Stephanie Grisham, Mrs. Trump’s spokeswoman, says that the first lady will announce her initiatives in her own good time, and that her devotion as a mother — she is essentially a single parent to 11-year-old Barron — provides hints of her next move. So, too, does her participation in a panel on opioid abuse this summer. “Sept. is Nat’l Alcohol&Drug Addiction Recovery Month. Together we can strengthen families&communities & beat addiction,” she tweeted on Friday.
While her husband’s Twitter account is a toxic dump, Mrs. Trump’s is a pristine model of offered thanks, prayers, support for children and support for victims of disaster. After the neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville, Va., she tweeted: “Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville.”
As Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama did with their children, Mrs. Trump is determined to shield Barron from a prying public. She has made her share of hospital and classroom visits, and in photographs she appears happier in the company of children than in the company of … you know, the guy she referred to as, “Sometimes I say I have two teenage boys at home.” Mrs. Trump has kept Mrs. Obama’s garden because, as Ms. Grisham says, she knows Mrs. Obama loved it, and she appreciates its role in teaching kids to make healthy choices.
Which brings us to Mr. Trump, whose social media choices need work. After saying that combating cyberbullying is something she’d like to work on, Mrs. Trump has made no headway in reforming the cyberbully in chief. She was criticized for seeming to defend her husband’s grotesque Twitter assault on the television journalist Mika Brzezinski, when Ms. Grisham said that “as the first lady has stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.” Ms. Grisham took responsibility for that one, saying it was a comment of Mrs. Trump’s from the past, and “out of context.”
Five-inch heels may not be enough to elevate Mrs. Trump from the muck flowing through this White House. But as we search every corner for people who are growing in the job, let’s hope the first lady will provide the grace and normality that has been so lacking. But if she does, will Mr. Trump tolerate a wife who’s more popular than he is?