This made Melania Trump the most popular Trump in the White House. Melania is breaking the first lady mold by breaking away from her husband — and it is exactly what the president’s supporters want.
“The East Wing definitely has some independence, but not this kind of independence,” an Obama White House official recently told CNN of the Trumps’ differing philosophies. “It hasn’t before been as though there’s a completely different view of the world from one side than the other.”
President Donald Trump became famous in large part due to his love of the spotlight; Melania, on the other hand, is seldom interviewed and still rarely speaks in public.
Donald Trump is known for his often-inflammatory rhetoric; most of Melania’s first lady initiatives have been quiet solo trips to address bullying and the opiod crisis.
The first lady’s independence from her husband is clear to anyone paying attention to their fashion choices. While Donald Trump has been frequently critiqued for his fashion decisions, such as using Scotch tape to hold his tie in place, Melania Trump is a former model with a closet stuffed with designer clothing.
“Mrs. Trump is independent and acts independently from her husband,” Melania Trump’s communications director Stephanie Grisham told CNN after launching her anti-bullying campaign, which many saw as ironic considering Donald Trump’s behavior.
In theory, a first lady who operates independently from the president would seem likely to be unpopular among the leader’s biggest supporters. However, Melania is beloved by Trump’s base and beyond. According to a CNN poll, the first lady has a 48% approval rating, which is high compared to the president’s 38%.
A closer examination of Melania’s actions — especially how she presents herself in public — reveals why the public’s support actually makes sense.
While Donald Trump may be rewarded for “telling it like it is,” female political spouses who exhibit less-than-polished behavior don’t receive the same applause — especially from the right.