Obama Is Gold Standard of Manners, Says Post

Emily Post's kin says the prez does everything right as Mr. Manners.


By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

President Obama might not be up to everybody's standards when it comes to his politics or policies, but you've got to agree, at least he conducts himself with style and grace.

So says Anna Post, the great-great-granddaughter of the world's queen of etiquette, Emily Post. The younger Post, who is the spokesperson for the Emily Post Institute, says the president is not only a student of good manners, but should also be seen as the example.

She's written Mr. Manners: Lessons from Obama on Civility a collection of the president's etiquette traits that makes him stand out on the world stage. Among Post's favorites: He's punctual, he likes to set an example of grace, and he honors dignity.

In her tiny bedside book, Post writes that manners change over time but that there are some "tried and true gold standards" and that "President Obama offers many examples of how to do this." Here are our faves about Obama from her book:

[See a slide show of Barack "Mr. Manners" Obama]

1. He likes to be prepared. The power of practice. Post says the president even practiced taking the oath of office and that practice eases tasks while the confidence it helps to create puts others at ease.

2. Obama accepts advice gracefully. She finds him open to any advice, big and small, a sign of confidence, though he did recently rattle off a 2,500-word rebuttal to a woman who complained about high taxes during a recent town hall.

3. He keeps up appearances, putting his best foot forward. Post says, for example, that he usually looks good and dresses appropriately, though she probably hasn't seen his baseball attire.

4. The president is punctual. He's not Bill Clinton, that's for sure.

5. He sets a good example of model behavior, especially to his two daughters, who themselves seem to have adopted his model.

6. Obama is very courteous, almost romantic. Post plays up how Obama gave the first lady his suit coat on a chilly night.

7. He is warm and welcoming to even people he doesn't know, a key trait of successful public figures and world leaders.

8. Obama is a good host who leaves a lasting impression on guests, very important to presidents who have to meet with other world leaders, some of whom they disagree with, like the recent meeting of Obama and Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

9. Obama honors dignity. Post cites how Obama is helpful and respectful of many of those who have lived in the White House before him like Nancy Reagan or George H.W. Bush.

10. Obama gives back to the community. A natural for the community organizer who has helped repair houses and whose wife, Michelle, has volunteered in soup kitchens.

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