In her final days as First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump has made headlines for snubbing her successor Jill Biden and delivering a contradictory farewell address.
Ms Trump is preparing to vacate the premises, but not before her final farewell.
Ms Trump also preached “love over hatred” and that citizens should “always remember that violence is never the answer and will never be justified”.
- Related: As Trump snubs the Inauguration, a frantic White House will remove all hints he was ever there
Some found Ms Trump’s words confusing given her husband’s landmark second impeachment for allegedly encouraging an insurrection, and their refusal to attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
This is how your name will always be remembered. Your family must be so proud. pic.twitter.com/KP28hxDuy8
— G (@giancarloqui1) January 18, 2021
Adding insult to injury, Ms Trump has decided to skip the time-honoured tradition of welcoming the next presidential administration by offering the future First Lady a tour of the White House.
Dating back to the 1950s, when Elizabeth ‘Bessie’ Truman invited her replacement, Mamie Eisenhower for tea, the First Lady tour is supposed to symbolise a peaceful transition of power.
While the Trumps’ time in office can hardly be described as peaceful, the latest snub has left some social media users incensed.
Many have taken to Twitter to call out the outgoing First Lady for her classless act.
— David Plunkett (@DBillyP) January 19, 2021
Warm welcomes from the past
For decades, the First Lady tour has been an exciting element of the presidential transition.
Following her tour with Ms Truman, Ms Eisenhower carried on the tradition by hosting Jackie Kennedy before John F Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961.
Sadly, Ms Kennedy did not participate in the tour with her successor, Claudia ‘Lady Bird’ Johnson, as the inauguration directly followed Mr Kennedy’s assassination.
Since then, the First Ladies of the past have made a point of warmly welcoming their replacements.
You can only pretend you have grace, dignity, and manners for so long!
— iwil (@inezwil43518773) January 19, 2021
Many were disappointed at the snub considering the friendly welcome Ms Trump’s predecessor, Michelle Obama, gave her upon the Trumps’ arrival at the White House.
But while the tradition is more of a symbolic gesture than an actual tour (particularly since Dr Biden would already know her way around after spending eight years as Second Lady during the Obama administration), there are still a few changes since she was there last.
A new White House
Ms Trump has long been criticised for her questionable taste for interior design (who can forget her infamous Christmas decor).
In her four years in the White House, the FLOTUS oversaw a number of different renovation projects that aimed to refresh some of its most famous rooms.
In one memorable renovation blunder in the White House bowling alley, Ms Trump rebranded the estate’s bowling balls with the wrong logo.
The balls featured incorrect logos that said ‘The President’s House’, rather than the White House’s nickname, ‘The People’s House’.
At the time, fans questioned whether it was an honest mistake or a pointed statement.
The presidents house?? Isn’t it the people’s house???
— Patti DeGroat (@PattiDeGroat1) May 1, 2019
The alley was also redone to showcase a large ‘Be Best’ art decal on the wall, paying tribute to Ms Trump’s philanthropic campaign of the same name.
But there are some restoration successes that the incoming FLOTUS can look forward to, like the revamped wall fabric in the Red Room, the restored furniture in the Blue Room and the repurposed curtains in the Green Room.
Dr Biden may also be interested in taking an outdoor stroll in the newly renovated, semi-roseless Rose Garden.
Ms Trump drew criticism from all angles when she unveiled her refurbished Rose Garden (which drastically cut down the number of roses) amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The garden had not been renovated since Ms Kennedy oversaw the project with horticulturist and philanthropist Rachel ‘Bunny’ Mellon in 1962.
Critics panned the new garden and believed the renovation unnecessary and tone-deaf given the dire state of the pandemic in the US.
Melania modeled the Rose Garden after the Trump family. Cold and empty.
— Tim Hannan (@TimHannan) August 23, 2020
But some are hoping the Bidens’ entry into the White House will be an opportunity for the future FLOTUS to restore some of its spaces to their former glory.
Dr. Biden, please bring Jackie's Rose Garden back. 🌹🌷🌼🌸🌺🌾🌻
Sincerely, America. pic.twitter.com/IrkOFnMgZz
— Jenn 🐇 (@GenXJenn3) January 18, 2021