Where is Melania Trump in the US election campaign? Hardly any appearances by the first lady

US NEWS

Donald Trump’s wife is noticeably holding back from the US election. Although she set a few accents as a first lady, she remains pale overall.

As a model, Melania Trump was at home on the catwalk. For a US First Lady, she is relatively rarely in the limelight. In addition to her few appearances, there are moments in which she may have felt unobserved and which were captured on camera that helped shape the image of the 50-year-old. You can see some of them in the video or above here.

For example, when Donald Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, when her smile collapsed the moment her husband turned away from her. Or during a state visit to Israel soon afterwards, when she seems to reject the US President’s attempt to take her hand with a pat. During the election campaign, Melania Trump was noticeably reluctant to advertise her 74-year-old husband.

The fact that the ex-model from Slovenia stayed in the background in the White House is also due to Donald Trump: He has always been a master at drawing everyone’s attention. Regardless of his dominance, the 50-year-old has not sought the limelight herself.

How pale she remained in her time as First Lady is perhaps best shown when compared to her predecessor Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama was not only more present as first lady, but has long since advanced to become the secret star of the Democratic Party. Hard to imagine that Melania Trump would ever achieve such prominence.

The Trumps never appeared as harmonious in public appearances as the Obamas, for example. Speculation about marriage – for Donald Trump it is the third – abounds. They are fueled by innocuous reports of separate bedrooms, but also by serious allegations of Donald Trump’s alleged affairs and sexual assaults from before he moved into the White House.

Several women have made such allegations, Trump has all rejected them. They had no political consequences. The Washington Post wrote in September after another alleged case became known: “Is anyone listening?”

Melanie Trump next to her husband and son Barron at the Republican Congress in front of the White House: At that time, she gave her longest speech to date. (Source: Evan Vucci / AP / dpa)

Melania Trump does mandatory appointments and smiles for the cameras. Whether she is satisfied with her role as first lady, recently broadcast recordings from CNN in 2018 cast doubt.

Melania says in a phone call her friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff recorded in a phone call that her friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff recorded, she later worked her ass off for the Christmas decorations in the White House. The friendship later fell apart , Wolkoff wrote a book about it.

In the election campaign, the First Lady has appeared much less often than other members of the Trump family who are working hard for the re-election of the president. Two weeks before the election she canceled her participation in a Donald Trump appearance at short notice – a precautionary measure because of coughing, as her spokeswoman announced.

Your longest address as first lady: 25 minutes

One of Melania Trump’s few campaign appearances was her address – at around 25 minutes her longest as first lady – at the Republican party conference in August, staged in the rose garden of the White House that she had just redesigned.

Looking at Donald Trump’s undiplomatic manner, she said: “What we as citizens deserve from our President is total honesty. Whether you like it or not, you always know what he is thinking because he is an authentic person from this country and love his people. “

Use against bullying on social media

Even if Melania Trump mostly acts in the background, she has set accents that can be interpreted as contrasting points to Donald Trump’s style and politics. Her heart project is the “Be Best” initiative, which she founded and which cares for the well-being of children. She is also committed to combating cyberbullying, i.e. bullying on social media.

Melania Trump distributes gift bags from her initiative "Be Best" to school children in Wyoming.  (Source: imago images / Andrea Hanks)Melania Trump hands out gift bags from her Be Best initiative to school children in Wyoming. (Source: Andrea Hanks / imago images)

There is a certain irony behind that, given the social media activities of her husband, she could hardly have missed. It is also known that in the summer of 2018, Melania Trump took the front line against her husband’s zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration, which led to the separation of children from their parents on the border with Mexico.

In contrast to the president

While the president is accused of a lack of empathy in the corona crisis, the first lady expressed her condolences to the victims of the pandemic at her appearance in the rose garden. It was also the pandemic that last brought Melania Trump back into the headlines when she – like Donald Trump – became infected with the virus. The president had to go to the military hospital for treatment, the first lady remained in quarantine in the White House.

Donald Trump drew criticism when, during his stay, Secret Service bodyguards whisked him past his supporters in front of the hospital to wave to them. The broadcaster NBC quoted a source in the White House, according to which Melania Trump had refrained from visiting her husband precisely because of this: in order not to expose bodyguards to the risk of infection.

“I pray for our country”

While Donald Trump called on his compatriots shortly before his discharge from the hospital not to be “afraid of Covid”, Melania Trump adopted a different tone. “When you are sick, or when you have a loved one who is sick, I think of you and will think of you every day,” she wrote after her recovery. “I pray for our country and I pray for everyone struggling with Covid-19 and other diseases or challenges.”

During the election campaign there were always strange scenes between Melania and Donald Trump. You can see a selection in the video or above here.

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