A few months ago, the idea that Donald Trump’s multimillion-dollar presidential campaign might actually take him all the way to the White House seemed like a very expensive and unlikely joke. And yet now here we are; that joke starting to look more like a reality with every state Trump and his family visit.
One member of clan that has stayed firmly out of the spotlight to date though is Melania, Trump’s wife of over 10 years.
On the rare occasions that she has been in attendance, her presence has been a largely silent one, with some critics suggesting her strong Slovenian accent may seem at odds with Trump’s strong anti-immigration stance.
But last week, she explained her reason for remaining at home in their $100 million New York penthouse rather than hitting the campaign trail was to focus on raising her nine year old son Barron, listing motherhood as a priority that sits above politics.
So with only a few of these recent and clearly rehearsed interviews to her name, the world continues to wonder who exactly is the woman that may possibly become the next First Lady really is.
The “type” of First Lady she may be is a question the media has been asking her since 1999, with the general consensus always falling somewhere between Jackie Kennedy and Betty Ford.
But on the scale of political plus ones, surely she’s more like Carla Bruni, who served the role of stunning, stylish and intelligent prop to husband and former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy faultlessly.
Coming into the spotlight at the height of Sarkozy’s political career, Italian-born Bruni’s transformation to France’s First Lady was as seamless as it was swift.
From her tres chic ensembles to making pregnancy in the public eye look positively on trend, Bruni was imperative in bringing a certain je ne sais quoi to the picture that Sarkozy could never possess on his own.
And so it is with Melania Trump, whose presence softens the inimitable unimpressed pout of her marital counterpart. It is something that not even Donald’s money could buy.
Asked what attracted her to Sarkozy upon their meeting, Bruni (who actually dated Trump in the early 90s) famously said it was his intelligence and that he appeared to have the knowledge of “five or even six brains.” When asked a similar question by Barbara Walters recently, Melania insisted that Donald’s main draw card for her is “his amazing mind”.
Respective friends of both women also describe them in similar ways; a lot smarter than they look and solid matches for their husbands.
Born only three years apart and spending a large period of their careers as top fashion models, Bruni and Trump appear to be remarkably calm and collected against the political storms that their respective partners seem to conjure up. As though standing back, looking serene and waving to crowds warmly is something they were born to do.And then there’s the fashion.
While Bruni used her position to promote the wares of France’s most covetable fashion houses, Trump seems to be throwing a splash of Claire Underwood inspo into the mix, pairing structured silhouette dresses and Louboutins in a way that few others – save Michelle Obama, of course – could.
If elected, Melania Trump may leave the pillbox hat behind, but only time will tell if Sarkozy’s single term presidency curse will become another thing these two women come to share.