This image of a retiring homebody, of course, is not the one that Trump’s enemies present when they conjure her in the White House.Ahead of Utah’s primary, allies of Ted Cruz posted a photo from a shoot for a 2000 issue of British in which a naked Melania is lying on her stomach on a white bearskin rug. Your next First Lady,” read the ad, aimed at conservative Mormon voters.“When they went to our wedding, we were private citizens,” Melania reminds me.Just two private citizens getting hitched at the groom’s 126-room Florida palace.How does a shy ex-model make her way from Slovenia to, just maybe, the White House?
In one of her last posts—right before somebody deemed it advisable to slam shut this opulent little window on her life—she snapped a parting selfie in a gold-mirrored bathroom. I’m off to my #summer residence.”While Melania enjoys the services of a chef and an assistant, there’s no nanny raising their son, Barron. “We know our roles,” Melania once told Parenting.com, referring to the division of labor with her husband.“Or, you could support Ted Cruz on Tuesday.”Trump shot back in a cryptic, menacing message that he would “spill the beans” on Heidi Cruz and then re-tweeted two photos, side by side: one, a mid-sentence Heidi, looking like a gargoyle; another, a bronzed, blue-eyed Melania, looking like a fox.“The images are worth a thousand words,” the caption read, though Trump’s tweet itself was really communicating only four: “My wife is hotter.”It’s easy to think America has changed a lot since Hillary Rodham Clinton was chastised in the early ’90s for her ambition as First Lady—refusing to sit at home and make cookies.But unlike her husband, Melania is reserved, polite, and steady, say those close to her.“There is a peace in her,” one old friend from Slovenia tells me. She’s rich, but not a socialite; she prefers family to the It set and retires early after events.