Melania Trump almost mirrors another first lady’s approach to Washington D.C., which includes her ideas about moving to the White House and the limelight that goes along with this position. It appears Melania is not the only president’s wife to avoid moving right into the White House, so it seems fair to say that the nation’s new first lady is in some pretty good company.
Melania Trump is under great pressure from critics to move into the White House with President Trump now, before her scheduled move once Barron’s school year is done. She’s staying put for now and following through on her plans, as this is her right. It wasn’t so long ago when another first lady gave into similar pressures and left the family home sooner than she wanted to. That was Michelle Obama.
While Jackie Kennedy lived at the White House, she spent a good deal of time in Europe and outside D.C. while her husband, John F. Kennedy, stood at the helm of the nation. Before First Lady Jackie Kennedy came along, Bess Truman, who opted to spend about half of her time as the nation’s first lady at the family’s home in Indiana.
It seems that Melania Trump is doing something that Michelle Obama wanted to do, which was to stay in the family home until the school year finished out. Michelle wanted to stay put in Chicago after her husband won the election so her girls could finish their classes for the year with the same teachers, curriculum and friends, according to a report by The Blaze back in 2012.
Michelle was told how the public would never go for such a move. President’s Obama’s aids told her it wouldn’t be accepted by the public, so she did it the way the unwritten rules suggested, she moved to D.C. earlier than she anticipated, according to the Mic Nework.
It seems that Melania is the one of the first modern -day first ladies to stick to what she believed was best and follow through on it despite what politics dictated. That just goes to show how strong Melania really is when it comes to standing with her convictions. Some say she follows in the footsteps of another historic first lady, Bess Truman.
According to The Tribune, it is Bess Truman’s living arrangement that Melania seems to mirror more than any of the other first ladies. While Jackie Kennedy wasn’t always present in D.C. and even Martha Washington spent long periods of time away from her president husband George, Melania and Bess have the most in common.
Bess Truman, who was the wife of President Harry Truman, didn’t care to spend time in the White House. Her focus was on family, much like Melania. Bess had an ailing mother, who she stayed at home to care for in Independence, Indiana. She was also very dedicated to their only daughter’s education. Her daughter also had a singing coach in Indiana, that Bess didn’t want her daughter to give up. Staying at their original home in Indiana was something Bess did for about half of her time as the first lady of the nation.
No Bess Truman didn't move into White House either. Melania Trump refuses to act like a first lady. Good for her. https://t.co/HxI1E2Hcai— John Howard (@jumbojd) January 20, 2017
According to Nicole Anslover, who is a professor on American presidencies at Indiana University, Bess spent an “equal amount of time” between her two homes, the one in D.C. and her Indiana home. The residence in D.C. wasn’t always the White House for President Truman’s term. The White House was under “extensive renovations” and because of this, Truman stayed in the nearby Blair House for a good portion of his term. At first, Bess faced some criticism for her absence from D.C., but as time went on, folks accepted their living arrangements.
According to Sam Rushay, who is the supervisory archivist at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, Bess didn’t like the limelight. Melania doesn’t seem to like the limelight either. This is not only evident by her limited public engagements, but long before Donald Trump became president it was apparent if you took a look around the lobby of Trump Tower.
According to an article from the Washington Post this week, Melania is invisible in comparison to the other adult members of the Trump family when it comes to the merchandise sold in Trump Tower. There is no mistaking who has ownership of the building when looking around the lobby at all its different offerings. The Trump name is seen everywhere.
The Post wrote, “Ivanka Trump’s jewelry line is on display in the lobby. Visitors can find books, coffee mugs and after-shave lotion bearing the name and visage of the 45th president.”
Nothing that carries Melania’s name is found in Trump Bar or Trump Grill. It seems “neither her face nor her name appear on any T-shirt, shampoo bottle or refrigerator magnet,” reported the Washington Post. The New York arm of the paparazzi have given up keeping vigil outside Trump Tower and Barron’s school in hopes of getting that money shot of Melania.
Actual First Ladies who showed up every day in the White House and didn't expect taxpayers to pay for separate quarters. pic.twitter.com/7Il5FshAhM— ImpeachDonTrumpNOW (@TheSpringChickn) April 1, 2017
Melania’s become extremely “reclusive” and “elusive,” as far as the photographers are concerned, which was conveyed in an interview that was published in the Washington Post this week. Melania Trump is one of the most sought after celebrities when it comes to getting her picture and one of the hardest celebrity pictures to capture, if not the hardest of them all.
The Mic Network reports how Bess Truman “fled Washington” every summer. Even Martha Washington, the wife of the “Father of Our Country” was noted as likening herself to “a state prisoner” as the president’s wife. She described her role as the first lady as a “very dull life.” Melania is only the second foreign born first lady of the nation, with Louisa Adams being the first. First Lady Adams offered up a description of the White House as being a “dull and stately prison.”
As the Mic Network suggests, many of the past first ladies were known for “sucking it up,” or going with the flow of things without making any complaints that could get back to the public. The times were different back then and because of this, most first ladies did what was expected of them. In 2017, the first lady doesn’t have to, as Melania Trump can blaze her own way as a modern-day first lady.
When Obama won the election in 2008, Michelle Obama’s choice was to stay in Chicago so their two daughters could finish out the school year. This is just what Melania decided to do and despite all the backlash it has caused, Melania has stuck to her guns.
Woman all over the nation looked at Michelle as a smart and intelligent woman who would also blaze her own trail, but as far as living arrangements went, she did what would look better in the public’s eye. Michelle was was told by Obama’s aids that “the public would never accept such a move,” of her staying behind in Chicago, even if it was for the sake of the kids, so she came to D.C. earlier than expected, according to the Mic Network.
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