Are polls right Melania Trump is ‘worst’ First Lady?


Fact Box

  • Melania Trump is the second first lady not born in America, but Yugoslavia, now Slovenia. She came to the states to pursue modeling, and succeeded in Milan and Paris, landing covers of many magazines. As first lady, she was most known for her Be Best initiative that focused on the well-being of children, mainly cyberbullying. 
  • Before leaving the White House, Donald Trump thanked his family for their support and specifically called out Melania Trump saying, “Our first lady has been a woman of great grace and beauty and dignity. And so popular with the people.” 
  • According to the CNN/SSRS poll, Melania Trump’s favorability rating at the end of her term was the “worst popularity rating for any first lady” at 42% and unfavorability at 47%. 
  • The polls date back to Pat Nixon in 1973 with Hillary Clinton recorded at the second lowest marks: 52% favorable and 39% unfavorable. Barbara Bush scored the highest numbers at 85% while Trump’s predecessor, Michelle Obama, received 69% in her leave.

Stephanie (No)

There is no doubt that presidents' First Ladies are held to unbelievable expectations, and Melania Trump was obviously in no way exempt from this. However, her recent 'poll ratings' indicated that a vast majority did not approve of her; however, this in no way indicates that she was the 'worst First Lady.'

Admittedly, she took a more passive approach than other First Ladies before her, most notably, Michelle Obama and Laura Bush, among others. However, Melania stood strong during Trump's almost constant media scrutiny and negative media coverage. Despite any criticism, she, most importantly, did not participate in toxic political dealings.

Melania did not have her own agenda or use her position in an attempt to 'influence' anyone, which shows that she solely supported the Commander in Chief. Throughout Trump's leadership, he undeniably offended many with his boisterous rants, Tweets, etc.; yet she never partook.

Also noteworthy, Melania Trump immigrated to the US from Slovenia and is a shining example of what can be fulfilled under the American Dream. It was refreshing to have a woman by Trump's side who was proud of her heritage, but at the end of the day, had the country of her current residence at heart.

In regard to the opposition, Melania's low approval rating is based on polls from sources that have proven to be absolutely anti-Trump from day one. Yet, this poll proves NOTHING about her character. In addressing the 'unsuccessfulness' of her 'Be Best' campaign, yes, it shows once again that while she was not the most 'active' First Lady, she did not fail our country in working alongside her husband. Indeed, she arguably was a rock by his side, always doing such with elegance.


Ethan (Yes)

Talk of the failure of the last United States presidential term has not solely been focused on Donald Trump. Former first lady, Melania Trump, has been the target of much disappointment and criticism over the past four years. Recent polls labeling Melania as the 'worst' first lady in US history reflect the ways in which she has broken tradition and disrespected the duties of the first lady position that is so highly regarded in our society.

During the 2016 Republican National Convention, Melania was accused of plagiarizing passages from former first lady Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention speech. An article written by Cooper Allen on USA Today lays out the passages in question in both speeches, and it's hard to argue the substantial similarities. This disrespects the history of the first lady as well as the Republican and Democratic parties.

According to the 'Roles of the First Lady' resource from The White House Historical Association, one of the first lady's responsibilities is to attend ceremonious occasions, which certainly includes the inauguration of the next president. Melania did not attend the 2021 inauguration of President Joe Biden, which is a decision that reflects poorly on her and her husband. Attending the inauguration was an opportunity for Melania to show her support of our country's tradition of a peaceful transition of power after the tumultuous four years that she contributed to and earn a small slice of redemption in the eyes of some Americans.

Regardless of how and why Melania disappointed the American people during her time in the White House, we have spoken with our votes, and polls don't lie.

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