So how’s that first overseas adventure as president going, Donny? It certainly has been cringe worthy but actually so far not as bad as I feared. It felt good to send Trump overseas for nine days. The country needed a breather from our president, which is why I wasn’t tuning into him as much as I usually do. Still, it’s been plenty memorable if not quite a total disaster:
- Check out the weird photos of Trump putting his hands on a glowing Palantir in Saudi Arabia
- His (and Melania’s) short and meaningless handwritten note in a book at the Israeli Holocaust memorial that had nothing to say about the Holocaust
- His sniping at NATO ministers because he says they aren’t paying their share of NATO’s costs, which is not quite true not to mention his pushing of the prime minister of Montenegro aside so he could be stand prominently in their group picture
- The pallid look on Pope Francis’ face trying to be nice with The Donald, which must have reminded him of Jesus carrying the cross to Calvary
- Trump’s calling Germans “very bad” for having a trade surplus with the United States
- His whining about how exhausted he is, this from a guy who said Hillary Clinton was “low energy” but who visited more countries than any Secretary of State before her and was constantly suffering from jet lag
Trump will wish he were still overseas when he comes home. While he’s been away there’s been more steady news and leaks about the FBI’s investigation into potential collaboration between Russia and the Trump campaign. These include today’s shocker that his son-in-law Jared Kushner sought to establish a back channel with Russia last December. Meanwhile while he’s overseas I confess I have spent more time watching his wife Melania, hitherto mostly hidden in Trump Tower in New York.
Perhaps it’s unwise to read too much into body language, but it is a window into the soul. And what’s abundantly clear is that Melania loathes her husband. In Israel, he tried grabbing her hand deplaning and she reflexively pushed it aside. Take two deplaning in Rome and she finds it convenient to straighten a lock of her hair with her left hand. (She is right handed. Apparently she got the message and found a way to stay true to herself without being so overtly spurning.) I shouldn’t be surprised since actions speak louder than words. What I see is that she doesn’t like him. I’m not sure there ever was real love between them but perhaps there was a little in the beginning. In any event they sired a son appropriately named Barron. Trump got his trophy wife, but all he really got was a very expensive bit of arm candy. He got nothing that turned him into an empathetic human being. Perhaps Melania tried but soon realized he was a lost cause.
I’ll bet you anything they don’t have a sex life. Maybe in his fifties Trump had enough in the way of looks (and less weight) to attract a woman. Reportedly, Melania first called him when he gave her his card. That was about fifteen year ago and probably minus forty pounds and a couple of extra jowls too. In any event, there has been zero chemistry between them while overseas.
Today, Trump is not attractive but remains the mess of a man he has been all his life, just more so. He’s clearly added weight since taking office. He’s not at William Howard Taft levels (Taft was 340 pounds), but oddly enough doesn’t look too far behind Taft. Trump is apparently having problems with the White House staircases and is taking elevators instead. He canceled a visit to Masada in Israel on Monday because they wouldn’t allow the presidential helicopter to land on the sacred site. The real reason: he couldn’t make it up stairs to the site.
Trump does have money, and presumably that was important to Melania when she decided to marry him. It’s true she made a decent living as a model before marrying him, but she wasn’t in high demand mainly because she could not be emotionally expressive like most models need to be. Now that she is married she has chosen to keep her distance from Donald. So far it’s been mostly a geographical distance. That should change if she follows through with a planned move to the White House with Barron this summer. And then she will keep practicing what she has done so well on this trip so far: keeping an emotional distance from her husband. And who could blame her? Even Trump’s fans acknowledge that Trump is barely civilized, but mostly he is impulsive and intensely irritating. He’s no fun to be around, as his staff will attest. So I expect Melania will keep running away from Trump as much as humanly possible.
So much for the natural intimacy and affection we got used to between Barack and Michelle Obama. It was clear that they were deeply and passionately in love. They could hardly keep their hands off each other. I’m not sure what kind of love exists between Donald and Melania but it sure looks like there is no there there.
As we learned from Paul McCarthy, money can’t buy you love, and it sure looks like it hasn’t bought Trump any love. From this trip it looks at best like he got a half-hearted dutifulness from Melania. Perhaps he should start shopping for wife number four. Maybe he already has and that’s why Melania is obviously keeping her distance. It wouldn’t surprise me if before his presidency collapses that Melania discreetly runs for the exit door.