Much has happened in the last four years, and with Trump’s first term coming to a close authors have flocked to publish their scandals, exposés, articles, and books on the 45th POTUS and his posse. And what of Trump if not of Melania?: the first lady who gets more attention with the less she says. In her new book, The Art of Her Deal, Washington Post reporter Mary Jordan attempts to give voice to this quiet and mysterious first lady.
image via nytimes.com
Jordan’s thesis credits Melania for her aptness as a pupil of her husband’s literary repertoire, an output that runs over 20 titles. She quotes The Art of the Comeback (1997), in which Trump writes of women: “There is high maintenance. There is low maintenance. I want no maintenance.” Jordan argues that Melania took notes on these sorts of things.
Despite what is known of Melania’s childhood and young adult life, there is very little evidence of it at all. All that most sources have are the scaffolding of the first lady in her youth. She was born in Yugoslavia where she spent her childhood, became a model working in New York and Milan, and had a brief stint in the prestigious architecture program at the University of Ljubljana. Otherwise there is close to nothing; she does not seem to have kept friends from these periods of her life, there were no bridesmaids at her wedding. She declined to talk about her past in an interview with Jordan. She is always camera-ready.
image via Daily Express
She rarely has slip-ups, observes Jordan who credits this to Melania’s intelligent cunning. In fact, throughout the book she will bend over backwards to inject the subject of her book with unknown bravado, expert will, and quiet dogmatism. She references moments of Melania’s influence upon Trump, and that she and her son Barron often speak Slovenian around their unknowing husband, their father, their president.
Melania is secretive, mysterious, and rarely ever picks up the phone for reporters. Into this abyss Jordan thrusts a novel of embellishment on behalf of the first lady, saying things like “it irks Melania to be considered fragile,” or that she hasn’t always been the voice of moderation. While this all may be true it has little evidence; as New York Times reporter Dwight Garner points out, the book is filled with quotes from household-name government officials. However, the truly damning, insightful, argumentative lines are from unnamed sources.
image via amazon
We may commend Jordan for her passionate, and at times personal, devotion to the secret life of this American first lady. However, like everything that has come out of the White House during the last four years, Jordan’s words ought to be taken with a grain of salt.