Julia Ioffe of GQ wrote a very reasonable and well-researched profile of Melania Trump, somehow making the former middling model interesting, no mean feat if you’ve ever heard the QVC peddler speak. The candidate’s spouse is a sun-addled Stepford Wife, her frozen face always staring off into the distance as if she were a statue of a feral cat, seemingly convinced that at any given moment a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue photographer might emerge from the sea in need of an expression that could pass for vaguely erotic.
Melania voiced her displeasure over the piece, and some Trump supporters reacted to the journalist with anti-Semitic threats. That’s no surprise because the hideous hotelier’s campaign, for the all the theorizing of Thomas Frank and his ilk, has always been about identity politics, not concerns over trade deals or technological unemployment. The identity happens to be a bigoted, white male. When it comes to Trump’s appeal, which is not mainly socioeconomic, the writing has always been on the wall, the wall he insists Mexico will pay for.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the piece reveals the Slovenian immigrant might have something of a father complex, her dad a portlier, lower-case version of her god-awful groom. An excerpt:
Jelančič remembers Melania’s father, Viktor, spending every Saturday lovingly washing his antique Mercedes, another rarity. “It was like a ritual,” Jelančič tells me. After leaving his job working for the mayor of Hrastnik, Viktor, then a member of the Slovenian Communist Party, became a salesman at a state-owned car company. Police files from the time indicate Viktor aroused suspicion for illicit trade and tax evasion in 1976. (He was charged with a tax offense, though his record was later cleared on account of Slovenia’s statute of limitations, a process the courts described to me as “legal rehabilitations.”) Melania blocked my efforts to speak to Viktor, and she denies that any such investigation took place. “He was never under any investigation, he was never in trouble,” she snaps. “We have a clean past. I don’t have nothing to hide.”