At home or at the podium, the First Lady is uniquely poised to serve as advisor, confidant, and campaigner, with the power to shape American political and social conversation. At first blush, First Ladies Michelle Obama and Melania Trump appear categorically different from each other; however, as women rising from humble origins to pursue their ambitions and support their husbands, the two have more in common than one might think.
In Melania & Michelle: First Ladies in a New Era, author Tammy R. Vigil provides a compelling account of our modern first ladies, exploring how each woman has crafted her public image and used her platform to influence the country, while also serving as a paragon of fashion and American womanhood. Both women face constant scrutiny and comparison—from their degrees of political activism to their cookie recipes—and have garnered support as well as criticism. From their full lives pre-nomination to their attitudes while occupying the White House, Vigil builds careful and thoughtful portraits of Melania Trump and Michelle Obama that provide a new appreciation for how these women, and the first ladies that came before them, have shaped our country.
Introduction: Comparing First Ladies
1. Auditioning for First Lady: Their Debut Presidential Campaigns
2. The Transition to the White House: Becoming First Lady
3. Forging Their Own Paths: Michelle and Melania as First Ladies
4. Can't Please Everyone: Managing Criticism and Scandal
5. Presidential Election, Round Two: Campaigning as First Lady
Afterword: Contrasting Michelle Obama and Melania Trump
"Vigil's book is one of the more balanced on this topic, examining the work of both Obama and Trump with a non-sensational, nonpartisan voice that remains honest and doesn't hide anything, and a willingness to retrieve lessons from past administrations as examples. In detail, Vigil also shows why a thick skin is necessary for the spouse in the White House; and then she flips the script, showing how, if a FLOTUS ever decides to opt out and stay home, she'd have history behind her. No doubt, Melania and Michelle is perfect for anyone interested in politics but it will also appeal to the reader who wants a behind-the-scenes look at a job that only a select few will ever hold."~The Washington Informer
"Melania and Michelle goes well beyond the headlines, providing depth and historical context. Vigil illuminates the journeys these women forged, and skillfully threads together their stories into the larger tapestry of First Ladies."~Amy Shanler, Boston University
"Vigil meticulously explores the Office of the First Lady through an analysis of two very different women who came in to the office under two very different circumstances. This book points to the realities of the Office and the stress of constant criticism and appraisal our first ladies endure as a means of understanding how both Michelle and Melania-First Ladies in their own right-manage(d) the office to the best of their abilities."~Jenni Simon, author of Michelle Obama: American Rhetor