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July 18, 2016 at 9:37 am

Jellison Interviewed on Melania Trump’s Possible Role as First Lady

NPR’s Mara Liasson interviewed Dr. Katherine Jellison, Professor and Chair of History, for a story on “Melania Trump Poised To Move From Sidelines To Spotlight.”

Dr. Katherin Jellison

Dr. Katherin Jellison

Donald Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, may be quiet but she’s not invisible….

But it’s not so clear exactly what kind of first lady she would be, according to Katherine Jellison, a Professor of History at Ohio University, who studies first families.

“She really hasn’t been forthcoming about how she would see herself as a First Lady. So, you know, scholars have nothing to go on there,” said Jellison.

But Melania Trump has left some clues.

“I think she will be a quiet first lady. Because that’s been her demeanor throughout the campaign — someone who doesn’t weigh in on policy issues,” Jellison said. “If history is any guide, she might be sort of a Jackie Kennedy type, a well-dressed woman who will be seen as popular in the women’s magazines but largely stays quiet and on the sidelines in terms of her public image.”

Jellison also was interviewed for a wire story on “Melania Trump speaks to a nation that’s rarely heard her voice.”

…Her public speaking largely has been limited to introducing her husband. “I don’t see her going much beyond that kind of role,’’ says Katherine Jellison, an Ohio University historian and expert on first ladies.

And, she notes, the primary traditional roles for a nominee’s spouse are booster and character witness. Donald Trump is willing and able to tout himself.

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