You can always tell when reporters begin to get tired of writing about the same three stories which make Donald Trump look like a failed president already (over and over and over again) because a couple of them will wander off and dig up something to write about the First Lady. We haven’t seen all that much of Melania Trump since the inauguration, though she has hosted a few events. Mostly she’s kept to her word and stayed back in New York, taking care of her son until the school year ends. In typical fashion, when the subject of a potential story won’t give the media anything to work with they’ll just start dreaming things up on their own. That seems to be the case over at the Washington Post this week, where Paul Schwartzman has launched a long (and I mean… very long) analysis of the First Lady. What’s his beef with her? That’s hard to say, other than apparently being upset that she’s not doing anything for him to write about.
He starts out with quotes from paparazzi (literally) complaining that it’s so hard to get a picture of her, moving on to a hot take from none other than Dan Savage (seriously?), who calls the First Lady, “as ugly on the inside as she is pretty on the outside.” Then, after nearly thirty paragraphs of text which don’t seem to be going anywhere, the author finally gets to what seems to be the real accusation… Melania Trump just isn’t doing anything newsworthy.
Hillary Clinton did not remain in Arkansas with Chelsea, then 12, when her husband decamped for Washington. Instead, she settled into a West Wing office, immersed herself in health-care restructuring, and inspired the American Bar Association to host a debate about whether she held too much power.
After her husband became president, Michelle Obama, while caring for their two young daughters, spent her first weeks awash in plaudits as she toured federal agencies, read to schoolchildren and landed on the cover of Vogue.
Melania Trump has made a far different impression. Soon after the election, she announced that she would remain in New York until June, a decision that prompted questions about her fondness for her thrice-married husband, whose profane, sexist banter had roiled his campaign.
Schwartzman then goes on to compare the First Lady unfavorably to both Jackie Kennedy and Nancy Reagan over her failure to live up to the legacy of those “beacons of stand-by-your-president rectitude.”
Allow me to chime in with the same complaint I inevitably have about most of the First Ladies. Nobody voted for them. They have no official position in the government. They are not supposed to be setting policy or conducting the work of the people in any fashion. The reason for this is that if the people ever found them delinquent in their “job” we would have no constitutional method of removing them. We can’t force the President to get a divorce.
So quite frankly, if all Melania Trump wants to do is host the occasional dinner, read some books to children and spend the rest of her time back home taking care of her son… I have zero problem with that. At least she’s not trying to destroy the school lunch program with a bunch of leaves and twigs that the kids won’t eat. She didn’t run for any office or volunteer for any duty. We have no right to expect anything of her. And if she’s failing to provide bored reporters with grist for another column, that’s on them, not her.