Melania Trump has mostly stayed out of the spotlight during her husband’s quest for the White House. The former model stepped out of the shadow Monday night, making the traditional spouse’s speech at the Republican National Convention.
“I’m so proud of your choice for president of the United States, my husband Donald J. Trump,” he said. “I can assure you, he’s moved by this great honor.”
Never one to be upstaged, though, there was a special appearance before Melania Trump took the stage by her husband, Republican nominee Donald Trump, who took the stage to Queen’s “We Are the Champions.”
“Ladies and gentleman, it is my great honor to introduce the next first lady of the United States,” Trump said before calling Melania an “amazing mother.”
Melania Trump is very much a non-traditional political spouse. She is a naturalized immigrant, growing up in Slovenia. She’s Trump’s third wife, and she is a former fashion model. She talked about Donald Trump’s leadership and his doggedness when facing a challenge.
“He will never ever give up, and most importantly, he will never, ever let you down,” she said.
She also drew attention to her own journey from Slovenia to the United States, calling her path to citizenship “the greatest privilege on planet earth.” This focus on legal immigration is likely a purposeful counterweight to the anti-illegal immigration rhetoric that marked much of the convention.
Missing from Melania Trump’s address were specific anecdotes about her relationship with the candidate, the kind that could display the personal, more human side of the presumptive Republican nominee, who has been criticized for his harsh rhetoric.
At the same time, on a day when divisions within the party were very obvious, Melania Trump made an overture toward the other candidates who ran for the Republican nomination against Trump. “They deserve the respect and gratitude of all of us,” she said of her husband’s vanquished foes.
Overall, it was a speech that will likely earn Melania Trump good reviews from the media and the party; it was a well delivered, fairly traditional address.