First Lady Melania Trump went solo to Barbara Bush’s funeral today as President Donald Trump had other items timely of business to attend to. She showed sheer grace and respect by going alone knowing that she would be in the company of her husband’s biggest detractors, including Hillary Clinton and Barack and Michelle Obama. Melania was placed in the very front row, seated right next to Barack Obama, who was sandwiched on the pew between her and Michelle.
Melania is genuinely kind and always respectful, even when under pressure. She’s never shown even the slightest disrespect to anyone, despite the constant attacks she endures. When she could have given Barack a cold shoulder, like his wife gave her at the infamous Inauguration Day gift-giving moment, Melania was pure class. However, many people on the Internet didn’t see it that way and reacted with rage.
It’s also of note that Bill and Hillary Clinton were just a couple people down the pew from her. That had to have been awkward but definitely didn’t seem to bother Melania one bit. She was all smiles. This day was about Barbara Bush, not her differences with others in attendance. It’s also not unusual for sitting presidents to skip funerals of former first ladies.
“Then-President Obama didn’t attend the funerals of Republican first ladies Nancy Reagan and Betty Ford, while former President George W. Bush did not attend memorial services for Democratic first lady Lady Bird Johnson,” according to E! Online. So the heavy criticism of Trump for not attending needs to be put to rest.
Judging by Barack and Melania’s mannerisms in what’s now become a controversial clip, it was clear that the two were comfortable and spoke casually with each other, enjoyed a few laughs throughout the entire interaction that could have been awkward, but wasn’t. This incident caught on camera should have been praised as a show of what true diplomatic behavior looks like, one that everyone on both sides of the aisle should have learned from.
Instead, the impressive moment was used for more divisive rhetoric and salacious allegations against our first lady – namely that she’s much happier around Barack than she is around her own husband.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) April 21, 2018
Melania, usually stone-faced, is seen smiling for the first time in a while next to Barack Obama.
— Nathan H. Rubin (@NathanHRubin) April 21, 2018
I’m certain demented #dumpsterfire @potus would hate if we made this picture of a solo @FLOTUS glowing and looking happier than she’s never been next to the great @BarackObama at #BarbaraBushFuneral go viral. pic.twitter.com/ois8g67Mg1
— Lesley Abravanel (@lesleyabravanel) April 21, 2018
How miserable is Melania?
Chorus: “How miserable is she?”
She is so miserable, the first time we have ever seen her smile is when she is attending a funeral without her husband. pic.twitter.com/QshC7d33I3
— YS (@NYinLA2121) April 21, 2018
This is a very small sampling of what the Internet had to offer of the comedic claims that she’s somehow feeling a sense of relief with Barack during her break for the day from her husband. This was the twisted meaning created to make the president look bad and further discount his marriage to Melania when what the camera really caught was the real lesson to be learned.
I’m not so caught up in partisanism that I won’t recognize a good thing from the other side when I see it. Barack was also gracious to Melania as she was with him.
It was a really great sight to see that much of the country should recognize rather than making it into something salacious that it is not. This simple and brief interaction proved that you can accept differences in others and set animosity aside to accomplish bigger things. You’d think that this would prove that having class is a good thing, but instead, it proved how classless others can be who refuse to be any other way.
Let’s not forget that the camera catches what the photographer wants others to see. So, perhaps the real question is, why are pictures of Melania with Donald always of her looking off when she could have been smiling seconds before the snap but they didn’t catch that? Surely there are pictures of Melania listening intently to the funeral service while sitting next to Barack with a similar somber look on his face – afterall, they’re at a funeral. It’s a good thing that these too were pleasantly corgial with each other, so why make it bad?