My favorite Trump: Melania shows grace and class under fire
As the dust settles from the scorched political landscape where new President Donald John Trump slowly finds his legs, a brilliant star in the show seems reticent to publicly get in the fray, preferring the background of being a supportive wife and devoted mother. Mrs. Melania K. Trump, born in Slovenia/Yugoslavia to car and motorcycle dealer Viktor Knavs and his wife, Amalija, a fashion pattern maker, shares much in background with a changing American economy as well as trending interest for the nation.
As the FLOTUS — First Lady of the United States — Melania K. Trump is only the second foreign-born person in that position, but the first naturalized citizen. The first foreign-born was Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, the London-born child of citizens and wife of John Quincy Adams. Both came to the U.S.A. at 26 years of age.
Melania chose a man married twice before with a 24-year age gap, which was second to the 28 -year age gap of Stephen Grover Cleveland to his ward and subsequently his wife, Frances Folson Cleveland Preston.
Melania’s claims of studying architecture and fashion at the University of Ljubljana are likely a key to the basis of her attraction to real estate mogul Trump. She was worth millions before she married the Donald.
Most Americans got their first exposure to Mrs. Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention, not through some scantily clad, posed model shots. It was interesting to watch the men in the audience as she approached the podium when their mouths dropped and most stared. She is stunning, talented and quite gifted to speak five languages, yet gave an almost flawless English delivery in her non-native tongue at the convention.
Melania Trump had the trickle-down effect poured on her by designers refusing “to dress her,” given President Trump’s position on many issues which didn’t necessarily impact them directly but seemed anti their point of view. Her powder blue suit, matching hat and gloves for the inauguration (Ralph Lauren) will impact the nation’s psyche for generations. On her best days, Jackie Kennedy didn’t rock it like that.
Melania’s black dress (Michael Kors) for the President’s Address to Congress floored all in attendance, likely contributing to her long standing ovation. In choosing American designers first, Melania sets a standard which is hard to match. Since she is paying for it, enjoy the show. What have we got to lose?
The thing which most grabs my attention is that it was Melania K. Trump who encouraged her husband Donald to run before conservatives, non-establishment types and those looking to “Make America Great Again” appreciated that he had something to offer and could win this race. As a woman who stood her ground during revelations of “piggish” behavior from her spouse, her stand for gender equality became more widely known, her concern for bullying appreciated by all in her convention remarks, particularly on the internet, despite The Donald’s sometimes outlandish claims and her memorable example of grace and class under fire.
Each first lady makes her mark, and it is my hope that Melania K. Trump will elevate this role to reflect on her talents in fashion and architecture. Wouldn’t it be nice, as Tim Gunn has cited, if we focus on comfortable and fashionable wear for those on a budget? How she stands in 6-inch heels is beyond me (and makes my back hurt just thinking about it). Using her architectural acumen, in the national concern about energy conservation, why not focus on sustainable housing in disaster-prone areas such as Princeville, N.C., or drought-stricken parts of Africa or post-earthquakes in Haiti?
Melania K. Trump has got it going on on so many levels. We are all better off if she doesn’t “hide (her) light under a bushel” or within the White House’s controlling bureaucracy.
Dr. Ada M. Fisher of Salisbury, the N.C. Republican National Committeewoman, is a former county school board member, retired physician and the author of “Common Sense Conservative Prescriptions Good for What Ails Us Book 1” (available through Amazon.com).