Melania Announces New Rose Garden Behind WH Walls As Americans Go Hungry
First Lady Melania Trump announced a plan to renovate the White House Rose Garden on Monday, The New York Times reported, leading critics to note the optics of an extensive renovation as millions of Americans struggle to get by amid the pandemic.
- Details of the project include “electrical upgrades for television appearances, a new walkway and new flowers and shrubs,” according to the report.
- During her remarks to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House on Monday morning, the first lady said the project is meant to be an “act of expressing hope and optimism for the future.”
- She added: “Our country has seen difficult times before, but the White House and the Rose Garden have always stood as a symbol of our strength, resilience and continuity.”
- The Times noted that President Trump has wandered from those principles, “repeatedly breaking norms on how presidents use the space as it has become his preferred venue for announcing executive actions, boasting about the economy and extending political battles.”
- The newspaper also wrote that “Historians see the timing of her Rose Garden project as a way to protect her own legacy as the election draws nearer.”
“One reading of this project is that maybe Melania Trump is sensing that she has a relatively brief time in the White House,” said Katherine Jellison, a professor at Ohio University who studies first ladies. “And if she’s going to make her mark in the way Jackie Kennedy did in her brief time, a project of this sort would be appropriate.”
Melania Trump’s announced project struck many as tone deaf, particularly as millions of Americans continue struggling to make ends meet amid the pandemic.
- Dan Rather tweeted that her project was giving off “a real ‘let them eat cake’ vibe.”
- Others also pointed to the ongoing social unrest across the U.S. as Americans continue protesting police brutality and racial injustice — and as the president responds with federal agents and violent rhetoric.
- Forbes reported that 30 million Americans, or about 20 percent of American workers, are still unemployed.