Tag Archives: Melania Trump

Twitter overuse brings this kind of embarrassment

Donald Trump’s incessant use, overuse — and some of us have suggested misuse — of Twitter as a vehicle for his public statements produces moments such as what happened today.

The president sought to tweet a statement welcoming his wife home from the hospital after she underwent kidney surgery.

Except that he misspelled her name, referring to the first lady as “Melanie,” not Melania.

As a former Texas governor once said so (in)famously: Oops.

The president — or someone on his staff — deleted the mistake. Trump then issued the proper welcome with the proper spelling of the first lady’s name.

I have stopped criticizing Trump’s use of Twitter to make policy pronouncements, although his use of the social medium to fire Cabinet officials and others in his administration is troublesome, to say the very least.

I don’t even know if Trump himself is actually tweeting these messages or if it is being done by some intern. Whoever it is, Americans deserve at the very least to have their head of state, head of government and commander in chief being able to spell the name of his wife.

Arrgghhh!

‘Optics’ keep getting in the way

UPDATE — I’ve been advised that I made a mistake regarding this picture. I wrote below that it was taken at a White House function to honor the mothers and spouses of those serving in the military. It was taken in late April at the Joint Armed Forces of Washington Luncheon. The White House did not plan this event. I offer my sincere apology and regret.

***

This picture showed up on social media today and, once again, we find ourselves out here in cyberworld wondering about the optics of an event involving the White House.

The message atop the picture asks a point-blank question. Anyone with any sort of discernment skills knows the answer. There is a decided absence of “women of color.”

First lady Melania Trump played host to military moms this weekend in honor of Mother’s Day. You don’t have to squint too hard to notice how, um, pale the gaggle of women appears to be.

I take nothing at all away from the service these women are performing as their sons and daughters, and their husbands, are defending the nation we all love. I wish them all nothing but the safe return of their children and spouses, many of whom likely are serving in harm’s way as we all get ready to shower the women in our lives with love, gifts and a nice meal.

But for crying out loud! Can’t we get past the questions about racial insensitivity that keep dogging the Donald J. Trump administration. The president has told us he is the “least racist person you’ll ever know.”

Really, Mr. President? How can believe that when pictures such as this one seem to suggest or imply something else.

You know what they say about “perception becoming reality.”

Mme. First Lady, this is in your wheelhouse

First lady Melania Trump has put the word out: She wants to take on cyber bullying as her signature effort as the wife of the president of the United States.

So, here we are: A foul-mouthed comedian gets Donald Trump’s base all fired up with her intemperate remarks; the president fires back on Twitter attacking her and the venue in which she delivered her remarks; he also attacks the former FBI director on Twitter and says he should be in jail.

The bullying is rampant. It’s out of control!

Isn’t this squarely in the wheelhouse of what the first lady said she wants to eradicate? Sure, she spoke initially about the bullying of children. That truly is a noble cause. I truly do wish the first lady well on that part of her campaign.

But her husband continues to wage cyber war against his foes, threatening them, bullying them, insulting them.

Mrs. Trump still needs to have a heart-to-heart talk with her husband about what he’s doing, how he’s undermining her effort to deal squarely with what she describes as a national crisis.

Oh, wait a minute. A “heart-to-heart” discussion presumes both parties possess a heart from which to speak.

Who would have thought this could happen?

So help me I hadn’t planned on saying anything about the image posted on this blog item … but I just cannot help myself.

Former President Barack Obama and first lady Melania Trump sat next to each other at former first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral this weekend.

I am struck — along with millions of other Americans — by the smile on Mrs. Trump’s face as the former president is telling her … something.

Why mention anything about this? Well, Mrs. Trump’s husband, Donald, has been highly critical of his immediate presidential predecessor. He at times has been intensely personal in his criticism. And let us not forget, too, that Trump also has fomented the “birther” lie about former President Obama’s constitutional eligibility into whether he was qualified to hold the office to which he was elected twice. I am compelled to note that Mrs. Trump has contributed to the birther defamation by demanding to see Obama’s birth certificate.

A part of me, therefore, is glad this picture has gone viral on social media. It surely has shown up on the president’s Twitter feed. What’s more, I also am inclined to believe the president might be more than just a tad bit ticked off at his wife for speaking to — let alone smiling broadly — at Barack H. Obama.

If only any of us could be a fly on the wall in the room where the first couple talks about their respective weekend activities.

