When it comes to his daughter Ivanka, Donald Trump isn’t shy: she’s his favourite child. And rightly so, given his transactional personality, since she might be the reason he gets elected.
Ms Trump became an integral part of the her father’s campaign at the Republican National Convention in July, where she introduced him moments before he accepted the Republican presidential nomination. During her speech, she was composed and articulate — a far cry from her father.
While Trump senior is known for his provocative comments, sexual assault scandals and Twitter wars, Trump daughter has shown herself to be self-assured, careful in what she says, and apologetic.
Unlike her father who has a habit of attacking criticism head-on, she accepts criticism, even of herself. She told Politico: “I don’t have a problem if somebody who has never met me wants to say that I wouldn’t be where I was today without my family because you know what? They may be right. They probably are right. Who the hell knows?”
The businesswoman has been the candidate’s most influential advisor throughout the campaign, enjoying unparalleled authority. “I think her father really listens to her, and when I say listens to her I mean I think her father respects her a great deal, and not just because she’s his daughter,” politician and family friend Carl Icahn told The New York Times.
The 35-year-old was given the task of humanising her father, of convincing those who only see him as a real-estate mogul, not a viable President of the United States, that he is a good man.
She talked about his “brilliance, passion, his work ethic, and his refusal to take ‘no’ for an answer.” On issues such as women’s rights, child-care and gender equality, she contends that her father has always empowered his female employees. At the Republican National Convention, Ms Trump said: “At my father’s company, there are more female than male executives, women are paid equally for the work that we do, and when a woman becomes a mother she is supported, not shut out.”
Ivanka Trump has tried to appeal to the demographic Trump has not been able to attract: young women and working mums. At a rally in Cleveland, Ohio, Ms Trump said: “Policies that allow women with children to thrive should not be novelties, they should be the norm.” Yet, none of these are issues raised in the Republican platform, and they are in fact completely at odds with many of her father’s views.
Back in 1994, Mr Trump told ABC News: “Putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing.” He continued: “My big mistake with [ex-wife] Ivana was taking her out of the role of wife and allowing her to run one of [his] casinos.”
Ivanka Trump might be making promises the candidate, if elected, will not keep, but she makes them in such a credible, poised and confident manner that she might just get him the votes he needs. She might just get him elected.