Why Ivanka will continue to be Trump’s shadow in his presidency

More often than not, we've seen Ivanka trying to clean the mess her father has made. When she has stood behind Trump during his speeches, it has often helped – even mildly so – in softening his image.

Written by Radhika Iyengar | Published: December 23, 2016 8:02 pm
ivanka trump, donald trump, #NotMyPresident, donald trump #NotMyPresident, us presidential elections, us presidential elections results, world news, web edit, indian express web edit Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with US President-elect Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, at Trump Tower in Manhattan. Source: File/ Reuters

When Trump became the President-elect, the world sat in shock and watched in a daze. The result saw a fractured country split right down the middle. Many Democratic supporters took to the streets to protest. They chanted #NotMyPresident. Since the time Trump announced that he was running for Presidency, he has been the target of ridicule by the liberals. He has consistently received flak from them for his perception of women, and for his position on several issues including climate change. Unfortunately, this flak has spilled onto his family members, particularly Ivanka Trump.

More often than not, we’ve seen Ivanka trying to clean the mess her father has made. When she has stood behind Trump during his speeches, it has often helped – even mildly so – in softening his image. When the infamous tape leaked which revealed Trump’s appalling misdemeanor towards women, many of us felt that it was the beginning of Trump’s downfall. Immediately however, Ivanka emerged in the public eye to mend her father’s faltering image. In an interview she shared that when she was growing up, she saw her father hire many women at his company. It informed her that she could also do anything, regardless of her gender.

As Trump’s political campaign witnessed several troughs and crests (many of which were marred by his own gaffes), one might have thought that Ivanka – the white, wealthy, beautiful, independent business woman – had been pulled into the campaign purely for damage control purposes. Increasingly however, it appears that she is more of a part of collateral damage instead. For instance, Ivanka was recently derided by a passenger traveling with her on a JetBlue flight. “Your father is ruining the country!” the passenger told her off. He was eventually pulled off the plane.

A public figure in her own right, Ivanka has often been the target of contention, receiving the backlash for all the misdemeanors her father has uninhibitedly and unapologetically made. When Donald Trump’s sexual assault allegations reached vertiginous heights for instance, it affected Ivanka’s business. Several women boycotted Ivanka’s eponymous clothing, jewelry and perfume lines, even though she expressed condemnation for her father’s offensive statements. The fact that Ivanka continued to support her father’s campaign despite posing herself to be a cheerleader for women’s rights, worked to her disadvantage.

Then, in November, her book ‘The Trump Card’ received a scathing review by The New Yorker. In the book, Ivanka Trump had described the idea of being born with a silver spoon as a “handicap”. She had pointed out that despite being born in wealth and despite using her father’s business empire as the foundation to build her career, she had to battle her way to earn the position at the board of directors at Trump Entertainment Resorts. She also claimed that it was tiring to be poorly judged for her capabilities, only because she carried her father’s name and had beauty and youth on her side. She called all of that – a disadvantage. And the publication flayed her book alive for it.

Now with just a month left for Trump to be sworn into office, the 35-year-old is at the precipice of becoming a solid, influential first daughter. Ivanka has been systematically interacting with foreign leaders and holding meetings with political authorities. A constant presence at Trump’s side, she even accompanied Trump on his private meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Abe, for which she received derision as well.

Ivanka’s identity has been inextricably linked to Trump’s campaign, which will soon be extended to his Presidency. In fact, it has been acknowledged that Ivanka will soon adopt the role of the First Lady, setting up her office in the East Wing. Regardless of the backlash she has been receiving therefore, Ivanka is poised to become one the most powerful first daughters the United States has seen in a while.

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