When he first declared his intention to run for US President, much of the American establishment — and the rest of the world — thought Donald Trump was over-reaching. But Melania Trump has managed what the entire apparatus of the Democratic Party, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, could not convince the US voter to do. In a video clip gone viral, the world can see her apparently swatting away her husband’s hand as he reaches out for her at Tel Aviv airport on Monday. In his marriage, it seems, Trump has been shown his reach exceeds his grasp.
But then, this is not the first time that being Mrs Trump has caused her trouble. Before Trump’s inauguration in January, leading designers like Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford refused to design a dress for Melania because of her husband’s polarising politics. At the inauguration itself, she went from beaming beatifically at the crowd to scowling as soon as Trump turned to speak to her.
Her change in expression spawned many a #FreeMelania meme, most of them implying that she was not happy with her hubby. Since the inauguration, Melania has largely remained on the sidelines. In fact, it has been the president’s daughter Ivanka who has become the public face of the family. Trump too barely talks of his wife, except as a mother or for her beauty. But with one well-timed flick, Melania has seized the spotlight.
President Trump, unlike his predecessor Barack Obama, is not a shining example of a progressive husband. For now, at least, Melania too falls short of Michelle Obama when it comes to her public profile — she was even accused of plagiarising Michelle’s speech at the Republican National Convention last year. But with her swat heard around the world, she has shown that from this First Lady, there may be more than meets the eye.