Melania Trump is not the typical first lady, just as President Donald Trump is no typical president. Melania has remained in New York City throughout the early days of President Trump’s administration, although there has been talk that she and her son Barron Trump will be moving to the White House sometime this summer. Now that the first milestone of the first 100 days of the new administration has come and gone, many are taking some time to reflect on Melania’s first months as the first lady and wondering what will come next.
USA Today shares some comparisons between First Lady Melania Trump and previous first ladies. Melania is the only one of the last five not to move to the White House immediately, and this reluctance to move has certainly had an impact on some traditional events at the White House that the first lady typically spearheads. For example, the Easter Egg Roll was quite different this year than it had been in the last few years.
Most previous first ladies have embraced some prominent projects in their early days, from Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to Laura Bush’s National Book Festival and Barbara Bush’s literacy advocacy. Melania had previously said that she wanted to focus on eliminating cyberbullying, a declaration that raised eyebrows with a fair number of Donald Trump’s critics considering his typical style of activity on Twitter. However, so far, nothing concrete from Melania has emerged on this front.
Reports from USA Today note that prominent anti-cyberbullying leaders and activists have yet to hear from the first lady or any of her staff. In addition, first lady historian Myra Gutin says that Melania’s staff build-up is moving along more slowly than what was done in previous administrations. Melania’s press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, shares that the anti-cyberbullying efforts are a work in progress, adding that the first lady values quality over quantity.
While Melania has rarely been seen at the White House or otherwise engaged in her first lady duties, The Hill reports that she will be joining President Trump on his first international trip since his inauguration. Trump is slated to travel to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican later in May, and he is also slated to appear in Brussels at the NATO summit and attend a meeting in Sicily.
Business Insider notes that all recent presidents prior to this administration had visited at least one country by this point in their tenure. Trump has done some traveling in the U.S., holding several rallies in states he won in addition to his regular travels to Mar-a-Lago and his other properties, but so far, he has not visited any other countries. Reports indicate that his trip to Saudi Arabia will include a meeting with leaders from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and several other nations in the area.
So far, the attention paid to Melania as the first lady has often revolved around her fashion choices, her decision to stay in New York, and her perceived hesitation to embrace her new role in the public eye. Many will be curious to see if she does indeed move to the White House with Barron this summer and if she starts to take on some of the more traditional first lady obligations. Certainly, the news that has emerged regarding First Lady Melania Trump joining President Donald Trump for his upcoming trip overseas will shift the discussion to a degree and people might wonder whether this signals a change in her level of involvement.
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