The Corner

A Question of Etiquette

A reader of ours brings up a good point. It has to do with the coming presidential debates this fall. In Impromptus today, I say I have a little vision: “Romney turns to Obama in debate and says, ‘We need businessmen, Mr. President. If we didn’t have them — whom would you lawyers sue?’” Not the funniest gibe, but it seemed to fit into what I was writing.

Anyway, our reader recalls that Bill Clinton, in the ’92 debates, insisted on referring to his opponent as “Mr. Bush,” rather than “Mr. President.” I recall that when Bob Dole debated Clinton four years later, he said (something like), “I’m going to call you ‘Mr. President,’ a courtesy you did not extend to President Bush.” So, asks our reader, will Romney go “Mr. President” or “Mr. Obama”?

The former, surely. No chance he can get away with what Clinton got away with in ’92. Indeed, who among us can get away with what Clinton got away with?


The Latest