She Thought Everyone in DC Would Be 'So Nice.' Maybe Not?

Louise Linton, wife of Steven Mnuchin, tells 'Washingtonian' of adapting to 'mean girls' town
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2018 11:55 AM CDT
Updated Apr 8, 2018 3:00 PM CDT
Louise Linton Tries to Find Her Footing in 'Mean Girls' DC
In this Jan. 20, 2017, photo, then Treasury Secretary-designee Stephen Mnuchin and his then-fiancee, Louise Linton, arrive on Capitol Hill for the presidential inauguration.   (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Louise Linton has been the subject of much interest since her arrival in DC, as evidenced by not just one profile on her, but now a second. The latest take on Steven Mnuchin's wife comes via the Washingtonian, and author Elaina Plott poses one big question: "Is DC being too mean" to Linton? She finds, first off, Linton seemed completely unprepared (and perhaps a bit naïve) for "Beltway's mean-girl social set," and that even now she may not completely get DC's "circumscribed code"—whether that involves what to wear (Linton "likes to look sexy," per Plott), posing with sheets of money, or social foibles at high-profile parties and charity fetes. "I thought she was totally ridiculous," one philanthropist says of Linton after meeting her at an outdoor gathering, adding that Linton didn't know how to handle the dignitary she was seated next to. "She changed her place card," the philanthropist tells Plott.

Linton disputes that characterization of her—"I'm not some ditzy moron who has no idea how to deal with a diplomat as if they're some exotic animal"—and so do others. "She is charming, graceful, poised, and delightful," the wife of the Kuwaiti ambassador says. Linton remains baffled at her new environment. "It was so strange because I thought Washington was going to be so grown-up and everyone was going to be so nice," she tells Plott, revealing she learned over time she couldn't be "as open or as silly or as goofy with new friends here." But despite her troubles, Plott says Linton "will now have you know she has found her footing," including making friends with a few Cabinet wives and her wedding planner and learning to brush off criticism for any past faux pas. "Perhaps it's not exactly right to say that Linton still doesn't get Washington," Plott writes. "Perhaps it's just that she no longer cares." More on how Linton has been adapting to DC here. (More Longform stories.)

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