Skip to comments.Finally, We Can Let Melania Be Melania
Posted on 04/27/2018 1:30:59 PM PDT by Kaslin
This has been the fortnight of the first ladies. Last week, the focus was on two former first ladies, one through mourning and fond admiring recollections, and one through yet another book of scathing analytical criticism. Barbara Bush was celebrated for her blunt dignity. Hillary Clinton was recalled for her campaign of blunt excuses for her own failures.
In death, Bush was praised as an old-fashioned matriarch speaking her mind with a sharp tongue, loved by family and lauded as the wife of one president and the mother of another. In life, Clinton has never been at home in the role of "wife of," and she took pride in not being the kind of wife and mother who stayed home and baked cookies. She yearned for an Oval Office of her own and blames everyone but herself for not getting there.
"They were never going to let me be president," Amy Chozick quoted Clinton as saying in "Chasing Hillary," a biography on her coverage of the 2016 Clinton campaign for The New York Times. "They," Chozick reports, included the "vast right-wing conspiracy," piggy forms of patriarchy, Wisconsin voters, former FBI Director James Comey and "white suburban women who would rather vote for a man who bragged about sexual assault than a woman who seemed an affront to who they were." The former first lady includes all the political reporters left and right with "big egos and no brains" who hounded her with questions about her emails.
It's not fair, perhaps, to make first ladies public figures, a role in nearly all cases they did not choose and was thrust upon them whether they liked it or not by virtue of the man they married. The exception is Clinton who, always ambitious for political power, set out to use the role as a stepping stone to the U.S. Senate, secretary of state and, ultimately, the Oval Office.
From Martha Washington onward, the ladies adapted to marriage with a president by living out promises spoken in their marriage vows, for better and for worse suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, but enjoying the perks, pomp and prestige. This is the gilt by association that comes with marriage to the most powerful man in the world.
Melania Trump is still a work in progress as first lady, a beautiful model who enjoyed the sophisticated social life of New York society and came to Washington untutored and unprepared for the rough-hewn politics that follow all presidents to the White House. It was not an easy journey from her "golden fortress" in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue to the demands of the mistress of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
On election night, when Donald Trump was declared winner, she had to have felt like Rachel Jackson, wife of Andrew Jackson, who, upon hearing that her husband had won the presidency, said she was pleased for him but "never wished it" for herself.
Rachel Jackson died before her husband was sworn in. Melania Trump could only delay her arrival to the White House for a few months, so as not to interrupt the school year of her son, Barron Trump, in New York. When she finally arrived, she was criticized for doing too little too late and then mercilessly mocked or publicly pitied as scandals of "other women" in her husband's past blossomed on the front pages.
More media attention has been paid to whether she allows the president to hold her hand than anything she has to say. This week, she not only held her husband's hand on the steps of the White House as they welcomed President Emmanuel Macron of France and his wife, Brigitte Macron, and then escorted them to their first state dinner; she was widely praised for her mastery of the details of the dinner, from the glittering gold plates and candelabras, to the pink cherry blossoms in tall black urns.
Nobody minded that she was gorgeous in a black Chantilly lace Chanel haute couture gown hand-painted with silver and embroidered with crystals and sequins, wearing it like the model she was trained to be. She might have been wounded by stray verbal shrapnel from ammunition aimed at her husband, but at dinner she stood above the gossipy fray, a hostess drawing on her own charm, skill and confidence.
"A man marries a woman, not a first lady," John F. Kennedy once said of his elegant wife, Jackie Kennedy. "She must fit her own personality into her own concept of a first lady's role." Or, to echo a famous exhortation directed at critics of a previous president many of us can remember, "It's time to let Melania be Melania."
How did we get so fortunate?
“This is the gilt by association...”
I see what she did there - clever!
Next to the ensemble she wore when meeting the pope this was my favorite. One white. One black both with head coverings
Hillary also went through a period of demanding to be addressed as Hillary Rhodam when she didn’t deem it convenient to be an ex FLOTUS.
That disappeared when she decided to run for POTUS.
I realized she was special when I saw her on the campaign trail entertaining Cruz's girls during the speeches. Remember that photo?
*** Or, to echo a famous exhortation directed at critics of a previous president many of us can remember, “It’s time to let Melania be Melania.” ***
Either the quote isn’t that famous or it’s my failing memory. I’m guessing it can’t be from that long ago.
I like the favorable photo of Melania. That’s a very flattering shot.
She has conducted herself with dignity, flattering our nation with respect to the position she is in.
She deserves to be respected, if for no other reason than not making this all about her at every opportunity. There will be no claims of getting 2 for 1 when Donald was elected. There won’t be any scowls at the camera, the public, or anyone else.
She is a self-assured woman who know what role she is meant to play, and she intends to play it exactly as was intended for the wives of presidents.
Notice we don’t hear about Barron every two seconds in the media? That’s good, and thankfully they press isn’t focusing on him as punishment to the Donald.
I do, and it was a class act, although she is genuine and I don’t think she was acting at all. She’s just a classy lady.
I’m sorry, is POTUS in the picture?
I refer to Hillary as Hillary Rotten Clinton.
I suspect that’s a very astute tactic, since I have quite often reflected on the idea she was the evil brains behind the curtain, in Arkansas and Washington.
Bill was too damned lazy and much to much of a horn-dog to put his mind into transforming our nation. She on the other hand is a dedicated Marxist (and worse).
She and Webb Hubble handled White House operations on the day Waco burned down. We know her participation in threatening Bill’s former sex partners, and their friends. I suspect her in Vince Foster’s death. I think she was intimately involved.
She was angry at him and Jerry Parks from Arkansas, and they each died just six week apart.
I honestly think Foster was very close to rolling over on the Clintons.
I believe they’re hearkening to let Trump be Trump
I love these two! Clearly deeply in love and enjoy each other’s company they are in their own little bubble when they are together as it should be God bless our first lady she is doing a wonderful job and has restored class and dignity to the first office I doubt we’ll see her twerking or her son smoking pot anytime soon thank goodness
The Lord blessed her with incredible gifts....beauty, brains, humility, love. With it he gave here an awesome task. That would be guiding President Trump in fulfilling his mission on Earth, to save us from ourselves.
I think that is a very cool family shot.
I don’t think we’re seeing the last Trump president in the White House right now.
His current adult sons and even Barron may reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as adults one day.
For all the hoopla about what a bad man Trump has been or is, he may be doing our nation the biggest favor in it’s history right now.
His enemies, are definitely our enemies, the nation’s enemies.
That shot of her there confirms for me that she will look like a stateswoman until the day she dies.
She takes care of herself, and we’ll never see the casual moose look, or the haggard old battle-axe look from her.
We won’t see the scowls, and we won’t see the angry eyes.
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