What next for Melania Trump?

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Oliver O'Connell
·3 min read
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<p>Melania Trump’s post-White House plans include a continuation of her ‘Be Best’ initiative</p> (AP)

Melania Trump’s post-White House plans include a continuation of her ‘Be Best’ initiative


With just hours left of her time in the White House, Melania Trump has been busily preparing for a future away from Washington, DC.

While Donald Trump has spent the period since the election fighting the results as reality slowly closed in around him, the first lady began the process of packing up her life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue shortly after Joe Biden’s victory was confirmed.

The Trump family takes its final trip on Air Force One on Wednesday, heading to a new life at their Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

Ms Trump will initially step out of the spotlight and focus on settling her son Barron into his new school. Her parents, with whom she is very close, are said to also be relocating to Palm Beach.

Ms Trump’s plans for the next chapter of her life are said to include documenting the renovations she undertook in the White House and its gardens - likely in the form of a book, and arranging for the continuation of her “Be Best” initiative, focussed on children, cyber-bullying, and the dangers of drugs.

A bigger project also looms on the horizon concerning the site selection and planning of her husband’s presidential library, with The Washington Post citing a source who claims that it could bring Ms Trump into conflict with the president’s children.

“The library location has not even been scouted yet, but Ivanka has made her interest clear,” a person aware of the discussions told the Post. “As usual, Melania will have to contend with the other family members.”

With much of the family decamping to Florida, including Ms Trump’s parents, it is assumed that the state will also be the location of the library commemorating Mr Trump’s time in office.

The pragmatic Ms Trump is said to be ready to move on and has tried to persuade the president to end his “stop the steal” campaign that baselessly alleged widespread voter fraud.

Former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway told the Post that Ms Trump was against a protracted challenge to the election results as well as the 6 January rally on the Ellipse, close to the White House grounds. She was notably the only family member not present.

Ms Trump’s silence in the days after the event was widely criticised — first ladies traditionally act to soothe tensions and call for unity. Given the magnitude of the events, an eventual video message was oddly self-absorbed with its complaints about “salacious gossip”.

Ms Trump has also refused to meet Dr Jill Biden at the White House and instead has been working with Chief Usher Timothy Harleth to facilitate the move.

The lack of communication between the outgoing and incoming first families and lapse in traditional protocols is described as “unfortunate” by Ashley Biden, daughter of the President-elect in an interview with NBC’s Today Show.

One of Ms Trump’s final acts as first lady saw the release of a statement honouring American craftsmanship and highlighting the renovations and restorations she oversaw in the past four years.

Reports suggest the possibility of Ms Trump publishing a coffee table book in the near future depicting the changes made to the executive mansion during the Trump administration.

Projects included the revamped Rose Garden, and the completion of a new tennis pavilion, the announcement of which was poorly-timed given the coronavirus pandemic raging across the country.

In a final video message the outgoing first lady asked all Americans to be an ambassador of “Be Best”.

“To focus on what unites us. To rise above what divides us. To always choose love over hatred, peace over violence, and others before yourself,” Ms Trump said.

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