Melania Trump just finished her first week as First Lady, and she left many surprised by the first thing she did in her new role.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Melania kept a low profile after the inauguration, flying back to New York two days after the end of the inaugural balls to be with her 10 year-old son Barron, who is still attending private school in the city.
Rumor has it that Melania is quietly building her staff, but she has given no comment to the public about what her future plans are since her husband was sworn in.
“There’s a public expectation for communication, and she’s not providing it,” said Lauren Wright, a political scientist and author of “On Behalf of the President.” “It’s interesting that there doesn’t seem to be a willingness to shape her public image, despite the public interest.”
Myra Gutin, a communication professor at Rider University, warned that Melania’s choice to remain in New York may lower her approval ratings.
“She could be giving the administration a little bit of a softer touch, because we do make certain decisions about a president based on his family,” Gutin said. “Ivanka and her family are there, but with Mrs. Trump and Mr. Trump’s younger son, it would be a different kind of feeling.”
Others think Melania’s quiet first week indicates that she is taking her time to figure out the best way she can help people in her new role.
“Each first lady takes on the role and makes it their own. That evolves over time,” said former White House social secretary Ann Stock. “First (priority) for every president and first lady is settling in their family.”
Michael D’Antonio, a Donald Trump biographer, remembers Melania as a private person.
“Her husband playfully begged her to tell me he was a great husband and she complied. However, she fled the room as soon as possible,” D’Antonio recalled. “I expect her to be gracious when acting as first lady, but I would not be surprised if she limits herself to a minimal engagement with the role.”
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