I do care. As a matter of fact, I care a lot. It appears the number one news story on Thursday, June 21, 2018, was a cheap raincoat. Walking down North Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on a rainy day, you see many people taking fashion risks as they make their way down the street.
You might see the raincoat as in the photo, read the message, and think of it as whimsey, or stupid, or perhaps profound. (If you find it profound, please say so in the comments section after the article. I need a new toy.)
Odds are the average person would not pay the coat a second thought. Put that same coat on the First Lady of the United States as she makes a surprise humanitarian visit, and the obscure raincoat suddenly is the number one news story in the United States.
I am a veteran of White House politics. I have been an insider in three Administrations and worked in four Presidential Campaigns. Nothing is left to chance when it comes to the White House or a public campaign run by the White House. Every item of clothing, every accessory, every nuance of Presidential Image is in sharp focus before a camera captures the image.
The notion Melania Trump just grabbed the raincoat on her way out the door is laughable on its very face. It is not like she was running out to buy some milk at the Social Safeway in Georgetown. Her husband’s administration was in the midst of being pummeled for separating children from their parents at the border, and Thursday was a big day of White House mischief on Capitol Hill. Donald Trump needed a distraction.
He pulled a similar stunt successfully last summer during the Texas flooding crisis. He was under attack for ignoring the plight of flood victims in a state that overwhelmingly supports him.
The First Lady to the rescue! The statuesque Mrs. Trump showed up to show her concern wearing a pair of high heels that would have allowed her to walk through the flood waters at their deepest point and her ankles would stay dry. Just like yesterday, and continuing today, she was tossed on the funeral pyre of insensitivity, and the heat was off Trump for a bit.
Con artists are a cold lot. They will use anyone, including a family member, to take the bullet for them. Mrs. Trump seems to be defining the First Lady role as a convenient shield to divert criticism from the President and his policies.
Other First Ladies have used the unpaid office to help their husbands. Jackie Kennedy was the symbol of Camelot, Nancy Reagan, along with Senator Howard Baker who became Reagan’s last Chief of Staff lifted most of the burden from the President as Alzheimer’s Disease started to take its hold on the President.
Other First Ladies have tried to do good works. Now, we have First Lady Melania Trump, in the role of a magnet to take the heat away from her husband when things get searing hot.
Do you know why she is playing that role? We fall for it every time is why. Trump must have laughed his head off last night about how quickly we were distracted away from the tough issues.
We were all taken in by a cheap raincoat. Even old, cynical me took the bait. At first, I thought it had to be photoshop. Nobody dared to wear such a garment to a humanitarian photo-op. The audacity was just unbelievable.
It was not photoshop, and it served its purpose. The opposition turned our focus away from a stalled immigration bill, a farm bill that attacks the weakest members of our society, and the Administration cutting Medicare and Social Security to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and Trump’s xenophobic wall.
Adroitly played, Don the Con.
There is good coming out of the spectacle. Where most of us saw controversy, Parker Malloy, a Chicago writer, blogger and transgender activist saw an opportunity. Ms. Malloy started ireallydocare.com, an excellent site that with a single click one may support fourteen organizations assisting the children who were taken from their parents by U.S. Customs Immigration and Enforcement (ICE). Please click the link above, and be generous. Those kids need our help, and Ms. Malloy gives us a way to lend our hands to them.
The parody of Mrs. Trump’s coat at the top of this article is a screenshot of the photo she is using to promote this outreach. Please seek her out on Twitter, and support this outreach she is making to help kids whose fear I cannot even imagine.
The First Lady has earned closer scrutiny. To those in the Free Melania movement, do not think for a moment she wants to be liberated. She is along for the ride and a willing participant. Her taking the arrows for her husband is proof of that. She is just another player in the show and is okay with her role.
If you like this article and would like to subscribe, fill out the box below. The subscription is free, spam free, and you can cancel at any time. Thank you for reading and thank you in advance for subscribing!