Give Donald Trump and his campaign a lot of credit today for how they handed the headline and picture in this morning’s conservative New York Post: “You’ve never seen a potential First Lady like this!”
The image, and more like it inside the paper, comes from a photo shoot that the Slovenian-model did for a French men’s magazine.
— New York Post (@nypost) July 31, 2016
The nude photos of Melania published in the Post may have been shocking when they were taken in 1995, but in 2016 they are simply no big deal.
Sure, conservative evangelicals would have traditionally gasped at the thought of a potential first lady having once posed for nudie pics. But it’s Donald Trump’s wife and evangelicals jumped on his bandwagon, for better or for worse, months ago.
“Melania was one of the most successful models and she did many photo shoots, including for covers and major magazines,” said Trump. “This was a picture taken for a European magazine prior to my knowing Melania. In Europe, pictures like this are very fashionable and common.”
And Trump is right.
Nudity is less of an issue in Europe, and the fact that Melania posed for the pictures twenty years ago make them a non-issue today.
Certainly less of an issue than, let’s say, a married candidate for New York City mayor who texts pictures of his privates to women he’s trying to hook up with online.
Had Trump responded by threatening to sue the newspaper, deny the pictures were her, or blame the Clinton’s, this would have blown up and been an issue for days.
Instead he simply owned it. Maybe he even planted the pictures with the conservative newspaper to get them out of the way before the fall campaign.
“These are photos that were 20 years old, before Mrs. Trump met Mr. Trump,” said Jason Miller, his communications adviser. “They’re a celebration of the human body as art. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about with the photos. She’s a beautiful woman.”