him back in a flash … rather than the FIDIOT who occupies the White House at this time!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So would I, my friend … so would I. I fear our troubles have only begun, for there are things brewing that I think will make the chaos even worse in coming weeks, or at least between now and November. Sigh. Many huge hugs, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ithas always been a double standard government. Now it is just being rubbed in everyone’s faces, forcing them to choose a side. Boy, have I been amazed, apalled and, sadlyoften not syrprised, to discover who stands behind whom.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post, Jill. In hindsight the era of J.F.K was called a kind of Camelot. I think history may describe the Obama years as a true highpoint in American politics. As for no.45, that gut…? -facepalm-

    Liked by 1 person

    • Camelot… Hmmm. Maybe they behaved more like gentlemen in public, but there is the Vietnam War to disturb that image, as in, the spectre of lying resurrected by The Post – terrific film but a sad reminder of how those in power often fear their own bad image more than the need for tough decisions. Still I’d rather have any of your recent presidents (I think) more than Trump though!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, though Obama made mistakes, as all presidents do, for they are human and they are forced to make decisions with less-than-perfect information, there was not a single hint of any sort of scandal during his entire 8 years in office. I never heard him raise his voice in anger, as Trump does daily. Never heard him curse or threatenAnd Michelle was the epitome of grace. And yet, still today there are those who hate him. Could it just possibly have something to do with his race and the colour of his skin??? Surely not! This nation is so damned racist I cannot stand it. sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sigh. I don’t envy the people who have to deal with him on a daily basis. They probably have their own private wall to bump their head against every time the finished a meeting. – Compared to him, I even like the Austrian government!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • With the exception of those who are just like him, ie Steve Miller, I’m sure they have some venue for their frustrations. Well, except those like Kellyanne Conway who are too air-headed to even realize what they are doing. Can you imagine how they must vent to their spouses when they go home at night? And yeah, compared to him, Mussolini is beginning to seem like a lamb …


      • You are right, some of his minions don’t deserve better. But the ones that desperately try to keep at least some sense in the daily dealings of the government, poor them. I am sure the spouses can’t hear it any more. “Don’t you get started about HIM again, I am in such a good mood today!” So they probably meet before they leave their offices and do a little end-of-the-work-day ranting before they go home.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. But the words which dared not speak their name, showed much of the flak directed at the previous president was because a group of loud white people were horrified at the thought of … of…..’those people’ in the Whitehouse.
    It was all so damn transparent.
    The era must have been very frustrating for folk who had genuine political differences with Obama’s policies; they couldn’t get a word in edgeways, never mind be allowed to make their own cogent points heard as positive contributions.

    Liked by 1 person

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