On the first anniversary of his inauguration, President Trump spent the day blasting Democrats for the government shutdown, suggesting that women marching in protest of his presidency were somehow celebrating it, and embroiled in allegations that he paid off a porn star to keep her quiet about their relationship. Melania Trump, meanwhile, commemorated the anniversary by tweeting a single photo of herself on Inauguration Day on the arm of a Marine. Her husband was nowhere in sight, and she did not mention his name. A few days later — on what happened to be the Trumps’ 13th wedding anniversary — she canceled her plans to accompany Mr. Trump to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
She may not be progressive. She may not be political. And yet Mrs. Trump may end up doing more than any of her predecessors to upend our expectations of the slavish devotion a first lady must display toward her husband.
.. With the exception of the Clintons, there has not been a more complicated first couple in modern history: Mrs. Trump is the third wife of a man who once told the radio host Howard Stern he would “give her a week” to lose the baby weight after their son, Barron, was born.
.. First ladies are expected to accept their husband’s infidelities and cruelty and to remain their strongest champions, no matter what the circumstances
.. They are expected to be adoring.
.. The day after President Clinton testified before a grand jury and came clean to the country, Mrs. Clinton marched across the South Lawn together with Bill, their daughter, Chelsea, standing between them, holding both of her parents’ hands, as they headed for Marine One to embark on their annual summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. It was the photo-op the president needed.
.. Mrs. Obama was also the first first lady to challenge people to accept a woman who refused to play the role of the saccharine, adoring spouse. “I can’t do that,” she said in 2007 Vanity Fair interview. “That’s not me. I love my husband. I think he’s one of the most brilliant men I’ve ever met, and he knows that. But he’s not perfect, and I don’t want the world to want him to be perfect.”
.. This quiet rebellion started with her decision not to move into the White House until five months after her husband took office. It gathered force when she swatted her husband’s hand away on an airport tarmac in Israel last year. By the time the Trumps leave the White House, Mrs. Trump may have done more to change our notions about this archaic position, which has no job description and no pay, and comes with impossible expectations, than most of her predecessors.
Would it have been beneficial to Donald Trump for his wife to stand beside him in Davos and show a united front, as we have come to expect from first ladies? Absolutely. Does she care? Probably not.
Then there is The Celebrity Apprentice, which just premiered its fourteenth season.
.. Plus, she says, “we have an unbelievable cast who, as my father says, just hate each other. Which is good!”
.. Donald Trump is virtually synonymous with the modern-day concept of branding.
.. The Apprentice made her famous: a 20-something real estate diva. As she herself points out, “Young professionals don’t usually have pop-culture relevance.” She started getting piles of fan mail from girls who wanted to grow up to be just like her.
.. “So, my husband’s idea of a date night somehow always involves me looking at one of his development sites.” Everyone nods knowingly.
.. And that is when she saw that there was a big hole in the market: No one was designing for the young professional woman who wants clothes with more style than Ann Taylor but not as fashion-disposable as H&M.
.. “We are targeting millennials who aspire to have very big careers, but they are also training for marathons or learning French or starting a family. Every aspect of their life is just as important to them as their careers.”
.. Me and my peers, we’re working really hard at being moms and sisters and professionals. There was a previous generation of women who rose through the ranks in an environment when work and life were highly compartmentalized. And I think now, because of technology, we’re always on.
.. It’s about empowerment and redefining what it means to be a woman in this generation.”
.. XiXi, the nanny, who is Chinese and is teaching the children to speak Mandarin.
.. “His own dreams are bold, and I love that in someone,” says Ivanka, “but he’s incredibly relaxed and calm. The world could be collapsing around him, and nothing fazes him. He’s very solution-oriented. Plus it was nice finding someone who is a genuinely good person.
.. “For me, being so close to work is everything. I get here in three minutes and give them a bath, read to them, and put them to bed, and then I go out almost every night right afterward with Jared.”
