America, Meet Melania Trump

Potential first lady wows RNC audience with grace, warmth, style

by Deirdre Reilly | Updated 27 Jul 2016 at 11:27 AM

Melania Trump delivered a mic-drop speech on opening night of the Republican National Convention, and now America knows what Donald Trump knows: He has a campaign ace up his sleeve in his beautiful 46-year-old Slovenian-born wife.

The stylish spouse of the GOP nominee walked onto the RNC stage Monday night after a brief and loving introduction from her husband, who first appeared on a fog-shrouded stage in silhouette as Queen’s “We are the Champions” played loudly in the arena.

“He never has a hidden agenda when it comes to his patriotism because, like me, he loves this country very much.”

“Thank you very much — you have all been very kind to Donald and me, to our young son, Barron, and to our whole family,” she began, smiling. “I am delighted to be with you at this historic convention. I’m so proud of your choice for president of the United States — my husband, Donald J. Trump.”

Of her husband's feeling for the U.S., Melania said, eyes flashing, "I have been aware of his love for this country since we first met. He never has a hidden agenda when it comes to his patriotism because, like me, he loves this country very much."

A jewelry and watch designer and former model, Melania Trump speaks five languages and has been involved in philanthropic endeavors in New York City for many years, including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Martha Graham Dance Company, and the Police Athletic League, of which she is an active member. She was an honorary chairwoman for The Boy's Club of New York for five consecutive years.

5 Fast Facts About Melania Trump
  • She would be very traditional, "like Betty Ford or Jackie Kennedy," she told the NYT.
  • She grew up in communist Yugoslavia under the rule of dictator Tito.
  • She supports her husband's stance on immigration.
  • She has encouraged her husband to "act more presidential."
  • Her son, Barron, often wears a business suit just like Dad.
Source: http://www.theweek.com

Melania Trump may well be her husband's strongest campaigner on important national issues, although she has been pegged by the media as a reluctant campaigner.

She has lived under communist rule and understands the freedoms many Americans often take for granted.

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"She's also living proof that Donald Trump is not anti-immigrant," Newt Gingrich told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Monday night.

"I arrived in New York City 20 years ago, and I saw both the joys and hardships of daily life," Melania said to the enthusiastic crowd. "On July 28, 2006, I was very proud to become [a] citizen of the United States — the greatest privilege on planet Earth!"

The crowd erupted with cheers and applause, waving flags and banners.

"I cannot or will not take the freedoms this country offers for granted. But these freedoms have come with a price, so many times," she said during her almost 20-minute speech. "The sacrifices made by our veterans are reminders to us of this."

Of family, Melania Trump said, "There is a great deal of love in the Trump family — that is our bond, and that is our strength."

She then recognized a frail but smiling former Kentucky senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole, who waved briefly to the crowd.

"Let us thank all of our veterans in the arena today — and those across our great country," she said from the podium.

"I can tell you with certainty that my husband has been concerned about our country for as long as I have known him," she said, speaking to her husband's character. "With all of my heart I know that he will make a great and lasting difference. Donald has a great and deep determination, and a never-give-up attitude … If you want someone to fight for you and your country, I can assure you — he's the guy. He will never, ever give up, and most importantly, he will never let you down."

Anita McBride, who was Laura Bush's chief of staff, says a nominee would be foolish not to use his spouse's talents on the campaign trail.

"The voters are always interested in the people closest to the candidate, and there's a fascination with Melania,'' she told USA Today.

Melania Trump will make history on a few fronts if she becomes America's first lady — the first non-native English speaker, the first third spouse of a president, and the first foreign-born first lady since John Quincy Adams' wife Louisa (who was born in England).

Melania vowed that her husband would keep America "safe and secure. He's tough when he has to be, but he's also kind and fair and caring," she emphasized. "This kindness is not always noted, but it is there for all to see. That is one reason I fell in love with him to begin with."

Related: Getting to Know the Real Melania Trump

Of family, Melania Trump said, "There is a great deal of love in the Trump family — that is our bond, and that is our strength."

She said the U.S. is currently "underperforming," and noted, "We need new programs to help the poor, and opportunities to challenge the young."

Donald Trump's success points to inclusion rather than division, according to Mrs. Trump. "Donald intends to represent all the people — not just some of the people. That includes Christians, Jews, Muslims. It includes Hispanics and African-Americans and Asians, the poor and the middle class."

Melania Trump hammered home an image of Donald Trump behind the tough-talking "typical New Yorker" veneer. "Like no one else, I have seen the talent, the energy, the tenacity, the resourceful mind, and the simple goodness of the heart God gave to Donald," she said.

She applauded and encouraged those who have supported her husband's bid for the Oval Office. "You have turned this unlikely campaign into a movement that is still gaining in strength and number … It would not be a Trump contest without excitement and drama," she said, smiling, as the crowd clapped and cheered.

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"If I'm honored to serve as first lady, I will try and use that wonderful privilege to try to help those people in our country that need it the most," and indicated her areas of concentration would be the issues of women and children. "We must do our best to assure that every child can live in comfort and security, with the best possible education," she said.

Social media was predictably both snarky and supportive after the speech.

"I'm very excited to watch the Melania Trump speech," said @thetigersez, "because to be honest I didn't even know she was able to talk."

Others recognized the blossoming if unlikely relationship between the Slovenian model and a country in dire need of a leader. Twitter user @johnmappin tweeted, "Meet the USA's next First Lady @Melania Trump – INCREDIBLE SPEECH."

Several hours after the speech, it was reported by multiple outlets that Melania's speech had two passages that match almost word-for-word the speech that Michelle Obama delivered at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

The passages in question pertain to the values Melania Trump said she learned from her parents growing up — and their influence on her own parenting.

 

Related: How Melania Trump Could Help Her Husband

As the mainstream media trumpeted the two paragraphs as indicative of a lack of leadership within the campaign, average Americans were far more sensible.

"So maybe a speechwriter gets fired," one Baltimore, Maryland, mother and grandmother told LifeZette. "These speeches where a spouse introduces themselves to the nation tend to cover the same ground anyway — the lessons they learned from their childhood, and how they used these lessons in their own life. It is not a sign of any untruthfulness in Trump or his wife. She was absolutely lovely."

Jason Miller, senior communications adviser for the Trump campaign, released a statement early this morning saying, "In writing her beautiful speech, Melania's team of writers took notes on her life's inspirations and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking. Melania's immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success."

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