Annie Karni of POLITICO unleashed snarkiness directed at First Lady Melania Trump in an article at the influential website. Karni criticized the immigrant wife of President Donald Trump because she has not “announced an issue, or even an area of interest, for which she plans to advocate from her powerful platform.” But the writer did not stop there. Going for the jugular, to a place where male journalists fear to go, Karni wrote: “Melania Trump, the former model and reluctant first lady, often lets her fashion choices do the talking for her.”

About Melania Trump, Karni added, “she’s dutifully stepped into the silent role of enhancing her husband by appearing impeccably and appropriately dressed by his side.”

Then the vitriol oozed from Karni’s fingers:

“But on Tuesday, she appeared to put the wrong foot forward when she boarded Marine One, en route to visit emergency responders in hurricane-ravaged Texas, wearing towering black snakeskin stilettos.

“The emblematic first image of the first lady heading off to visit a hurricane in heels — a moment that the president has seized on as an opportunity to project strength and show off decisive leadership — instead became another symbol of a White House that can often seem out of touch.”

Photographs taken at the White House showed the president and first lady striding across a lawn to a waiting Marine helicopter. Melania Trump was wearing fashionable black pants, a military-style flight jacket and aviator sunglasses. And, yes, she was wearing black high heels.

For Karni, this was a faux-pas:

“But on Tuesday, she appeared to put the wrong foot forward when she boarded Marine One, en route to visit emergency responders in hurricane-ravaged Texas, wearing towering black snakeskin stilettos.

“The emblematic first image of the first lady heading off to visit a hurricane in heels — a moment that the president has seized on as an opportunity to project strength and show off decisive leadership — instead became another symbol of a White House that can often seem out of touch.”

Karni quoted a stylist who worked with Sarah Palin during the abortive Republican bid for the White House in 2008. Lisa Kline said that wearing heels “was a mistake...They’re going to a devastated area. She should be dressed accordingly.”

There were Democrats who piled on. Valerie Jarrett, who worked for Barack Obama at the White House tweeted: “Tan suit looks pretty good today, doesn’t it?” This was a reference to Obama’s sartorial choices during a 2014 news conference.

Photos taken on the tarmac at the airport in Corpus Christi showed that Melania Trump had changed into a pair of white sneakers. But Karni was not satisfied, charging that the change came only after social media erupted over the earlier choice of footwear. “It’s sad that we have an active and ongoing natural disaster in Texas, and people are worried about her shoes,” said Stephanie Grisham of the office of the First Lady.

Melania Trump did not dwell on fashion issues on Tuesday. In a statement released by the White House after she and the president surveyed the damage to Corpus Christi, she stated: 

“I want to be able to offer my help and support in the most productive way possible, not through just words, but also action,” the first lady said. “What I found to be the most profound during the visit was not only the strength and resilience of the people of Texas, but the compassion and sense of community that has taken over the state. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of Texas and Louisiana.”
 

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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, not of Spero News.

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