Sunday, July 14, 2024

Melania stays out of the public eye as Donald Trump runs for president


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West Palm Beach, June 23: After Melania Trump missed key events in her husband’s presidential bid earlier this year – from the kickoff of the 2024 election in Iowa to Donald Trump’s Super Tuesday victory party – reporters asked the former first lady whether she planned to hit the campaign trail. Her response: “Stay tuned.” But since making that comment in March, after she and Donald Trump voted in Florida’s primary, Melania Trump has largely refrained from public appearances. The few exceptions have included a couple of fundraisers in April and their son’s high school graduation.
The former first lady noticeably did not accompany the presumptive Republican presidential nominee on any of the days of his more than monthlong hush money trial in New York. She was not there last month for the guilty verdict or the following day for his remarks at Trump Tower. She also did not appear June 14 at a 78th birthday party organised for Trump by his fan club, or at any of the campaign rallies he has held in recent months.
Her absence during the trial and for other important moments is unusual, said Katherine Jellison, a professor of history at Ohio University who studies first ladies. But Jellison said maybe it should not come as a surprise as Melania Trump seems reluctant to follow the traditional public role of a politician’s wife. As first lady, she also kept a low profile and she was not a regular presence on her husband’s losing 2020 presidential campaign.
“But everything the Trumps do seems to be against the standard playbook of how candidates and spouses behave,” Jellison said.
Melania Trump’s behaviour deviates from how other politicians have relied on their spouses. Sometimes male politicians turn to their wives to try to reach out to female voters. Candidates also may be joined by their spouses as a way of giving voters more of a sense of what the candidate is like outside the political arena. (AP)


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