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Sun Nov 10, 2013, 09:05 AM

Can someone tell me what is the correct way to address Hillary Clinton?

I would like to meet her some day but if I do, what title do I address her with? Her last title would have been "Madame Secretary." Does she get to keep that even tho she is no longer SoS? I know presidents do retain the title of president when addressing them (or at least it seems that way in practice).

I thought about posting this in GD but decided there would be too many snide remarks and I wanted to avoid that...

and to add: Hubby and I voted for HRC in the CT Dem primary in 2008. My dtr in MA did the same in her primary. It was an interesting family dynamic...

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Can someone tell me what is the correct way to address Hillary Clinton? (Original post)
CTyankee Nov 2013 OP
JNelson6563 Nov 2013 #1
CTyankee Nov 2013 #2
dipsydoodle Nov 2013 #3
CTyankee Nov 2013 #4
dipsydoodle Nov 2013 #7
CTyankee Nov 2013 #8
Ilsa Nov 2013 #14
Ilsa Nov 2013 #5
CTyankee Nov 2013 #6
dipsydoodle Nov 2013 #9
CTyankee Nov 2013 #10
LeftofObama Nov 2013 #11
CTyankee Nov 2013 #12
MANative Nov 2013 #13
BainsBane Nov 2013 #15
CTyankee Nov 2013 #16
BainsBane Nov 2013 #17
CTyankee Nov 2013 #18
MADem Nov 2013 #19

Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 09:08 AM

1. I would go with Madame Secretary, for now.

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Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 09:10 AM

2. I like the sound of it, I must say.

I know, I know...in my dreams, right?

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 09:16 AM

3. Mrs Clinton.

.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 09:18 AM

4. I thought of that but it strikes me as a little too old fashioned.

So I thought Ms. Clinton would be better. But Madame Secretary, if correct, sounds like a good predecessor to "Madame President."

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 09:42 AM

7. Some notes here

which include ref. to Condaleezza Rice in this instance for comparison. http://www.formsofaddress.info/former.html#FO010

I don't see there being anything old fashioned re. Mrs Clinton , as opposed to Ms, given she is in fact married.

I suppose it would be interesting to greet Ms Rice with "Hi Doc" and wink.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 09:54 AM

8. ahhh, I see the point made...

according to that I would have to call her Ms. Clinton (if I wanted to avoid the Mrs. title).

My reasoning on Ms. instead of Mrs. is that, as you say, she IS married, but so is Bill Clinton and he doesn't have to be designated as somebody's husband. Women are identified as to their marital state while men never are...

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 11:41 AM

14. "Ms." isn't just for unmarried women.

It is for any woman not wanting to be referenced according to her relationship status with a man.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 09:23 AM

5. I have been told that "Madame Secretary", her last and

highest title, is appropriate. This person that told me is very well-versed in government protocol and very intelligent.

And as he taught me, I still believe the Vice President's wife is the Vice President's First Lady. The is given with respect to their relationship, not her relationship to the president.

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 09:27 AM

6. Thanks!!! Exaatly what I was looking for! "last and highest title" sounds right...

I also think she did a great job as SoS, so it works for me at that level, too...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 10:13 AM

9. That would mean Kissenger still being addressed as such too

instead of ****

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 10:25 AM

10. point taken. back to ms. clinton...

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 10:39 AM

11. I agree with the other poster who said it is the last and highest title.

Right off hand I can think of bush the lesser's, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson. Although he was a former Governor of Wisconsin, which is a pretty high title, he is usually referred to as former HHS Secretary, Tommy Thompson which would be a higher title.

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Response to LeftofObama (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 11:00 AM

12. yes, use of "former" in writing and in third party reference, but if I were speaking to her

(such as asking a question in a candidates forum) would I say "Former Secretary, what are your views on xxx?"

Sounds weird.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 11:36 AM

13. Several years ago, I read a book on titular protocol...

I wish I could remember the name of it! I clearly recall that, in direct address, you use the individual's highest title. In reference, you preface it with "former." Thus, you would address her as "Madame Secretary" and if speaking about her, would use "former Secretary Clinton."

(Fixed an error in the way I phrased the rule.)

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 03:53 PM

15. I refer to her as Secretary Clinton

I have noticed that retired officials are typically referred to and addressed by their highest position. So while I'm no Emily Post, I would say "Secretary Clinton" or "Madam Secretary."
I don't like how she is often referred to as Hillary because that is something more often done for women than men. I know when she ran her campaign she used that, but I would never address her by her first name since I'm not a friend.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #15)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 05:25 PM

16. I think calling her Hillary is presumptuous also.

I am also wondering about the difference in the spelling of Madam/Madame. I prefer the second. Without the e, it looks a little risque to me, and the french is so much lovelier. However, that is just me and I know Madam is commonly used here and in the UK...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #16)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 05:30 PM

17. Oops. I think you're right

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #17)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 05:44 PM

18. Also I think even the French consider Madame not just for married women...

when I visited Paris in 2011 I noticed that Madame was used for every female over the age of puberty...you just didn't use mademoiselle except for young girls. I also regularly use Madame for my female ESL students from West African francophone countries and Haiti.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2013, 05:16 AM

19. Madame Secretary will work. It's an acknowledgement of her status as a

former senior cabinet official.

Who knows, maybe, by the time you meet her, you'll be able to say "President Clinton, I've waited so long to meet you and congratulate you on your landslide victory..."

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