Pinkies Up: Boehner Sends Staffer to Etiquette School

Let's say you're a guy from a humble background, like John Boehner, R-Ohio, and you find yourself catapulted to the place of third in line to the presidency, as Boehner was when he took the gavel from Nancy Pelosi to become Speaker of the House.

All of a sudden, fancy people are inviting you to fancy places, inviting you to do fancy things. What kind of note do you send to whom? Which fork do you use? What do you call a foreign head of state? Can you cry in front of the queen? How's a fella to cope?

Why not send your staffer to etiquette school to help you figure it out? And that's exactly what Boehner has done, Roll Call reports:

[I]n December, the Ohio Republican’s office spent $5,800 to register a staff member for a protocol class to learn the niceties of exchanging gifts, arranging seating plans and organizing large events with visiting dignitaries.

The class is run by an accredited private academy, the Protocol School of Washington. The five-day training to take place in May — Boehner’s office saved $500 on the tuition by registering ahead of time — covers topics such as dining skills, titles and forms of address, gifts, and flags and logos, according to an agenda posted on the school’s website.

in fairness to Boehner, Speaker Pelosi had a full-time chief of protocol, according to Roll Call, and Boehner does not. And all kidding aside, we could all use a course in manners. Who knows? Maybe this will start a trend. Perhaps Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker would consider taking a course.


AlterNet / By Adele M. Stan

Posted at March 10, 2011, 10:07am

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