First Lady Melania Trump announced Tuesday night that Anna Cristina Niceta Lloyd will serve as the new White House social secretary.
The appointment of Niceta Lloyd is an intriguing one, in part because the first lady plucked a longtime Washington resident rather than a New Yorker she knows personally to throw White House parties and State Dinners. Niceta Lloyd executed major inaugural events for administrations of both political parties, and for five secretaries of state dating back to Bill Clinton’s turn in the Oval Office.
Reed Galen, a veteran of both of George W. Bush’s campaigns and his administration, quipped:
“So far Mrs. Trump is winning the contest for hiring staff with relevant prior experience for their White House roles.”
The timing of Niceta Lloyd’s appointment is just as notable.
Earlier in the day, President Trump took to Twitter to complain about Nordstrom’s decision to suspend the sale of his daughter, Ivanka Trump’s clothing line in its stores:
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
The company says it dropped the line due to falling sales, but the president alleged it was Nordstrom’s opposition to his executive order halting immigration from seven countries overseas.
It had the effect of elevating Ivanka Trump and lifting her visibility over her stepmother less than a week after she accompanied her father to Dover Air Force Base for the funeral of a fallen Navy SEAL.
And yet, Ivanka Trump has denied she will serve as the de facto first lady, particularly while Melania Trump remains in New York City for the next several months so her son, Barron Trump, can finish the school year there. News stories are beginning to stack up questioning her whereabouts, and the New York Times noticed this week that, in her first reappearance in almost two weeks, she was wearing clothes designed by a European.
The White House statement announcing Niceta Lloyd was carefully designed to flip that image, noting that she enjoys ties to Jackie Kennedy’s East Wing of yore:
Ms. Niceta Lloyd is married to Thomas Lloyd, grandson of the late Bunny Mellon, wife of Paul Mellon, friend and mentor to Jacqueline Kennedy. Mrs. Mellon was instrumental in designing the White House Rose Garden with First Lady Mrs. Kennedy. Ms. Niceta Lloyd’s formidable precision and elegance was greatly influenced by Mrs. Mellon.
One more note on Niceta Lloyd: Her name is not just long; it’s complicated. First, she goes by Rickie. Second, the White House misspelled her second name in the headline of its press release, writing Christina rather than Cristina in its email announcement.