Will Ivanka Trump Give Up on Paying for the Sins of Her Father?
As the probability of Donald Trump winning the election diminishes, Ivanka Trump appears to be inching away from her father’s campaign in an effort to re-establish her own brand.
Earlier this month, she appeared in a Business Insider video titled “Revealing 3 Things You Should Avoid When Negotiating,” advising against giving a range, negotiating vie email and talking too much in a negotiation.
There was not a single mention of her father, the Republican nominee and credited author of “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” not even to acknowledge him as her business mentor or the inspiration of her negotiation wisdom.
Should Trump lose the election, how far will she go to distance herself from his campaign, his xenophobia and his misogyny?
I couldn’t help but wonder when I was approached earlier this summer to contribute, for free, salary negotiation advice for #WomenWhoWork campaign on IvankaTrump.com. I said thanks but no thanks.
As a public speaker and negotiation consultant with She Negotiates, I’m typically open to providing content to women-focused sites. It’s my thing to help working women of all backgrounds become bold, brave and well-paid by coaching them to negotiation success. But I couldn’t stand by Ivanka Trump or her platform, while she continues to be Donald Trump’s defender-in-chief.
In the excellent New Yorker article “Ivanka and Jared’s Power Play,” Lizzie Widdicombe paints a nuanced portrait of Ivanka Trump as devoted and loyal daughter. Lizzicombe concludes that she is not likely to act against the interests of her family by publicly breaking with its patriarch, Donald Trump.
Instead of speaking up against his toxic and divisive statements, she has tried in private to persuade him to “clarify his statements” about Mexicans and immigrants. She went so far as to write a “clarification” document for him. It went unused.
In August, at the Republican National Convention, she tried to convince the American public that he is the best presidential candidate for the job.
Ivanka Trump is well-poised and gracious. She uses her charm to boost her brand and to lend an air of likability to the Trump campaign. But her words and actions reveal a conflict of personal interests.
To start, how can she run a site “designed to inspire and empower women” while at the same time advocating for a man who treats working women as ornaments, to be ogled and to be fondled but never to have real power?
As baffling as it is, the contradiction between her words and her action also hint at how far she really can go in distancing herself from Donald Trump, should she ever choose to act in accordance with her own political viewpoints, not the dictatorial whims of her father.
At the Republican National Convention, she proposed that the next president of the United States will focus on making child care accessible and affordable for all. She also proposed that the next president would fight for equal pay for equal work and that she would fight right alongside that president.
Is it too far-fetched to imagine that, at heart, Ivanka Trump wants to root for #ImWithHer campaign, alongside her real-life best friend Chelsea Clinton? I don’t think so, especially considering she has in the past donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats, including Hillary Clinton when she ran for Senate and president.
After all is said and done, after Ivanka Trump has maneuvered herself out from under the shadow of Donald Trump’s failed presidential campaign, I doubt that she will encounter much friction flip-flopping back to the Democrats.
Armed with graciousness, fame, wealth and rich friends in high places, there’s really no limit how far she can go to distance herself from her father’s legacy of hate and misogyny.
A lot can change in four years. There are no promises for the surprises that await us in 2020. Who knows? Maybe Ivanka Trump will be back on the campaign trail standing behind Hillary Clinton, the incumbent who made childcare more accessible and fought for equal pay for equal work.
My bet is that two incredibly shrewd, rich and well-connected women like Hillary Clinton and Ivanka Trump working towards mutual benefit can be just as terribly wonderful or wonderfully terrible as two men in power.
But first, Hillary would need to triumph over Donald this November. And Ivanka would have to stop making a contradiction of herself. She’d have to give up on paying for the sins of her father.