Politics

How Melania Trump Plans to Spend Her Time as First Lady

There has rightly been great concern about what kind of president Donald Trump will be when he ascends to the office in January. But little has been asked about the reticent Melania Trump and what she intends to do as the nation's first lady.

Melania Trump

She stayed off the campaign trail in its last weeks. She met with current first lady Michelle Obama without the press. And the 46-year-old has taken few policy positions and prefers it that way. It seems the effectiveness of her persona has, in some part, come from the press having very little knowledge about about her, at all.

Melania Trump is married to a self-proclaimed billionaire and was at one point a supermodel, but she has molded her public image as that of a traditional wife and mother.

Melania Trump said in a 1999 interview that she would be a "very traditional" first lady, akin to Jackie Kennedy, and support her husband.

She's held to that since and remained mostly silent when on the campaign trail.

The few times she has spoken were usually to say that she is taking care of her 10-year-old son, Barron Trump, or to defend her husband from claims of racism, xenophobia, and misogyny.

Melania Trump was born in Slovenia, which will make her the first foreign-born first lady since London-born Louisa Adams in 1825.

The upcoming first lady is a non-native English speaker and has no American parentage. The few times that she has spoken on issues, she has offered a consistent narrative of what she cares about.

Melania Trump told a Pennsylvanian audience in a rare speech days before the election that she'd be an "advocate for women and children" as first lady.

"We need to teach our youth American values: kindness, honesty, respect, compassion, charity, understanding, cooperation," Melania said.

Melania also implied that as first lady she would focus on an anti-bullying campaign:

"Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers. It is never OK when a 12-year-old boy or girl is mocked, bullied, or attacked. It is terrible when that happens on the playground, and it is absolutely unacceptable when it's done by someone with no name hiding on the internet. We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other. We must find better ways to honor and support the basic goodness of our children, especially in social media. It will be one of the main focuses of my work, if I'm privileged enough to become your first lady."

This seemed consistent with statements Melania has made in the past about being passionate about the children of the United States.

When asked by Barbara Walters what she'd do as first lady, she said:

"I'm very involved in charities now. Many, many charities involving children, involving many different diseases. And if the time comes, I will choose what is dearest to my heart and work on that [one] hundred percent."

Given an election cycle that has seen more than its fair share of online harassment, conversation about dealing with cyber-bullying may be long overdue. In the days that followed Trump's win, there have been many reports of the harassment of Muslims and the bullying of minorities at schools by Trump supporters all over the country. Perhaps, Melania will use her passion for children and her new platform to address these incidents so that there can be a peaceful transition of power.