Funerals put politics in perspective

Funerals that honor public figures — notably those involved in some level in politics — have this way of putting politics in their proper perspective.

I just watched a touching tribute to the late first lady Barbara Bush. It made me swallow hard on several occasions, particularly as I heard commentators tell us how bitter political foes could become the best of friends.

Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford; George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; George W. Bush and Clinton.

Indeed, today at the Houston church where the world said goodbye to George H.W. Bush’s beloved “Bar,” one could see first lady Melania Trump sitting next to Barack Obama, who sat with his wife Michelle next to Bill and Hillary Clinton; George W. Bush sat in the family section across the aisle next to his wife, dad, brothers, sister and their huge assemblage of Bushes.

It strikes me today as we digest the vitriol that emanates these days from the halls of power in Washington that it need not be that way. Much of the commentary today about Barbara Bush spoke of her friendships with Democrats as well as with Republicans. Her husband, after all, is the quintessential Republican, as are her two sons — one a former president, the other a former governor.

But we were told today about Mrs. Bush’s kind heart, her compassion, empathy, her generous spirit, good humor, grit, her tough-love approach to caring for her children and, yes, her friends.

Mrs. Bush’s husband promised to create a “kinder, gentler nation” when he was elected president in 1988. The jury still might be out on whether the 41st president of the United States achieved that noble goal. He practiced kindness and gentleness in his personal life, as did his beloved first lady.

The nation said farewell today to someone who embodied a more genteel time in what has become at times a blood sport. The craft and art of politics aren’t what they used to be. That besmirches politics’ current practitioners, not to mention their once-noble pursuit.

Whenever we say goodbye to beloved public figures, some of us — yours truly included — wish that it might signal a return to a time when political foes could actually become friends.

Is this such a moment? Oh, probably not. My hope, though, does spring eternal.

‘Stoicism and devotion’ on display

I’ll give credit for this observation where it belongs, to Ana Navarro, a noted Republican political “strategist” and TV commentator.

Navarro offered this via Twitter: Oh my God. 93 year-old George HW Bush, in a wheelchair, in front of Mrs. Bush’s casket, thanking every mourner who comes to pay respects to his love and life partner of 75 years – what an example of respect, stoicism and devotion. Please just pass me the Kleenex. The entire box.

They’re going to say goodbye Saturday to former first lady Barbara Pierce Bush, who died this week at the age of 92.

She is lying in repose at a Houston church and today her husband of 73 years, former President George H.W. Bush and the couple’s daughter, Dorothy, greeted mourners in the church sanctuary. They thanked them by the thousands for coming to pay their respects to the beloved matriarch of one of America’s most iconic political families.

This is how one should remember a first lady who served with class, grace … along with grit, courage and never-ending humor.

It’s been a difficult few days for yours truly as news organizations have told and retold the story of the Bushes’ extraordinary love story, which began in 1941 at a dance. George and Barbara got married in January 1945, when the young Navy officer was home on leave from World War II. Lt. George Bush became the youngest naval aviator during WWII. He came home to marry the love of his life.

This weekend, he will bid farewell to his beloved “Bar.”

First lady Melania Trump will be there, too, as will Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack and Michelle Obama along with many others who loved and admired this most admirable woman.

Mrs. Bush’s life and service to the country should remind us all of an era when politics didn’t define people, but merely was something they did during the day.

And her husband, as Ana Navarro has stated, has provided us with a moving demonstration of “respect, stoicism and devotion” to the love of his life.

Oh … my.

Trump offers valid reason for staying away

This just in …

“First lady Melania Trump will attend the memorial service for Barbara Bush this Saturday on behalf of the First Family,” a White House spokesperson confirmed Friday. “To avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush family and friends attending the service, President Trump will not attend.”

OK, there you have it. I accept that reason for the president not attending the late Barbara Bush’s memorial service Saturday.

Under normal circumstances, this would go unnoticed. No one would raise so much as an eyebrow over this declaration.

These aren’t normal times. We do not have a “normal” president in office. Donald Trump took office after a contentious, often bitter presidential campaign. He said some amazingly harsh things about former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — who ran against Trump in the 2016 GOP presidential primary — and the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush. The two men’s mother, the former first lady, took serious umbrage at what Trump said about her beloved sons, as did her husband, the 41st president, George H.W. Bush.

Custom usually dictates that first ladies attend the funerals or memorial services of their predecessors. So, Melania Trump will represent her husband at Mrs. Bush’s memorial service.

