Here's some puzzling news. Trump's wife Melania has been honored with the erection of a life-size statue in her home country of Slovenia, and one wonders what her claim to fame is - besides being married to the president. Unlike other wives of the president, she's kept a low profile, except for her occasional appearance as Trump's plus one at official events.

Reasons why

The fact that the statue was installed in her native land and by a native artist, Ales Zupevc, is not the puzzle about why Melania got a statue in her honor.

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The sculpture, made of wood, was commissioned by an American, the artist Brad Downey, which prompts questions. Why is an American artist paying a Slovenia artist for this work? A clue may lie in Downey's sole requirement for the statue, that it represents Melania in the same dress that she wore for her husband's inauguration. Is that it? Was the rationale for the statue a salute to Trump? Thoughts of the president's charity fund paying for it, the way it paid for portraits of him, come to mind.

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Bad reviews

The Daily Mail reports that the citizens of Slovenia don't like the statue, their complaint being that it doesn't look like Melania. And social media users have mocked the statue saying the First Lady is more "wooden" than the statue as if the commemoration of Melania isn't the odd part of the story. More oddness: the idea to honor Melania with a statue didn't come up just this one time. Newsweek reported a proposal in 2017 to erect a statue of her in Bosnia. Again, why?

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By comparison

Besides, don't commemorative statues usually get erected after a person dies? I'm thinking of Eleanor Roosevelt's eight-foot bronze likeness by Penelope Jencks located in Riverside Park in Manhattan's Upper West Side - the first statue of a First Lady anywhere in the U.S. One doesn't need to ask why. The list of her contributions is long. She served as a Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly, wrote a daily newspaper column, a monthly magazine column and hosted a weekly radio show.

It's no wonder that President Harry Truman called her "First Lady of the World."

Other First Ladies

OK, Eleanor Roosevelt was an exception as First Lady. But there have been other wives of presidents who made notable contributions while less showy, were meaningful. There's Sarah Polk who crafted all her husband speeches and all his correspondence, too. And Abigail Fillmore established the White House library, selecting books for the collection.

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Personal best

Then there were the president's wives who paid attention to the health of the nation. Betty Ford spoke openly of her emotional problems, talking freely about psychiatric treatment. Rosalynn Carter also advocated for mental health solutions and was honorary chair of the President's Commission on Mental Health. And Michelle Obama sought to stave off obesity in children with her "Let's Move" exercise program.

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Say what?

To be fair to Melania hasn't been a First Lady for very long. But so far, all that seems memorable of her activism are the words on the back of a jacket she chose to wear just before a visit to our southern border: "I really don't care. Do U?"

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