Politics

Melania Trump Extended Olive Branch by Rosalynn Carter Ahead of Her Death

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


Former First Lady Melania Trump has been invited to the funeral for Rosalynn Carter, which is set for next Wednesday.

Carter, 96, passed away on Sunday at her Plains, Georgia, home, just two days after she was placed in hospice care. Her 77-year-old husband, former President Jimmy Carter, was by her side, according to the Washington Post.

Melania Trump belonged to a special group of women: presidential first ladies and her family is reportedly remembering this as they get ready for her funeral. According to the Washington Post, all first ladies have been invited to the service. Melania Trump might be present at the same event as Hillary Clinton, Jill Biden, Michelle Obama, and Laura Bush.

James E. “Chip” Carter III, the son of Rosalynn Carter, described his mother as “a gracious person” who “would treat everybody with respect.” According to the Washington Post, his mother had a say in whether or not to invite all of the first ladies.

According to the Post, the White House announced late Tuesday night that Vice President Kamala Harris, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, and President Joe Biden are likely to attend a memorial service for Rosalynn Carter in Atlanta on Tuesday. At the memorial service, country music icons Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood will likely perform. They have carried on the Carters’ charitable work of helping Habitat for Humanity build affordable homes.

Melania Trump paid tribute upon learning of her death, writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Rosalynn Carter’s “meaningful legacy” and her “devotion to her husband, family, and country” will be remembered.

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Seeing Melania Trump seated next to Jill Biden at a Rosalynn Carter memorial service would be historic.

During the George H.W. Bush funeral at Washington National Cathedral in December 2018, all five of the current presidents and their spouses were present, including then-President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

While seated in the same pew as the Bidens and Obamas, Hillary Clinton stared ahead and did not make eye contact with Trump, who defeated her in the 2016 presidential election.

President Trump did not attend Barbara Bush’s funeral in April 2018, citing his desire to avoid causing “disruptions” by attending the service in Houston, according to the New York Times.

According to CNN, Barbara Bush also voiced criticism of Trump in 2016, stating, “He sort of makes faces and says insulting things.” He has made deplorable remarks about both women and the military. I fail to see why anyone would support him for that reason.

But Melania Trump did go to Barbara Bush’s funeral. She sat in the front row with the Obamas and Clintons, making pictures that, as the New York Times put it, “were impossible to ignore in this moment of bitter divisions in American political life.”

Last week, reactions and tributes poured in after news broke that Carter had passed away.

“She was well known for her efforts on mental health, caregiving, and women’s rights. So I hope that during the holidays, you’ll consider saying [you’ll] include the Carter family in your prayers,” first lady Jill Biden said while attending a holiday meal with service members at a naval station in Norfolk, Virginia.

President Trump wrote: “Melania and I join all Americans in mourning the loss of Rosalynn Carter. She was a devoted First Lady, a great humanitarian, a champion for mental health, and a beloved wife to her husband for 77 years, President Carter. Over a life spanning nearly a century, Rosalynn Carter earned the admiration and gratitude of our entire nation.”

Former First Lady Michelle Obama said: “Her groundbreaking work to combat the stigma faced by those struggling with their mental health brought light to so many suffering in silence. She advocated for better care for the elderly. She advanced women’s rights. And she remained a champion for those causes — and many others like building affordable housing for those in need and caring for our nation’s caregivers — in the more than four decades that followed.”

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On behalf of herself and her husband, former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama also posted: “Today, Barack and I join the world in celebrating the remarkable legacy of a First Lady, philanthropist, and advocate who dedicated her life to lifting others. Her life is a reminder that no matter who we are, our legacies are best measured not in awards or accolades but in the lives we touch. We send our thoughts and prayers to Jimmy and the entire Carter family during this difficult time.”

Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush called Rosalynn Carter “a woman of dignity and strength.”

“There was no greater advocate of President Carter, and their partnership set a wonderful example of loyalty and fidelity,” the Bushes said in a statement. “She leaves behind an important legacy in her work to destigmatize mental health. We join our fellow citizens in sending our condolences to President Carter and their family.”

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