It’s official. Melania Trump is stepping into the White House and Michelle Obama’s shoes. They will be tough to fill. Michelle Obama has been one of the most popular First Ladies America has ever seen – some people are already calling for her to run in 2020.
She has also made a difference. Her initiatives on girls’ education, healthy eating and parenting have had a huge impact in America, while her speeches are hailed as inspirational for women across the world.
In contrast Melania Trump has only given a few speeches – two of which have been plagued with accusations of plaigiarism from past speeches by Michelle Obama. So how do they compare, and where do they both stand on major issues today?
Melania Trump: “Do we want a country that respects women and provides them with equal opportunity? I will be an advocate for women and children.”
Michelle Obama: “You see, in my lifetime – and I’m not that old – it was perfectly legal for employers to discriminate against women. In my lifetime, women were not legally allowed to make fundamental decisions about their bodies –- and practically speaking, many still can’t. In my lifetime, domestic violence was seen as a private matter between a man and his wife rather than as the horrific crime that it is. And today, it is so easy to take for granted all the progress we’ve made on these kinds of issues.
“But the fact is that right now, today, so many of these rights are under threat from all sides, always at risk of being rolled back if we let our guard down for a single minute. These issues aren’t settled. These freedoms that we take for granted aren’t guaranteed in stone. And they certainly didn’t just come down to us as a gift from the heavens. No, these rights were secured through long, hard battles waged by women and men who marched, and protested, and made their voices heard in courtrooms and boardrooms and voting booths and the halls of Congress.”
Melania Trump: “Do we want a country where every child has access to a good education? I want our children in this country and around the world to live a beautiful life. To be safe and secure.”
Michelle Obama: “Sixty-two million girls around the world aren’t in school, and the first thing that comes to my mind is, ‘That could’ve been me.’ [I think about] how I would have felt at the age of 10 or 11 or 12 if somebody walked up and said, ‘That’s it. Your dreams are over! You’re going to have to leave school and get married to somebody twice your age and start having kids.'”
Melania Trump (in 2016): “We want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”
Michelle Obama (in 2008): “We want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”
Melania Trump (in 2016): “From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise; that you treat people with respect.”
Michelle Obama (in 2008): “You work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.”
On Donald Trump:
Melania Trump: “We have incredible sex at least once a day. Sometimes even more.”
Michelle Obama: “I can’t believe that I’m saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women. This is disgraceful, it is intolerable, and it doesn’t matter what party you belong to. No woman deserves to be treated this way — none of us deserves this kind of abuse.”
On social media:
Melania Trump: “It is never OK when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked, bullied or attacked. It is terrible when it happens on the playground, and it is absolutely unacceptable when it is done by someone with no name hiding on the internet. We have to find a better way to talk to each other.”
Michelle Obama: We can fool ourselves into thinking that everybody is still watching the evening news, but I live with Generation Z, and I know that their habits, the way they take in information in, is so different. And they’ve changed… We’ve got to meet our constituents where they are, and they’re on Snapchat.”
Melania Trump: “I’m an immigrant, and let me tell you, no one values the freedoms and opportunities of America more than me. Both as an independent woman and someone who immigrated to America.”
Michelle Obama: “Right now, when we’re hearing so much disturbing and hateful rhetoric, it is so important to remember that our diversity has been — and will always be — our greatest source of strength and pride here in the United States. We are a nation of immigrants. And we should cherish the talent and energy and the beautiful traditions and cultures that come with that heritage, not just today but every day.”