Over the course of Trump’s presidency, a lot of noise has been made about how forced and uncomfortable his interactions with his wife, Melania, have been. Sometimes they appear to signal that she’d rather be anywhere else but next to him, other times, his narcissism seems to cause the president to forget his First Lady is even in the vicinity.
Their awkward interactions (or failures to interact) are often reminiscent of those couples you know should have been divorced years ago because they clearly hate each others’ guts. There’s just no other way to interpret it. But never is that dynamic more in focus than when there is another political couple nearby with whom to compare and contrast spousal interactions.
After the bumbling disaster that was the first presidential debate, Melania Trump and Dr. Jill Biden joined their respective husbands on stage to stand and pose for photos as everything comes to a close.
Dr. Biden joined Joe with a hug — you know, a standard form of greeting the person you’re supposedly in love with after they took part in something that’s a big deal.
By contrast, Trump appeared to not even look at Melania as she moved to stand beside and slightly behind him.
A different angle on the Trumps actually makes things look even stranger, showing the two holding hands at a distance — only after they see the Bidens hug — and the president making strange jerking motions with his arm while doing so.
Trump fans would likely call this nitpicking, but how those closest to a person regularly interact with him, and how he in turn interacts with them, reveals a lot. The president has repeatedly been accused of not caring about anyone but himself — not caring about the people dying of COVID-19, or soldiers dying at war, or the poor, or really anyone at all. So if he can’t even pretend to care about his own wife, only a fool could pretend that doesn’t send some kind of message.
And again, the contrast with Vice President and Dr. Biden is stark.
I mean, really — which marriage would you want?