The latest twist in the ongoing mystery of the president's marriage occurred over the weekend, and one late night host took the opportunity to point out exactly how bizarre it was. Jimmy Kimmel mocked Melania and Donald Trump's awkward handshake from their trip to Andrews Air Force Base on Saturday, only the most recent of the First Couple's curiously awkward public displays of affection.
The incident was caught on camera while the president and first lady were visiting Andrews Air Force Base to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Air Force. Melania Trump introduced her husband, who was standing just to her right onstage, and Trump greeted her with a handshake before motioning for her to get off the stage — not exactly the most husbandly behavior. Melania's own reaction was priceless enough, but since the cringeworthy moment, many people have had their own equally hilarious responses, including Kimmel, who joked during his Monday night show:
That's, you know, that's how it goes when you're in a relationship. My wife and I shake hands before bed every night. He shut her down like a robot from Westworld. You go sit down. She should've walked off that stage and kept walking all the way to Slovenia.
The on-air awkwardness at Andrews joins the list of Donald and Melania's greatest hits, such as when the first lady appeared to slap her husband's hand away on the airport runway in Tel Aviv. Another classic — when Trump forgot to put his hand on his heart for the National Anthem at the Easter Egg Roll, and Melania had to shove her husband to remind him. And never forget the very first entry in the log, when Melania's smile went from 60 to 0 in no time at the inauguration — it truly never gets old.
Though these uncomfortable moments admittedly have little political relevance, they are so frequently caught on camera that they pretty much demand public comment. It's unbecoming for the nation to collectively gawk at anyone's marriage, but it's almost impossible not to wonder about the inner workings of the Trump's marriage, given what they have broadcast about it to the American public.
Almost everyone has their own theory — that Melania secretly hates her husband and she's not even trying to hide it, or that she feels a prisoner trapped in a high-class world where she's not really happy. Only the first couple knows the truth and they don't seem like they will actually open up to the public about their marriage (which they arguably shouldn't from a political standpoint), so all that's left is conjecture and curiosity.
Melania Trump has also been criticized for not having a strong identity as a first lady until recently, which might be explained in part by this video. Other than her early modeling career, she hasn't particularly longed for the spotlight, even though she certainly had the resources to chase a prolific career in the entertainment industry. She doesn't seem particularly comfortable speaking in front of a crowd, and she and her husband clearly aren't always the most fluid team in public. Melania is still a largely unknown quantity, and she may not feel comfortable making public appearances often.
Whatever backstory there is behind this critically awkward moment for the Trumps, it's at least given the country something to laugh about for the past few days. Between hurricanes, healthcare reform, and immigration, Americans have been under a lot of stress lately. Thankfully, though, putting the president and first lady together in public usually creates some kind of hilarious misadventure to take your mind off the big stuff for a moment.