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Melania Trump to 'rewrite' position of first lady

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 01:31

There is no official job description for the first lady of the United States, which means Melania Trump will largely be able to define how she intends to fulfill role, says the former chief of staff to Laura Bush. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: There is no job description for the first lady of the United States. There are no official duties. There is no salary and the role is largely shaped by the women who serves in the position. That will be the challenge for Melania Trump when her husband Donald Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States on January 20th. And with Trump's high profile daughter, Ivanka Trump, planning on moving to Washington while her husband, Jared Kusher, will serve as a top adviser to the President, there are also questions about how she will fulfill the role of first daughter and to what degree that will blend in with the role of the first lady. Anita McBride, the former chief of staff to first lady Laura Bush, urges the next first lady to take advantage of the flexibility. "The one wonderful thing about the job of first lady of the United States is that every person that comes into the job gets to rewrite the position description," she said. "So it is what they want it to be. They have their own shoes to fill. Not anyone else's." Ever since Donald Trump announced his candidacy, Melanie Trump has adopted a low profile. First Lady Michelle Obama may have dazzled with her fashion choices, but her signature issues were nutrition and exercise. For First Lady Laura Bush, it was education and reading. Hillary Clinton served in important policy roles and steered, not very successfully, the president's health policy initiative in the first Clinton term. Melania Trump, who will remain in New York for a while to keep her son in school, has vowed to focus on encouraging more respectful dialogue, particularly among children and teenagers. "We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other," Trump said as she campaigned for her husband. Business mogul and former reality television star Trump is widely seen as a proponent of harsh and sometimes controversial language on the campaign trail and particularly on social media. He vanquished his opponents for the Republican nomination by saddling them with unflattering descriptions such as "dopey" or "low energy." His fondness for insults prompted The New York Times to catalog the hundreds of insults Trump has made on social media attacking his opponents, critics, members of the media and major organization since joining the presidential race in 2015. Melania Trump also faced a series of attacks when her speech at the Republican Convention appeared to echo remarks made by Michelle Obama at the Democratic Convention before she became first lady. And then there is the question of the role that first daughter Ivanka Trump will play in the Administration. "She's been a business partner with him," McBride said . "He clearly values her advice, values her input...So this is a is is new territory to a certain degree having that many family members potentially that involved with the White House and we'll just have to see how that all plays out." The first daughter has already bought a house just blocks from the White House, has stepped aside from her business and is likely to step into a new yet-to be defined role in the Trump administration.

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Melania Trump to 'rewrite' position of first lady

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 01:31