What happens to Melania Trump? For the first time in the recent history of America, the First Lady shines by her absence, far from the White House and silent on the role it intends to play.
Melania Trump, The First Lady Invisible
The 46-year-old former Slovenian model, the first foreign-born woman to become a First Lady since 1825, nevertheless succeeded at the inauguration ceremony on 20 January: her elegance at the Jackie Kennedy Her husband’s swearing-in and the subsequent balls had earned him rave reviews from the American press.
ParaMais since an appearance at the church along with the president on January 21, she found her apartments in Trump Tower in New York to watch over her 10-year-old son, Baron, the last born of the Trump dynasty, and remains invisible.
Quasi-mute on Twitter, she missed Tuesday the presentation ceremony of Neil Gorsuch, the judge chosen by Donald Trump for the Supreme Court. Yet the women of the judge and vice-president Mike Pence participated. And Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, accompanied her father on Wednesday to a ceremony in homage to an American soldier who died in Yemen.
The magazine “people” US Weekly even claimed that Melania and Barron might not move to Washington at the end of the school year, contrary to what had been announced.
“They will decide at the end of the school year if they continue like that (staying in New York, ed) or if they move to Washington,” said a relative of the family quoted by the magazine. “This is the best solution for Barron who will win”.
Donald Trump also told the New York Times that Melania, 24 years younger, and Barron would join him at the White House on weekends.
But mother and son would have stayed in New York last weekend, disrupted by protests across the country against the new president’s anti-refugee decree. The Trump should nevertheless meet next weekend in the luxurious Trump residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. “If the rumors are true that she does not intend to settle permanently in the White House, it will be unprecedented,” says Katherine Jellison, a professor of history at the University of Ohio, specialist Of the first ladies.
His absence at the ceremony Tuesday “is highly unusual: it is typically an event where it should be,” added Ms. Jellison.
When asked in December whether he would feel lonely without her in Washington, Donald Trump simply replied, “No, I’ll have a job.”
Aside from professing his admiration for Jackie Kennedy and Michelle Obama, Melania has not said anything so far about the role she intended to play.
The White House announced Wednesday evening the appointment of its chief of staff, Lindsay Reynolds, a former member of the administration of George W. Bush, who assured that Melania ” Train carefully to select his team “.
In addition to Ms. Reynolds, Melania has also appointed a long-time friend, former Vogue director and New York organizer Stephanie Winston Wolkoff.
For MaryAnne Borrelli, a professor of government in Connecticut College and co-author of a First Ladies’ report prepared for Trump’s transition team, it is too early to draw any conclusions.
Most First Ladies, with the exception of Rosalynn Carter and Hillary Clinton, were also discreet during the first 100 days of their husband’s presidency.
Even Michelle Obama, who left the very involved and very popular White House, had started slowly, especially emphasizing her mother role the first few weeks.
“The First Lady often presents her priorities in March or April, to complement and reinforce the agenda of the first 100 days of the president,” explains Mrs. Borrelli.
For her, the First Lady is “very important” for contact with the public. Now Donald Trump wants to keep in touch with the popular electorate that elected him, and “not to involve Melania in due time could harm his support.”
But even if Melania continued to make a low profile, it would not necessarily serve Donald Trump and could even help modernize the function, says Ms. Jellison.
“This could limit expectations for the next woman,” she said. “She will not feel compelled to be the perfect wife or mother.”