Melania Trump Celebrates Big Five-Oh With Continued Physical Distancing From Her Husband (Allegedly!)


Melania Trump turned 50 on Sunday, and like most Americans for whom significant milestones are occurring during the pandemic, her actual birthday celebration is probably postponed until 2021 when Trump is no longer president and she's free to leave him, assuming that's what she wants.

Let's see what Melanie's loving husband had to say on the anniversary of her construction.

No, I kid. Here's what Trump actually tweeted.

Dude, I could've written that, except for the part about her being a “great" first lady. I never go full Pinocchio even on someone's birthday. Our last real president genuinely gushed over our last real first lady. He didn't need to fake the funk. Barack Obama's the first black president and he's married to Michelle. It was nice of him to free the genie with his third wish, but damn, we could've used some magical virus-wiping about now.

Oh well, Barron probably made her a pretty card.

The Washington Post delivered an early birthday present for the first lady last week. The profile was pleasingly wrapped in this headline.

Melania Trump, a most private first lady, finds her voice in a stay-at-home pandemic.

For much of her tenure as perhaps the most press-shy first lady in modern American history, Trump has seemed uncomfortable with the speaking engagements and public appearances that have long been the tradition in her unpaid and unelected position.

Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama were successful lawyers. Laura Bush was a schoolteacher. Melania Trump is a former fashion model. She's been in front of cameras since she was a child. This doesn't mean she has to enjoy the first lady gig but it's laughable to suggest it's all outside of her wheelhouse.

Yet the past month, with the pandemic requiring her messaging to come from a more controlled, stay-at-home environment, her Twitter and Instagram feed have become all coronavirus all the time. And for the first time in nearly 3½ years, the first lady seems to have found her voice.

Yay! We have a “wartime" first lady who tweets “Be Best" word search puzzles!

Lisa M. Burns, a professor of media studies at Quinnipiac University, noted that this is "the longest series of consistent posts" from the first lady. Burns is also gobsmacked by how “apolitical" they are. She doesn't retweet her husband's nonsense, because she hates him but she shares CDC guidelines. That ... doesn't make her Eleanor Roosevelt.

Her spokeswoman and new chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham — President Trump's former press secretary — moved back to the East Wing this month after some personnel shuffling in the West Wing.

Grisham's ass appears to have gotten fired. She's now in charge of word search puzzles.

Trump reportedly chats on the phone with the spouses of “administration-friendly" world allies. She spoke with Carrie Symonds, who's engaged to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and wished them both a “speedy and full recovery" from the coronavirus. That is apparently one of many examples of how Trump is "more sensitive to social graces" than her husband, which isn't hard to do because he's an asshole.

The Post article goes to great lengths to defend Trump from what it describes as a "scathing column" by “liberal pundit" Molly Jong-Fast of the Daily Beast. Jong-Fast argues that Trump has sucked more than usual during this crisis, and the Post finds some “experts" willing to effectively say she'd have been criticized regardless so why bother doing anything substantive?

The Simpsons - lesson is, never try

Back to the Washington Post, with another quote from Lisa Burns, the media professor:

"I just think anything the first ladies do, they're criticized. That's just kind of a double-bind life they lead. The smartest thing she can do is not generate controversy."

Yeah, just keep a low profile, don't do anything stupid like oversee construction of a tennis pavilion during a pandemic. That's how you #BeBest!

Katherine Jellison, an Ohio University history professor who has studied first ladies, says Trump doesn't have to “literally be in the spotlight" to serve as "the social media first lady Comforter in Chief. And maybe that is a role that fits her well with her more introverted personality."

Here is Laura Bush and Michelle Obama appearing on the “One World: Together At Home" benefit concert.

Laura Bush and Michelle Obama Celebrate Essential Workers | One World: Together At Home

Obama is also hosting a weekly “Mondays with Michelle Obama" reading series on PBS.


Here's Melania Trump doing some bare-ass minimum. Happy birthday!

A Message From First Lady Melania Trump about Face Masks

[ Washington Post]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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