Melania Trump could be President Trump's greatest asset in bolstering American approval rating


In the wake of reportedly low approval ratings and bipartisan criticism of a myriad of executive actions, President Trump could have a secret weapon in the first lady.

A Gallup poll released over the weekend reports that 42 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump has done so far -- a new low for any president after two weeks in office. These historically subdued approval ratings, mixed with a variety of criticism from Republican lawmakers over his executive order enacting a travel ban, could spell trouble for the 45th president.

Trump's biggest asset and remedy to these Oval Office woes, though, could come in the form of increasingly popular first lady Melania Trump.

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Matt Latimer of Politico Magazine poses that the Slovenia native -- who in the week of the inauguration was reportedly more popular than the president himself -- could help help Trump's approval ratings in the long run, and has laid out five strategic ways for her to do just that.

Latimer starts in setting the stage for Melania Trump's popularity. Noting the first lady's ability to evoke elegance, thoughtfulness and sympathy on Inauguration Day, Melania Trump's big moment was a disturbed face captured as her husband turns around on the inauguration stage. The moment prompted a #FreeMelania social media explosion.

"The idea that the first lady is a tormented victim, crying out for help, may be the most positive view anyone associated with the Trump presidency has received from the Twittersphere to date," Latimer writes.

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"In other words, Melania Trump has power. The kind of power that just might be able to convince the millions of Americans and foreigners who don't like, who even fear, Donald Trump that he is not a solitary, impulsive, dangerous monster."

Latimer says the first lady could increase worldly appreciation for the United States by serving as symbol of American greatness. As someone who witnessed war and poverty in her home country of Slovenia, Melania could "play the provocative role of encouraging a greater appreciation of America among her own citizens."

Melania Trump's immigrant status also puts her in the unique position to talk about and defend legal immigration -- a core principle of the president's 2016 campaign and current White House agenda -- from a first-hand perspective. The first lady has repeatedly said that she came to the U.S. legally and could use her position to bolster morale for Trump items like his travel ban executive order, which was sharply criticized by members of his own Republican party.

Latimer also adds that because of her European roots, Melania could help improve relations between the United States and other countries.

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As the president and first lady have been married 12 years and share a son, Barron, Latimer also notes that increased candor from Melania Trump on positive aspects of the couple's marriage could "reassure the American people that they have not elected a frightening caricature," as she is presumably the person closest to the president.

The first lady's newly hired chief of staff Lindsay Reynolds announced last week that Melania and her son are still planning to move to the White House after Barron finishes his school year.

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"Mrs. Trump is honored to serve this country and is taking the role and responsibilities of first lady very seriously," said Reynolds. "It has only been a short time since the inauguration and the first lady is going to go about her role in a pragmatic and thoughtful way that is unique and authentic to her."