.. “I would say she is definitely the CEO of our household, whereas I’m more on the board of directors.
.. Jared’s brother, Joshua, has his own venture-capital firm and was an early investor in Instagram.
.. He is also dating Karlie Kloss
.. This gives some sense of the intersecting worlds that Jared and Ivanka travel in: fashion, finance, media, art, real estate, technology, society
.. In some ways they are the twenty-first-century analog to the It Power Couple that her parents were during the go-go eighties.
.. But I would say Jared and Ivanka are centered in a more low-key, contemporary, family way. I think they don’t need to be as sort of . . . out there in the more outlandish eighties way that my parents were.”
.. Two of the people who are often in those smaller groups are Chelsea Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky. “She’s always aware of everyone around her and ensuring that everyone is enjoying the moment,” says Chelsea. “It’s an awareness that in some ways reminds me of my dad, and his ability to increase the joy of the room.
.. “There’s not a lot of bullshit in Ivanka’s life. Living through everything that she saw as a kid, she has a very good filter on what’s real, what’s not, what’s worthwhile, and what’s not.
.. movers and shakers
.. with Judaism, it creates an amazing blueprint for family connectivity.”
“Also the ritual for us having Sabbath,” says Jared.
.. “Yeah, we observe the Sabbath,” says Ivanka, sipping her lychee martini. “From Friday to Saturday we don’t do anything but hang out with one another. We don’t make phone calls.”
.. ‘If we’re going to do Shabbos, I’m going to cook.’ She never cooked before in her life, and became a great cook. So for Friday, she’ll make dinner for just the two of us, and we turn our phones off for 25 hours.
.. And for Arabella to know that she has me, undivided, one day a week? We don’t do anything except play with each other, hang out with one another, go on walks together. Pure family.”
.. If I was married to somebody who, even if beneath the surface, didn’t like the fact that I work so hard or didn’t support my ambitions for myself or felt self-conscious about my last name . . . I think it would be very hard to build a solid foundation on that.”
Why, it would be like telling elite collegians that they should all move to similar cities and neighborhoods, surround themselves with their kinds of people and gradually price everybody else out of the places where social capital is built, influence exerted and great careers made. No need — that’s what we’re already doing! (What Richard Florida called “the mass relocation of highly skilled, highly educated and highly paid Americans to a relatively small number of metropolitan regions, and a corresponding exodus of the traditional lower and middle classes from these same places” is one of the striking social facts of the modern meritocratic era.) We don’t need well-meaning parents lecturing us about the advantages of elite self-segregation, and giving the game away to everybody else. …
.. reminding us of her de facto royal status.
Political correctness really has become petty bullying, an attempt to enforce economic consequences for what is a social faux pas. Yes, we’re all supposed to be respectful to others, courteous, and to avoid giving unneeded offense. (The Left would be wise to start practicing what it preaches, to “do unto others as you would have them do.”) There’s nothing inherently wrong with someone declaring, “Hey, that really offends me.” But the Left wants to go further; they want a person who offends their sensibilities to be punished for it. Oftentimes the enforcers of political correctness want the person to lose their job. They want that person to become a pariah and feel constant social ostracization. They want to enforce the most serious of consequences for hurting someone’s feelings.
.. The Left would have to recognize that most of their our political and cultural elites demonstrate epic hypocrisy on a regular basis.
.. Obama declares, “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times . . . and then just expect that other countries are going to say ‘okay.’” And then, in the words of David Axelrod, Obama keeps the Oval Office so warm in winter that “you could grow orchids in there.”
.. Hillary Clinton denounces greed and selfishness while collecting six-figure speaking fees. Bill Clinton gets a free pass from feminists as the sexual-harassment and womanizing allegations pile up. They talk about the importance of equal opportunity while Chelsea Clinton gets a $600,000 part-time gig at NBC News.
.. Ordinary Americans look at the elites and conclude they don’t actually believe anything they say, or at the very least, they don’t think they have to live under the rules they want to enforce for everyone else.