As for the president’s absence, I’ll accept that he doesn’t want to disrupt the event.

After all, this event is going to be all about the former first lady, who was as unique an individual as any who have been granted the opportunity to serve in that capacity.

Barbara Bush has earned a glowing and love-filled sendoff. May this Bush family stalwart rest in the eternal peace she so richly deserves.

Stay away, Mr. President

Donald J. Trump will get criticized if he doesn’t attend former first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral.

He’ll get criticized if he shows up in Houston this weekend.

For what it’s worth — and it’s not much, I’ll concede — I want to counsel the president to stay away.

Look at it this way: Mrs. Bush made no bones about her dislike and disgust at Trump. She didn’t like the way he treated women. She damn sure didn’t like the way he treated her two sons — Jeb, who ran against Trump in the 2016 GOP presidential primary, and George W., who drew Trump’s ire over the Iraq War.

Trump has said the correct things about Mrs. Bush. I watched him read his statement and was struck yet again by the feeling in my gut that he didn’t really feel it.

First lady Melania Trump is going to attend, which is customary for first ladies; they usually attend funerals for their predecessors. Michelle Obama attended the funeral for Nancy Reagan, for example.

Donald Trump is facing a couple of difficult choices here. He need not accompany his wife to the funeral of a woman who couldn’t stand him.

He’s already spoken of Barbara Bush’s toughness. There you have it.

Stay away, Mr. President. Let the first lady represent the government.

***

Here is what I wrote about whether Barack Obama should have attended Mrs. Reagan’s funeral.

Should POTUS attend ex-FLOTUS’s funeral?

Try to push another cause, Mrs. Trump

I’ve already spoken admirably of first lady Melania Trump’s call to end cyber bullying, even though I recognize — along with millions of others — that she needs to reel in her husband.

I hate suggesting this, but I now fear that the first lady’s effort — noble as it is — has become a lost cause.

She cannot speak on the issue anywhere in this country without being ridiculed by those who insist that Donald Trump’s use of Twitter is a form of cyber bullying. And it certainly qualifies as such!

Mrs. Trump made a mistake when she declared that to be her No. 1 priority for as long as she serves as first lady. She cannot control her husband. Hell, no one can control him!

The president continues to rail via Twitter against foes in this country. He chides his opponents and critics, often with intemperate language that doesn’t measure up to the high standards he should be setting as our head of state and government.

Trump made what sounded like a serious pledge when he said he wouldn’t tweet once he became president. It turned out to be yet another sham, another flim-flam … another outright lie!

And I fear that his lying has undercut his wife’s noble quest to protect our young people against cyber bullying that too often crosses the line of decency. Too many of them have harmed themselves grievously after they have been insulted and bullied via social media.

My request of the first lady: Give up that particular fight and turn to something else.

Can we hear an ‘oops’ on chain migration?

Don’t you just hate it when family matters get in the way of public policy pronouncements? I’m wondering if Donald J. Trump is at all concerned about such matters. Oh, probably not, but I’ll weigh in anyway.

The president doesn’t like what’s being called “chain migration,” which enables extended family members to follow others as immigrants to a particular country. Trump wants to end chain migration as part of this nation’s immigration policy.

But, in the immortal words of Energy Secretary Rick Perry: Oops!

First lady Melania Trump’s parents, Viktor and Amalajia Knavs, were able to obtain their green cards as legal immigrants. The natives of Slovenia want to become U.S. citizens.

They want to reunify with their daughter, who’s already become a U.S. citizen and are preparing to do so soon.

But, but, but … the president wants to end this practice. He’s trying to persuade Congress to end “chain migration.” He said during the State of the Union speech — to rousing hoots and jeers from congressional Democrats — that the United States must end a policy that allows unlimited numbers of family members to enter the country under this chain migration policy.

As The Hill reports: The president has repeatedly called for an end to “chain migration” for extended family members and has identified it as one of the four pillars he says must be included in immigration legislation.

“Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives,” he said in his State of the Union speech.

I know that the parents of the first lady aren’t “distant relatives.” They’re immediate family members. They’re the grandparents of Barron Trump, the 11-year-old son of Donald and Melania.

Still, does it seem a bit odd to anyone out there that immigration officials might break — not just bend — the rules in direct opposition to the president’s stated desire?

Or has the president changed his mind? Hey, it’s happened already!