It appears as though no good deed goes unpunished. Over a year ago, on President Trump’s Inauguration Day, Melania Trump handed Michelle Obama a gift wrapped in a Tiffany box. Countless photographers caught the former First Lady making faces as Mrs. Trump handed her the gift. As noted by The Daily Caller, many Americans viewed Mrs. Obama’s reaction as uncivil and ill-mannered.
In most cases, such a matter would eventually die down, especially with it being over a year old, but unfortunately, nothing even remotely related to American politics dies easily. On Wednesday, Mrs. Obama appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” not only to inform the nation about what was in the box (a picture frame if you’re wondering), but also what went through her head when Mrs. Trump presented her with the gift:
“I mean, this is like a state visit, so they tell you that you’re going to do this, they’re going to stand here. Never before do you get this gift, so I’m sort of like, ‘OK. What am I supposed to do with this gift?’”
The former First Lady didn’t stop there. She went on to bemoan the lack of personnel to take the gift from her:
“Everyone cleared out and no one would come and take the box. And I’m thinking, ‘Do we take the picture with … ?’ And then my husband saved the day — see, he grabbed the box and took it back inside. But everybody cleared out. No staff, no one. I was like, ‘What do you do with the box?’”
The fact that the gift exchange is still being discussed over a year later when there is no shortage of pressing political matters is absurd in and of itself. However, the fact that people are using Melania’s present to Mrs. Obama as an opportunity to bash the current First Lady is just appalling.
First Ladies presenting their predecessors with gifts is absolutely no anomaly and critics know this. When former President Obama was sworn into office, Mrs. Obama gave Laura Bush a gift, and nobody complained – what’s more, they didn’t see fit to turn it into a news story.
Even critics who begrudgingly acknowledged this hypocrisy felt the need to split hairs over the situation, such as the always classy Jezebel, who referred to Melania Trump as a “Jackie O impersonator,” and blasted her gift as “tacky.”
Michelle Obama’s decision to go on “The Ellen DeGeneres” show and behave as though receiving a gift from Mrs. Trump is some kind of an imposition says a lot - not only because of its hypocrisy but because of how it would have been treated if it were Michelle Obama on the receiving end. Imagine the outrage if Laura Bush behaved as Michelle Obama did when being handed a gift. I dare say the word ‘racist’ would have been thrown around liberally.
Much of the President’s base has opined that Trump critics have lost all credibility because every time a Trump family member makes a move, they are slammed for it. Stories like this make it hard to argue against that point. Here’s an issue utterly devoid of politics, yet it’s been a consistent source of criticism and mockery used by Trump’s detractors. The fact that Michelle Obama is playing along is just ridiculous.