The only real surprise is that all Melania Trump did was write an anonymous op-ed piece for The New York Times calling her husband impulsive, reckless, petty and amoral. What remarkable self-discipline she has demonstrated in the face of repeated public embarrassments.
Why do I think it was she? On a personal and visceral level, she has more reason than anyone else to make public the president’s sleazy and loathsome behavior.
All said, she has shown great restraint. She didn’t set fire to the Lincoln Bedroom or blow up Mar-a-Lago. She didn’t lace his food or short-sheet his bed. If Donald Trump were your husband, wouldn’t you be looking for a way to exact revenge for his repeatedly humiliating you in public? One can only imagine the private agonies Melania endures.
No amount of coiffing and stepping out in designer shoes can compensate for emotional abuse by a spouse. People say she knew the deal when she married him. She was a model who met a fabulously rich guy and wanted a glamorous life. Then she woke up one day to find herself first lady of the United States. Yeah, we were pretty shocked, but imagine her reaction. She hasn’t looked very happy in her first lady role.
And she has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. When she traveled to comfort flood victims in Houston, she stepped onto the plane in stilettos, an awkward visual. When she flew to our border facilities to check out the kids who were separated from their parents, she wore a jacket with writing on the back that said, “I don’t really care, do U?” She has been ill-served by her advisers and the professional speechwriters and handlers whose job it is to help her look good and do good. No one seems to be watching out for her, and that can make a woman really mad.
Who gave her Michelle Obama’s speech to plagiarize at the GOP convention? How does that happen? And who suggested the “Be Best” campaign, which isn’t even good English, not to mention that the entire “initiative” is clearly a reworking of a longtime Obama initiative for children.
Her husband has been oafish in public, charging ahead of her, bounding out of the limo before her and reaching for her hand only when the cameras are watching. (Of course the cameras caught her swiping his little hands away.)
When the Times’s anonymous op-ed was published, the buzz was that it was Mike Pence setting himself up for a presidential run when the Donald leaves office, one way or another. Some said it was Mike Pompeo or maybe KellyAnn Conway or possibly Jared Kushner. Backstabbing can come in so many forms.
But the second I read the piece, I thought it was Melania, taking sweet revenge on her philandering husband. And I think someone she trusts helped her write it in a clear, plain-spoken way. It is a wonder it took her so long to reveal the fury behind her frozen gaze and fixed expression.
Her husband is a proven liar and cheat. He had sex with Stormy Daniels just months after Melania gave birth to Baron, her first child and his fourth. In public, he has been dismissive of Baron; that alone must infuriate the first lady.
And in recent months we have learned that Trump paid Daniels to keep quiet about their affair, and lied about that, too. When it all became public, the president just pushed forward, trying to draw attention from the sex scandal by tweeting and talking trash.
Meantime, Melania was trying to find her place in the world of the Trump White House by speaking out against social media abuse and cyberbullying. The irony could not be more profound.
The “anonymous” op-ed says, “The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.” Many people are in a position to make that observation, but I say Melania has real motivation to out her husband and his deranged outbursts.
The piece goes on: “Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back. … There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next.”
The essay describes the president’s leadership style as “impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.” Melania should know.
Meanwhile, among all the speculation about who done it, the president is tweeting that the op-ed is “virtually treasonous.” He is demanding an investigation.
I don’t know about you, but I think that if he finds out it was Melania, he could go all Henry VIII on us.
Copyright 2018 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.