As the primary race intensifies with every passing week, curious Americans anticipate the candidates’ unveiling of their ladies in waiting. While Bill Clinton has always remained in the spotlight, we’re finally getting some dirt on another possible FLOTUS, one who is more than a mere first “lady.” That person is Melania Trump, foreign-born beauty and third wife to the GOP’s current delegate front runner.
Melania Knauss was born in Slovenia, traveled the world as a supermodel throughout the late eighties and early nineties, and eventually moved to New York City. The stars aligned, and the Sports Illustrated and Vogue cover girl met Trump at a party in 1998. The two married in 2005, had a son named Barron, and the rest is history.
Paparazzi have always loved snapping photos of the glamorous couple as they socialize around New York City, and Melania received considerable attention following Donald’s venture into reality television with The Apprentice. Still, nothing has remotely compared to the exposure and scrutiny she’s been subject to in wake of the election. With Donald Trump’s weak showing following the Wisconsin primary, his handlers decided to finally reveal their secret weapon. The timing couldn’t be better.
In a one-minute speech before a packed crowd the night before the Midwestern primary, a glowing Melania, with her picture-perfect poise and preparation, stood by her man. “No matter who you are, a man or a woman, he treats everyone equal,” she said, in her charming Slovenian accent. “He’s a fighter. And if you elect him to be your president, he will fight for you and for our country.”
When you hear Melania speak, her Eastern European roots are palpable. There’s no doubt she had tons of preparation, and her talking points were predictable but nonetheless compelling. Melania’s grace and beauty are hard to overlook. Many Americans see a gorgeous face, and they automatically assume there won’t be brains to match. In fact, even Barbara Walters once said of the forty-five-year-old, “Maybe because she’s so pretty, we don’t expect her to be as smart as she is.”
Indeed, Melania knows how to play her cards right. Leading up to the Wisconsin vote, in which Trump picked up only six delegates, his camp was in crisis mode. Donald’s campaign manager was charged with battery following a scuffle with Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields. To add insult to injury, Trump further alienated female voters when he spoke at a town hall, coming down harshly on the topic of women’s punishment if abortion were to be hypothetically outlawed. Media outlets and social media ran amok over the ensuing week, condemning Trump and his flip-flopping statements on the issue.
In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Melania further placed herself in the spotlight, defending her husband, who she described as a man with a “very big and very warm heart.” When asked about her words to Donald following his recent campaign troubles, she offered some refreshingly honest—and completely sound—advice.
As his numbers among female voters continue to dwindle, Mrs. Trump theorized, “Sometimes I feel that the retweets get him in trouble, so I say stay away from the retweets.” Referring to Trump’s controversial twitter activity, Melania encourages her husband to lay off the late night social media.
In one memorable episode, the Donald retweeted a meme showing a haggard Heidi Cruz, wife of the Texas senator, next to a dolled-up Melania. Critics revolted at the petty jab, once again fueling the “Trump is anti-female” flames.
Melania continued, “He can be presidential, but sometimes…he cannot stand that somebody attacks him…because if somebody attacks him, he will punch back ten times harder.” Many admirers say they enjoy Melania’s frank approach to her husband’s political endeavors. In Wisconsin, she may have had ample preparation, but much of her public speech felt genuine. Unlike politicians’ wives, the public perceives Melania as someone who is untainted by the political machine, which is also a testament to what many love about Trump himself.
In Wisconsin, as the potential future FLOTUS waltzed across the stage to her older husband’s embrace, people saw a different side of Donald. Melania’s soft, quiet, but resolute demeanor gives credence to the truth that Trump is no chauvinist. People expecting to meet the typical model turned trophy wife were sadly mistaken. And with Melania’s influence, perhaps those seven in ten women who find Trump “unfavorable” will change their minds in time for the New York primary.
Regardless of what Megyn Kelly, Carly Fiorina, or even Rosie O’Donnell might say, there’s still a long road ahead for the Donald and female voters.