It’s been over a month since the election, but an official concession by Donald Trump is nowhere in sight. Meanwhile, his wife impatiently awaits their final departure from the White House.
“She just wants to go home,” a source reported to CNN’s Kate Bennett. However, Melania’s idea of “home” has shifted since her big move four years ago.
So, where is she going? And is Donald going to be there?
Migrating south, or venturing north?
Melania is not working to keep her husband in the Oval Office. Rather, her eyes are on the prize: opening the next chapter of her life.
She’s been sorting through her belongings, with team members taking inventory of which items will be shipped to Trump Tower in New York City, and which will be sent to Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
Although Donald, Melania, and their son Barron arrived at the White House from their 10,996 square feet New York penthouse, the Trumps’ new permanent residence will be a 3,000 square feet suite at Mar-a-Lago.
Falling out of favor with the Manhattan social scene, Donald Trump already changed his primary residency to Florida long before the election. His children have also been searching for alternative abodes given their links to a presidency historically unpopular in NYC, with Jared and Ivanka reportedly searching for homes in New Jersey.
Barron, just 14 years old, will be starting at a new school at the beginning of the year in Palm Beach, instead of returning to the private school in D.C. where he has attended for the past three years.
However, sources familiar with Melania’s thinking told OK! Magazine that Melania wants to move back to New York. The source told OK!’s Rob Shuter, “For the past four years Melania has missed her life in New York. She loves the city and the lifestyle she used to have, and cannot wait to get it back at Trump Tower…She never wanted any of this.”
Will the Trump marriage last?
The speculation surrounding Melania’s choice of residence has many questioning the longevity of the Trumps’ marriage.
According to The Washington Post, bookies in Vegas began taking bets on Election Day for gamblers ready to place money on whether Melania will leave Donald when his presidency expires.
There is merit to this question. Melania is known to spend a significant amount of time away from her husband, she is not publicly affectionate with him, and on multiple occasions, she has been seen discreetly slapping Donald’s hand away from her own when he tries to initiate a public hand-hold.
Melania’s mysterious demeanor, combined with a tendency to go against the traditions set by other former first ladies, has made her a prime suspect for a variety of conspiracy theories. She’s being held hostage by ’the Don,’ she has a body double, she’s a Russian spy…Now, conspiracy theorists and the general public alike await Melania’s next move.
As the drama of Trump’s presidency begins to die down, Melania and Donald’s marriage has become a target for scrutiny.
Two sources close to Melania told The Washington Post that Melania has not shown any indication of plans to leave her husband.
Not yet, at least.
What’s next for Melania?
Past first ladies have followed a tradition of writing in their post-White House lives, publishing memoirs that are often very successful contributions to their careers. In fact, every memoir written by former first ladies published in the 20th and 21st centuries has become a best seller, often outselling the memoirs published by former presidents.
In line with her unpredictable nature, Melania Trump is also expected to publish a book, though likely not a memoir. Bennett reports that Melania plans to publish a “photo-centric coffee book,” either focused on White House hospitality, history, or the design projects Melania carried out over the past four years.
With roughly one month left in her role as first lady, Melania is said to be heavily immersed in plans for her future, relocation, and her legacy.
Unlike her husband, Melania has released her grip on the White House.