The immigrant in the White House

Melania Trump could be just the addition the White House needs – a First Lady for the Instagram age.


Melania Trump: a model First Lady
(Image credit: 2016 Getty Images)

Will Melania Trump remain a beautiful, obedient and silent wife? Or could she end up playing an important role at the White House?How different she is to Michelle Obama, says Janice Turner in The Times. The Obamas are a "marriage of equals", even rivals, since Michelle was Barack's mentor at their Chicago law firm.

Now we have Melania, who "could have been created in a Playboy mansion lab" and who allegedly increased her breast size to look good in lingerie shoots. "She has no cellulite Trump boasts and is peerless in the sack. She is the deluxe pleasure model installed with Stepford Wife software 2.0."

But although she once posed for a men's mag on a fur rug naked except for diamonds and handcuffs, she had few previous boyfriends before Trump. And unlike Mrs Trump models one and two, she hasn't become grasping or shrill. Her marital secret, she says, is not being "needy" and having a separate bathroom to maintain mystique. She's never expected Donald to change a nappy, but has gathered together his "messy feudal court" of children and grandchildren "with a geisha's lack of ego".

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Even the Republican establishment disdained Melania as "a bimbo", preferring their First Ladies to be matriarchal figures like Barbara Bush or doughty fighters like Nancy Reagan. And yet, as Turner says, perhaps this rather unworldly figure will turn out to be highly popular, a "first lady for the Instagram age": young women who like a "surgically perfected, pneumatic femininity" will enjoy her breezy attitude to wealth.

But maybe, too, like Lady Diana, she will grow into her role. There is steel "beneath the bodycon dresses". The first immigrant in modern timesto reach the White House, she grew up in Slovenia, always wanting nicer clothes and better things, which she earned through modelling, a rough business.

It could be that when Trump gets carried away and doesn't listen, it is to Melania that his concerned advisers will turn. I think that's true. As Jane Merrick said in The Daily Telegraph, her journey, from a "concrete tower block" under communism to a gilded penthouse, is indeed a remarkable one. Perhaps she will end up surprising us all.

Why massages are like shoes

As you get older, says Caitlin Moran in The Times Magazine, it's interesting to clock up a list of things you're bad at. Her list includes having breakfast in bed ("hard to triangulate the tray, the cup and the newspapers on the uneven, unreliable duvet terrain"). But top of it is having a massage.

I find this odd because having a massage would be high on my own list of things I'm good at. But Moran is double-jointed, which has its advantages but on the downside means all her muscles tense up like violin strings when she's massaged. She has however had a massage she enjoyed, ie, a firm one from a masseur who "usually works with football teams and ruby players. He treated me like a meaty quarter-back and, ironically, by the end of it, I felt like a tremulous nymph. And so the moral is that massages are like shoes, razors and jobs: the men's ones are always better. Get them."

Tabloid money Mark Carney's smooth facade ruffled by a BeLeaver

When Bank of England boss Mark Carney appeared before the Treasury select committee this week, he "posed, not for the first time, as a far-seeing potentate, a cool-guy giant of understatement with one handsome eyebrow on the horizon, the other on the cut of his dapper suit", says Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail.

"And yet there was something a little more acid bitchy about him than in the past." Carney has already been upset by Theresa May's suggestion that interest rates should rise. Now "new boy MP" Kit Malthouse managed to "wriggle under the governor's smooth pelt". He questioned why the monetary policy committee contains no supporters of Leave, eliciting a "snarl" from Carney in reply.

"There must be something strange in the water in Monaco," says Kelvin Mackenzie in The Sun. Jeremy Clarkson made a "harmless crack" when presenting The Who's Roger Daltrey with an award at a music industry bash in the Mediterranean city state: "They've given knighthoods to Philip Green, Fredthe Shred, Jimmy Savile and then Roger's sitting down there with a CBE. I mean, come on."

Yet Philip Green's wife, tax exile Lady Green, was not amused and "tracked down his [Clarkson's] mobile, called him up and gave him a gobload". "As she floats around the Med for months on end in her £100m yacht, clearly "Lady" Green has no idea how seriously this country views her husband's neat trick of flogging BHS to a bankrupt with no retail experience so he could avoid his legal obligation to BHS pensioners."

Jeremy Clarkson himself has been musing about shopping. A Times editorial moans that internet shopping is clogging up the roads with delivery vans and shops are better because they "allow people to try on and touch stuff before they buy it". "Rubbish," retorts Clarkson in The Sun.

"Shops are too hot, the changing rooms are too small, they never have your size and, if by some miracle they do, the assistant always demands your life history before you're allowed to pay." The only problem with internet shopping is that you can't stop. "You go online to buy a T-shirt and end up with six pairs of socks, a toy horse, a selfie stick a lion and a door mat with "Bugger Off" written on it. Or is that just me?"