‘Out of character’: Melania’s cryptic response on rejoining Donald Trump on the campaign trail

Melania Trump steps out with husband Donald

Source: X/Stephanie Winston Wolkoff

Leaving a polling station with her husband after casting votes in Florida’s primary this week, Melania Trump had two cryptic words for the waiting media.

Standing by Donald Trump’s side as he fielded questions outside the polling station in Palm Beach, her surprise appearance signalled a possible lead role in Trump’s re-election campaign.

“Mrs Trump, are you going to return to the campaign trail with your husband?” one reporter asked.

“Stay tuned,” the 53-year-old former model teased, smiling confidently wearing a $US2690 ($4000) white Alexander McQueen shirtdress.

New York Times White House correspondent Katie Rogers said the public show “was notable for a few reasons”, but described the answer as a “reply, but not an answer”.

“Trump has said for months that his wife, Melania, would join him on the campaign trail. And for months, Mrs Trump remained absent from campaign events and victory celebrations,” she wrote.

“After Mr Trump cruised to a victory on Super Tuesday, his wife did not join him onstage to greet supporters at Mar-a-Lago, their home in Palm Beach.

“Always more content to be a cipher to the curious public than she is to gamely field questions, Mrs Trump did something out of character when she replied to someone who asked whether she planned to be a more regular presence going forward.”

Rogers said she received a text message from Melania’s former communications director, Stephanie Grisham on the cryptic comment.

“That’s the answer she gives when she doesn’t want to commit to anything,” Grisham told her colleague.

Rogers, who wrote about the evolution of the role of the first lady in the White House in American Woman, says Melania has shown little interest in campaigning for Trump’s re-election.

She was absent from the family Christmas card due to looking after her mother who was ill, but later delivered the eulogy after she passed away in January.

Slovenian-born Melania made a rare public appearance during a naturalisation ceremony at the National Archives in Washington in December, where she spoke about her experience becoming a US citizen and the legal challenges.

CNN reported she made no mention of Trump.

A month earlier she joined other living first ladies at a memorial service for the former first lady Rosalynn Carter.

The Trumps at Mar-a-Lago brunch at Easter 2023

Source: Twitter/MassiveMac

‘Never say never’

Melania appeared on Fox News in 2022 for her first post-presidential interview, where she said she “enjoyed living in the White House”.

“To be first lady of the United States was my greatest honour,” she said.

And as for a possible return as first lady? “Never say never.”

“Melania hates public scrutiny and despite what she teases about her husband running for president again in 2024, she is not interested,” a source told People after that interview.

“She loves her family and private life and that has not changed.”

Towards the end of the Trump presidency, Rogers wrote that “the outgoing first lady had taken to wearing terry cloth bathrobes during the day and sorting through an office [that] aides referred to as her “swag room,” a locked room filled with key chains, crystal bookends and other trinkets from her time at the White House”.

Over the past three years, she has lived as a recluse, spending time between New York City – where she has looked after son, Barron, 18 – and Mar-a-Lago.

As to how it might look if she goes back for round two?

Speaking to Politico, Rogers reckons that while Melania has no interest in being a “campaigner”, she would “absolutely do it over again”.

“We could expect a first lady who embraces the role, but possibly, because she was such a norm-breaking figure, takes her time coming to Washington, goes back and forth — that seems possible to me.”

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