On November 29, 2012, Mr. Romney will join the President for a private lunch at the White House. Yesterday, I had the honor of speaking to KNX 1070 radio regarding etiquette tips for how both men should conduct themselves. Here is what we discussed, as well as other things to keep in mind.
Whenever you are a guest, you should always show up with a gift for your host. In this case, Mr. Romney could bring a book, or a framed picture of himself like the Queen of England did in 2009. Whatever he decides, he should keep in mind that this may be displayed in President Obama’s presidential library one day.
I’m sure they both have plenty to talk about, but they should each have a few topics prepared so when the conversation comes to a silent patch then they will have something to bring up. The President should refrain from reminding Mr. Romney that he won re-election and Mr. Romney may not want to mention any plans on a new elevator for his cars, and, as funny as this may sound, should avoid political topics, especially since this lunch takes place at the White House with the President of the United States.
It is customary to make toasts at meals, but here are a few things to keep in mind:
- A guest does not make the first toast, the host does.
- When the host makes a toast, he should refrain from making fun or embarrising his guest.
- A person who is on the receiving end of the toast never drinks to himself, but instead may respond back with a toast to his guest.
Thank You Note
A guest, in this case, Mr. Romney should follow up with a thank you note to the President thanking him for a wonderful time even though it may not have been.
Manners is about making the other person feel comfortable. If Mr. Romney and President Obama keep this in mind, I have no doubt their first encounter after a heated election will go off without a hitch.