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Joe Biden is leading in the national polls in the presidential race, with US citizens set to hit the ballot boxes tomorrow. However, after Mr Trump’s surprise victory in 2016, the Democrats are not taking anything for granted. Although the party was initially divided over who to nominate as their candidate, the Democrats seem to have united that Mr Biden is the credible opponent to Mr Trump primarily by not being Mr Trump.
By extension, Mr Biden’s wife, Jill, may have a greater influence than expected.
Commentator Rozina Sabur noted: “In an election where women voters may play a decisive role in the result, his wife may hold an ace in not being Melania.”
The two women are completely different, after all.
Dr Biden spent eight years in the White House as the Second Lady, but only really burst into her husband’s political career when she gave a deeply personal address for the Democratic Convention in August.
The speech, delivered from a classroom, won the respect of politicians across the board.
Even Mr Trump’s ally, Republican senator Lindsey Graham, tweeted that “Jill Biden did a very good job” and that she is an “outstanding person”.
Dr Biden also bucked White House trends when she chose to continue teaching English full-time at a community college when she was Second Lady, and says she intends to continue teaching if Mr Biden is elected.
In comparison, Mrs Trump, former businesswoman and model, has been relatively enigmatic during her time in the White House.
She once said she wanted to be “very traditional” if she were to ever become First Lady, akin to “Betty Ford or Jackie Kennedy”.
She has played a small role in her husband’s campaigns, which is unusual — her step-daughter Ivanka Trump is perceived as the forefront figure in Mr Trump’s political ventures instead.
A conspiracy theory about her has also resurfaced recently, with fans speculating that the President used a body double to replace his wife during public engagements.
Mr Trump even took to Twitter himself to shut the remarks down, tweeting: “The Fake News photoshopped pictures of Melania, then propelled conspiracy theories that it’s actually not her by my side in Alabama and other places.
“They are only getting more deranged with time.”
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The First Lady also received some bad press when she was accused of plagiarising Michelle Obama’s 2008 address for the Democratic Convention for her own speech eight years later, at the Republican National Convention.
Mrs Trump then received more widespread criticism when she donned a jacket with ‘I don’t really care, do you?’ on the back during a trip to a migrant child detention centre — although her spokeswoman said there was “no hidden message” intended at the time.
Yet, Mrs Trump later said that the jacket was meant for the “people and for the left-wing media who are criticising me”.
Despite her more subdued political presence when compared to Dr Biden, the Washington Post’s Mary Jordan has maintained that the First Lady is one of Mr Trump’s “most important sounding boards” and greatest supporters.
In this element, she is similar to Dr Biden.
Writing for The Telegraph, Ms Sabur explained: “A self-professed introvert, Dr Biden has always been reticent about entering the political spotlight, although she is often described as Joe Biden’s biggest defender and one of his best assets.
“She is also said to be one of his most trusted political advisers, reportedly playing a pivotal role in helping Mr Biden narrow down his list of potential running mates.”
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