This post has been updated.
White House aide Omarosa Manigault’s invitation to members of the Congressional Black Caucus last week probably wasn’t going to go over too well anyway, but the way she signed off didn’t help her case.
After asking them to attend a meeting with her boss, President Trump, the former reality TV star signed the missive: “The Honorable Omarosa Manigault.”
That didn’t impress CBC members (who, for the record, do get to be called “The Honorable”).
“Multiple CBC members said they were put off … saying she hasn’t earned that title nor has she helped raise the profile of CBC issues within the White House as promised,” Politico reports.
They’re backed up by some etiquette experts. The bible of all things correct, “Emily Post’s Etiquette,” allows that the title “The Honorable” “causes considerable confusion.” But it decrees that a White House aide, with the title of assistant to the president and communications director for the Office of Public Liaison, isn’t entitled to it. The honorific is reserved for “the President, the Vice President, United States senators and congressmen, Cabinet members, all federal judges, ministers plenipotentiary, ambassadors, and governors,” who get to use the title for life. State senators and mayors are “The Honorable” only when in office.
Others are more generous with titles — in her book on protocol, former ambassador Mel French’s list of people who get the title includes assistants to the president — as well as positions as lowly as county councilman.
Still, even if Omarosa was eligible to be addressed as “The Honorable,” Emily Post decrees that it’s unseemly for anyone to refer to themselves that way.
“The title is not used by the person on visiting cards, letterhead, or when signing, nor does one say it when introducing him- or herself.”