Melania grows into her first lady role
SHE HAS PROVIDED NEW CLUES ABOUT ISSUES SHE PLANS TO TAKE UP AS WIFE OF THE US PRESIDENT
t was a moment eight months in the making: Melania Trump bounding down the Wite House lawn to the vegetable garden made famous by her predecessor.
Clad in a red plaid shirt, her eyes obscured by dark sunglasses, she greeted members of the local Boys and Girls Club who came to help her harvest and plant new crops. One sceptically asked, “Are you Melania Trump?”
“Yes, I’m the first lady” came her cheerful reply. It included two words Mrs Trump has been using more often lately: first lady.
She says “my lot more, too.
As Melania becomes more comfortable with her new role, she is speaking out about how she envisions using that platform to help children. She’s going beyond cyberbullying, which she’d identified during the presidential campaign as an issue that she would tackle if her husband became president. platform” a
In a flurry of solo public appearances from the United Nations to an international sports event in Canada to the White House in the past few weeks, Melania has provided new clues about her plans in a role that has thrust her into a spotlight far different from the bright lights she grew accustomed to during her career as a fashion model.
She called on attendees at a UN luncheon last month to set good examples for children. She invited experts and people affected by drug addiction and opioid abuse, including a recovered addict, to the White House for a listening session and told them she plans to “use my platform as first lady” to help as many kids as possible.
During a visit to stormravaged Puerto Rico with her husband, Melania told Puerto Rico’s non-voting representative in Congress that she was “passionate” about trying to help more communities on the island and asked how she might be able to do that, according to Rep. Jennifer Gonzalez-Colsn.
The first lady also took her first solo trip — to Canada — to cheer Americans participating in an athletic competition for wounded service members and veterans.
And, on that sunny afternoon in the garden that was the brainchild of former first lady Michelle Obama, she encouraged the children helping her to make healthy eating a priority.
“I’m a big believer in healthy eating because it reflects on your mind and your body,” she said before telling the group to “come with me and have some fun.”
She later pulled leeks from the ground and clipped an artichoke from a nearby plant. “I encourage you to continue and eat a lot of vegetables and fruits so you grow up healthy and take care of yourself . ... It’s very important.”
Melania is a unique first lady: a native of Slovenia and
former fashion model fluent in several languages. But like her predecessors, she’s still going through an adjustment period.
She was rarely seen in the weeks after the inauguration, and was usually at Trump’s side when she did appear in public. In an unusual move for modern first ladies, she and Barron, the couple’s now-11-year-old son, lived at the family’s Trump Tower penthouse in New York for several months after the inauguration so he wouldn’t have to switch schools in the middle of the year.
They joined Trump at the White House in June, and Barron started sixth grade at a private school in Maryland after Labour Day. “I still have a feeling she looks at this and says, ‘Am I really in this position?’” said Myra Gutin, a professor at Rider University who writes about first ladies.
Others attribute the first lady’s more visible, though still low, profile to her satisfaction that her only child is OK after the big move. “The more comfortable she becomes in the position, the more great work she’s going to be able to do,” said Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide.
Melania is the most popular Trump in the White House, according to a recent CNN survey.
US First Lady Melania Trump talks to children as she visits the Necker hospital in France. Melania appears to be becoming more at ease with her role as first lady of America.