U.S. First Lady Melania Trump urged Americans to “be best” during her years in the White House. But the news that she’s bucked the century-old tradition of welcoming her successor into her home has the anti-bullying campaign front of mind for all the wrong reasons.
Ashley Biden revealed Melania has yet to reach out to her mother, incoming first lady Dr. Jill Biden, in a Tuesday interview with NBC. It’s customary for first ladies to invite the next-in-line on Inauguration Day, a symbolic transition of power that has gone on since the 1920s, The Wrap reports.
“I don’t think they’re doing the traditional protocol, which is unfortunate,” Biden told NBC, but noted that her family is “all OK with it.”
As the Washington Post reports, sometimes these handoff tours pave the way to friendships between first ladies.
Even those on bad terms — like Jackie O and Mamie Eisenhower, or Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush — still took part in the tradition.
Melania herself was welcomed by former first lady Michelle Obama, who opened up last November, in an Instagram post, about how hard it was to rise above her personal issues with outgoing U.S. president Donald Trump’s “racist lies” about her husband to fulfill her duty.
“Donald Trump had spread racist lies about my husband that had put my family in danger. That wasn’t something I was ready to forgive,” she wrote. “But I knew that, for the sake of our country, I had to find the strength and maturity to put my anger aside.”
The Obamas had a warm and positive experience of their own welcome to the White House, given by the Bush family. Although the outgoing and incoming presidents were of opposing political parties, their kids played together on tour day, and the Bush daughters wrote a heartfelt letter full of advice for the Obama girls.
The irony of Melania Trump snubbing Jill Biden, while calling on Americans, in her farewell speech, to “Be Best” was not lost on Twitter.
The imminently former First Lady also skipped a mention of Biden in her farewell address; an omission that was less historically significant, but still notable for its absence.
Watch: U.S. first lady Melania Trump gives farewell address. Story continues below.
Instead of being welcomed by the Trumps, the Bidens will be greeted by White House chief usher Timothy Harleth, according to CNN.
And luckily, as partner to a former vice-president, Jill Biden will be familiar with the floor plan and just fine without a walk-through of the White House with the outgoing first lady.
This development late into her tenure certainly hasn’t helped Melania’s standing as the most disliked first lady in polling history and the owner of a personal Twitter account that many have been vocal about not wanting to follow, in the final days of her tenure as first lady.
She’s also become the butt of jokes about the interior and exterior design changes she made at the renowned residence: People hope Melania’s “sterile” rose garden makeover gets reverted, for one.
And who could forget her “Christmas blood trees” in the east Colonnade?
One notable change by Melania, at least, may become a first lady tradition: following Melania’s decision in years prior to not move into the building until the Obamas’ toilets were replaced, the Bidens may be sitting on different porcelain seats of power, too. Apart from the six-figure deep-cleaning ahead of their arrival, TMZ alleges that the White House’s first lady offices will undergo a $1.5-million bathroom renovation.
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