In WHAT would be yet another departure from the traditional transfer of presidential power, it has been reported that Melania Trump will break with over 100 years of tradition and not give incoming First Lady Jill Biden a tour of the White House’s family wing. It has further been reported that Mrs Trump has had no contact with Dr Biden since the November election.
Rather than the typical meeting of the first families on inauguration day, the Bidens will apparently be greeted at the White House by an usher, with the Trumps expected to depart for Mar-a-Lago tomorrow morning.
The Trumps’ attitude to their successors is thrown into even greater relief when compared with their by the Obamas in 2016, who greeted their successors on the White House steps, famously putting their arms around Mrs Trump while her husband strode ahead. Even after the most combative election cycles, first ladies and presidents have always put aside hard feelings. Despite Mrs Trump having plagiarised one of her speeches, Mrs Obama extended her a thoroughly undeserved olive branch.
This final snub has exposed Mrs Trump’s true colours for anyone still determined to afford her victim status. She has been the object of much pity over the years, often cast as a sympathetic casualty of an unforeseen political situation, a helpless woman trapped in a loveless marriage.
But whether the Trumps’ marriage is an unhappy one behind closed doors is neither here nor there — as a political figure Mrs Trump has enabled her husband’s bigotry and lies every step of the way.
Indeed, there is some evidence that she has played into this sympathetic typecast, once even claiming to be the “most bullied person in the world”.
She even managed to paint herself as a victim in her statement about the Capitol riots, saying she was saddened that the events had been used as an excuse to circulate gossip about her.
Out of the five languages the outgoing First Lady speaks, she seems to be most fluent in self-pity. This is her legacy: at every turn she has chosen pettiness and cowardice. She has revealed herself to be a co-conspirator until the bitter end.