When the poised young woman walked across the stage at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to introduce her dad who would be accepting the Republican nomination for President of the United States, there were some after effects. Within hours of her polished and affably delivered speech, Macys.com had sold out of the blush, ‘Sleeveless Studded Sheath Dress’ from the Ivanka Trump Collection for $138 and speaking invitations from Republican groups around the country were pouring in.
She was instantly perceived by politicos as an unparalleled first daughter; one who could legitimately address the issues of working women and mothers in the workforce, business conferences, and audiences from both sides of the aisle. One historian was heard to whisper “there hasn’t been anyone like her since Alice Roosevelt! Only she’s all positive.”
She already has two million followers on Twitter, 1,464,052 likes on Facebook, and 1.1 million followers on Instagram. Besides working with her brothers at the Trump Organization as Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions (where she is much lauded for overseeing the acquisition and build-out of the Trump National Doral Resort in Miami), she runs the Ivanka Trump Collection, her own personal venture. Clearly, she has a work ethic and to her friends is known as a hands on mother who recently gave birth to her third child. She can be seen on the streets of the Upper East side of New York City trick-or-treating with her children or cooking with them in her kitchen. What’s there not to like?
One of the other potential first daughter aftermaths is blatantly negative: the role of chief defender. When at a small recent gathering in Chicago, upon hearing how warmly the voters responded to Ivanka’s thoughtful and well-spoken delivery, her proud dad, the boss, enthused that he should relieve Ivanka from some of her office responsibilities to allow her to accompany him on the campaign trail. The girl that once danced in the American School Ballet Theater’s Nutcracker as a child is now having to tap dance around the “he said, she said” political issues of this unprecedented 2016 Presidential Campaign and the big headliner of sexual harassment. Ivanka is now having to juggle speaking honestly and directly to her audience of fellow working women and mothers with whom she has a long history of shared women-in-the-workplace concerns while tempering both the views of the Republican Party Platform and the perceived positions of her dad.
“I think harassment in general, regardless, sexual or otherwise, is totally inexcusable and if it transpires it needs to be reported and it needs to be dealt with on a company level,” Ivanka replied when asked about the issue of sexual harassment by Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren on Tuesday night brought to the forefront by Roger Ailes’ dismissal as head of Fox News. Ivanka, who has been on the cover of Forbes Women and a featured speaker at their annual Women’s Summit, is a trailblazer in women’s rights in the workplace. Her outreach to working women is quantifiable and substantiated in her speeches and even in her 2009 book, The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life. Their issues are her issues and are expressed regularly on her website ivankatrump.com and in her email newsletters. She is a working mother sharing her experiences and hard earned lessons with her readers and customers in an effort to empower them as #WomenWhoWork.
Ivanka’s greatest strength in dealing with all of this political maneuvering and staying true to her core beliefs is her finely honed sense of diplomacy. Having grown up amongst demanding adults and having her family regularly featured in the tabloids, she has cultivated an impressively powerful yet dainty dialogue that enables her to bring people together. Or at the very least, as she tackles each issue with knowledge and delicacy and by all means an absence of anger she is a solution and common ground finder, which is why she has been able to have a long term friendship with Chelsea Clinton even as both women are currently taking a hiatus. The same diplomatic strain allows her to be a whisperer in her father’s ear and inspires loyalty in the millions of women who follow her. And sit at a table with warring buyers and sellers or Democrats and Republicans. One can’t help thinking that while first daughter and first sister are possibilities, so is President of the United States.