Melania Trump had style. She had grace. But the media hated her husband. So, instead of simply focusing on him, they extended the food-fight to her.
It’s safe to say that no president’s wife has been treated more disrespectfully and disgracefully than Melania Trump, who exited the White House on Wednesday after four tumultuous years.
Throughout history, several first ladies – notably, Rachel Jackson, Mary Todd Lincoln, Edith Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt and Nancy Reagan – were attacked or criticized on personal or political grounds, sometimes viciously so by their husbands’ political foes. Yet, in more recent times, the general rule became that first ladies were basically untouchable unless they were working for the administration in an official role, as was the case with Hillary Clinton when she chaired President Clinton’s health care task force in 1993. The task force’s flawed proposal never got to a vote, despite Democratic control of Congress, following intense criticism from Republicans, libertarians and the health care industry, prompting widespread criticism of Mrs. Clinton as a policymaker.
The first ladies who have occupied the White House since then – Laura Bush, Michelle Obama, Melania Trump – have not held positions within the administration. But of these three, only one was met with such a high level of vitriol from certain quarters of the press despite conducting herself with grace and class: Mrs. Trump.
A prime example of this occurred after the now former first lady decorated the White House for Christmas in 2018. As you may recall, red trees were part of her selection. Benign enough. It’s just holiday decorations after all.
And then came the avalanche:
Washington Post: [ … ]