Melania Trump released her farewell message as first lady on Monday, asking people to "choose love over hatred" and be passionate but avoid violence. So what's next for the 50-year-old first lady after Wednesday? Expect her to keep a low profile for the near future in Florida, writes Mary Jordan at the Washington Post. Eventually, she plans to expand her Be Best program on cyberbullying and to play a large role in the selection of the site for the Trump presidential library, as well as in its design. Coverage:
- The mood: "Melania is good," one source tells Jordan. Her husband may be furious, but Melania reportedly made her peace with the election loss and started packing in November. The story describes her as "completely unfazed" by the criticism of the president and herself since Jan. 6. She's all about focusing on the future, not brooding on the past, says another.
- A criticism: Melania will be the first modern first lady not to give her successor a personal walk-through of the White House living quarters, writes Kate Anderson Brower at CNN. That's a shame, she adds. "Ceremony matters. Traditions matter. Our expectations about what's normal and civil behavior in our society matters."
- Another: Glamour notes that the first lady continues to take a lot of flak online over Be Best, with the general theme that her husband is "arguably the world's biggest bully," writes Christopher Rosa.
- A counter: Kellyanne Conway tells Jordan of the Post that Melania wanted nothing to do with the Jan. 6 speech by her husband and was the only family member to skip it. Conway says the first lady was working in the White House and not watching TV when violence erupted at the Capitol, and urged the president to intervene when she heard about it.
- Big moments: The Independent runs them down, from Melania's "I really don't care. Do U?" jacket, to the memes about her refusing to hold her husband's hand at various public events.
- Other Melania: The first lady is leaving, and so is the other Melania (Laura Benanti) who appears on the Stephen Colbert show. She departed Monday night with an epic musical number from the "Be-Bestest" city of New York in which New Yorkers give fake Melania an earful. Watch it here.
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