On Tuesday, Politico finally released the tweet that should all-but-guarantee President Trump’s 2020 re-election. Here it is, in all its now-deleted glory:
What, exactly, is Politico referring to? Did Melania Trump wear skimpy lingerie to the floodwaters of Texas? Did she arrive in a giant egg, a la Lady Gaga? Nope. Here’s Politico’s explanation, via Annie Karni:
[On] Tuesday, she appeared to put the wrong foot forward when she boarded Marine One, en route to visit emergency responders in hurricane-ravaged Texas, wearing towering black snakeskin stilettos. The emblematic first image of the first lady heading off to visit a hurricane in heels – a moment that the president has seized on as an opportunity to project strength and show off decisive leadership – instead became another symbol of a White House that can often seem out of touch.
Speaking of out-of-touch, does anybody outside of Politico actually care about Melania Trump’s footwear as she goes to show solidarity with people who just lost their homes? Particularly since she changed her footwear (as my wife often does) mid-trip?
But this is part of a broader media narrative attempting to paint the Trump women as Marie Antoinette-lite types. The media did the same thing with Ivanka Trump when she posted a picture on her Instagram account looking glamourous in the middle of the airport protests over her father’s refugee policy; last week, we were treated to the spectacle of the media complaining endlessly about Louise Linton’s Instagram photo of herself with various elements of attire labeled by brand.
This wasn’t even Linton-level bad. It wasn’t bad at all, in fact. Stephanie Grisham, Melania’s spokeswoman, got it exactly right: “It’s sad that we have an active and ongoing natural disaster in Texas, and people are worried about her shoes.” Yet the media narrative that Trump is doing a good job, but is still uncaring and uncouth, remains. Fortunately, the American people aren’t quite stupid enough to fall for that one.