Slovenian(s) in the White House

By Andrej Mrevlje |
Holding hands, Melania Trump is making her first steps in american politics

Melania Trump — or Melania Knavs, as she was called before she married and moved into Trump Tower — will be the only first lady since 1829 to have been born outside the United States. She is preceded only by John Quincy Adams’ wife, Louisa Adams, who was born in England when the U.S. was still a colony.

Even before she set foot in the White House, Melania Trump already received an invitation for an official visit to her native country, Slovenia. According to Delo, a Slovenian daily newspaper, Mrs. Trump was invited by the Slovenian prime minister, Miro Cerar, in a letter of congratulations for “the success that is of historic significance for Slovenia, as well, and makes the citizens of our country proud and happy.” The Slovenian prime minister also expressed his belief that a good relationship between the two countries will develop further with the support and help of the new first lady.

This recognition of Melania Trump’s role in the U.S.-Slovenian relationship fills me with joy. It is different from the feeling I found this summer when I visited Slovenia and Melania’s birthplace, Sevnica. According to one CNN report, Mrs. Trump’s fellow citizens are now happy to see their girl in the White House.

Why wouldn’t they be? At the very least, as somebody observed, Slovenia will never again be confused with Slovakia. That is, providing that Donald Trump does not remarry again.

In spite of my political tastes, this event makes me happy, too. I moved to D.C. a couple of months ago, and in spite of some doubts about whether the Trumps will actually settle down and live in the White House, I feel that there is a lot of change coming in my new city, which I moved to from New York — like the Trumps!

The Obamas will be missed, their simple elegance replaced by a noisier, more glossy kind of glamour. I can’t get rid of the idea that the Old Post Office, which was transformed into the luxurious Trump International Hotel, will become a dependent of the White House, resolving its risky financial situation. My imagination flies, and I can already see foreign dignitaries staying in Trump’s hotel at the expense of the U.S. government. And might Trump move the White House Correspondents’ Dinner into the Presidential Hall of the hotel?

And as far as the Slovenian-American relationship goes, I remain sceptical. It might well be that Ljubljana (the Slovenian capital) will send their best men to Washington D.C. or may even invest in a bigger, more representative embassy building in capital, but is it worth it? Perhaps I am wrong and perhaps Mrs. Trump does have abilities that we were not able to detect till now. Perhaps the Slovenian prime minister’s weird invitation to Mrs. Trump is not as bizarre as I think. But hey, this is Yonder, and we want to have fun and continue to watch the bewildered world around us.

☆ Support this work via Venmo

Yonder is a weekly newsletter from Andrej Mrevlje that connects global events in the news, delivered every week. Learn more »