The return of Melania Trump: Public appearances indicate Trump 2024 bid on the cards
After spending months shunning the limelight, the former First Lady was back in public, a big deal for Donald Trump ahead of his planned run
After a small farewell event departing Washington DC on January 20, Melania Trump has been almost invisible from the public. By contrast, her husband has kept up appearances, both in the press and the public, and managed to be a topic of conversation all around the world despite no longer holding the title of President. Over half a year later, the former First Lady stepped out in public for the first time, joining her husband for an event at Mar-a-Lago.
In the days since, Melania has been spotted along with Trump at a few public events, notably the World Series Game 4 at Atlanta on October 30. She went viral for her eye roll, with trolls instantly taking to social media to mock the Trumps. Also at the event, the couple performed the controversial "Tomahawk chop", which also became a topic of conversation. That was one of just a handful of appearances of Melania but is expected to increase in number over the coming weeks.
It's no secret that the former First Lady is a bit of a recluse. In her book, Stephanie Grisham noted the Secret Service nicknamed Melania "Rapunzel", because of her distaste for leaving the White House. It appears she took a similar approach with post-White House life, but not for long. Her frequent appearances in public could be a sign of something bigger- like another run for Oval Office by her husband.
Melania's return to the spotlight
Since leaving the White House, Melania has notably been absent from almost all of Trump's public appearances, including his 75th birthday party in June. That led to widespread speculation she was considering divorce, especially given that Trump is facing a large number of legal cases. Adding more fuel to that fire were the rumors Melania was looking at properties in Florida, away from Mar-a-Lago.
But Melania appeared to put all those rumors to rest with a handful of appearances over the next months. On Valentine's Day, she was spotted posing with fans at the resort. Then in March and April, she was spotted walking through a public restaurant at the club with Trump, followed by an appearance at church on Easter. In March, she also attended an RNC donors fundraiser.
But now, she appears to be picking up the pace. The Atlanta trip was her first outside Mar-a-Lago, which she followed up with appearances at two more fundraisers at the club. On November 4, Melania was spotted walking hand-in-hand with Trump at an America First Policy Institute fundraiser. Days later, she was snapped at the Spirit of Lincoln Gala, also at Mar-a-Lago.
Trump 2024 on the cards?
The rapid increase in her public appearances does matter, as noted by the Mail. Since leaving office, Donald has frequently hinted at another run for President in 2024 but is yet to confirm if he will do so. Melania's appearances by his side appear to be an indication that they are gearing up for a campaign, which would require amongst other things a lot of public appearances.
So far, only thee men entered the White House unmarried, James Buchanan, John Tyler, and Grover Cleveland. The latter two married while in office, making Buchanan the only unmarried President. Without Melania, it would be hard for Trump to run for President, especially given the closeness both his predecessor and successor have with their wives. It could also provide some stability to the otherwise eccentric and off-the-cuff remarks Trump is known to make.
But if Trump is to return to the White House, it appears he still hasn't convinced Melania it's worthwhile. In September, a source told CNN, "Being first lady again is not what she wants. For her, it was a chapter -- and it's over, and that's that." Another source indicated that even if Trump decided to run in 2024, she may not be as prominent as she was before. "You're not going to see her at rallies or campaign events," the source said, adding that Trump would instead be accompanied by Lara Trump or Kimberly Guilfoyle.
Even during her time in the White House, Melania was never fond of public appearances, so it remains to be seen if she'll really get behind her husband for 2024. Either way, the frequency of her presence does indicate that something is cooking at Mar-a-Lago, and it isn't just Trump's favorite dish.