She spoke of the wage gap, of the difficulty working mothers have in getting the raises and promotions working fathers do, of the need for affordable child care. Her sleight of hand was a microcosm of the campaign’s: Here was the 35-year-old daughter of a billionaire, wife of a multimillionaire developer, glossy and groomed and convincing a huge swath of the electorate that she understood their struggles.
Yet what does Ivanka Trump really believe? In the course of a normal campaign, a candidate’s spouse comes in for public examination. They make speeches, give interviews, do the ritual “60 Minutes” appearances — because, as the unspoken truth goes, no one has more proximity to a sitting president, let alone power, than the First Spouse…
For those terrified of a Trump presidency, there is some solace in Ivanka, the urban sophisticate who will surely keep her father on the rails. For Trump supporters, she’s an aspirational avatar, proof that they’re not the knuckle-dragging hicks the media claims.
Ivanka can be whatever the electorate wants: She’s registered as neither a Republican nor Democrat, identifying as an independent. She was raised Presbyterian but converted to Orthodox Judaism for her husband. Her mother, Ivana, is a Czech immigrant. Ivanka was raised in immense privilege yet never had the public missteps of peer Paris Hilton. She’s a businesswoman who devotes much of her social media to her kids. She seems very much a feminist, even though her dad has said sexist, misogynistic things.