Melania Trump is absent from her husband’s TV debate – and also elsewhere

Melania Trump has been a rare sight since she left the White House. She also left her husband alone at the first TV debate in the current presidential election campaign.

Former First Lady Melania Trump was absent from her husband’s first TV debate in the current presidential election campaign. The 54-year-old did not accompany former President Donald Trump to the debate against incumbent Joe Biden on Thursday evening – unlike his wife Jill. The current First Lady appeared on the TV stage in Atlanta with her husband after the exchange of blows. Trump left the TV stage immediately after the end of the duel – alone.

Melania Trump has barely appeared in public since leaving the White House in early 2021, has largely remained silent and has played hardly any role in her husband’s election campaign. Biden’s wife Jill, on the other hand, is very present in her husband’s election campaign. The US President wrote on Platform X on Thursday: “The best thing about the election campaign is that I have you by my side, Jilly.”

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The public appearances of Melania Trump with her husband Donald Trump in recent months can be counted on one hand.

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She stayed away from campaign appearances and the hush money trial against her husband in New York. She did not even respond to his guilty verdict with a comment on social media. She also did not attend a birthday party that a Trump fan club had thrown for his birthday in mid-June.

The AP news agency spoke to fifteen people who had attended major events with campaign donors or at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in recent months. None of them had seen Melania Trump there. Her office did not respond to several requests from AP.

Now Melania had not attended her husband’s rallies very often during the 2020 election campaign. And even as First Lady in previous years, she tended to avoid the limelight. But now she has virtually disappeared from the scene completely.

In March, when asked whether she wanted to actively participate in the election campaign, she replied: “Stay tuned.” Since then, nothing has happened in this direction.

Compared to other presidential wives, her behavior is rather unusual, says history professor Katherine Jellison of Ohio University. But the Trumps cannot be measured against previous political standards anyway.

It will also come as no surprise to many that she stayed away from the trial in New York. The trial also involved a sexual encounter between her husband and porn actress Stormy Daniels – about four months after the birth of their son Barron in 2006.

“Where is Melania Trump?”

“Where is Melania?” reporters repeatedly called out to Trump during the trial – without receiving an answer. At one point he wished her a happy birthday from the court.

“I think it’s very difficult for her,” Trump told Fox News after the guilty verdict. “I mean, she’s fine. But she has to read all this garbage, you know.”

Trump also repeatedly mentions his wife at campaign rallies, reports on conversations with her, and apparently wants to show his supporters that she is very much supporting him behind the scenes. And how crucial wives can be for US presidential candidates has been shown time and again in recent elections. They are often the ones who win votes from female voters and make the candidates for the most powerful office in the world a little more approachable.