How Ivanka Trump Could Prove To Be Her Father's Most Powerful Weapon
By Asma Khalid
Ivanka Trump is thought to be one of Donald Trump’s most influential advisers, a person who can persuade him to hire or fire someone. She will introduce him Thursday night at the Republican National Convention — perhaps her biggest stage yet.
But in the public eye, she sounds very different from her father. While he is blunt, she is noticeably careful in choosing her words.
She described her father to a reporter from Fortune magazine as someone who is very candid. “I am probably not as likely to say what’s on my mind and I think most people aren’t,” she said. “So I admire his ability to do it, it’s not something I would always want to be doing. That’s why I’m not a politician.”
But Ivanka, 34, has street cred where her father struggles — with women.
Polls show a majority of women have an unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump. The big question is, can Ivanka persuade some female voters to support her father?
Libby Wuller, who recently attended a party hosted by RightNOW Women’s PAC, which works to get Republican women into office, said although she is no fan of Trump and his rhetoric about women, she is impressed with Ivanka.
“She’s intelligent; she’s strong-willed; she has an entrepreneurial spirit. Being a young woman working in the startup space, these are qualities I admire in her,” Wuller said. Despite liking those qualities, however, Wuller said it’s not enough to make her cast her vote for Donald Trump.
However, another young woman, Larissa Martinez, said Ivanka could influence this campaign. “I think she could actually help her father and her father’s operation when it comes to outreach to women because I think there’s a lot of Republican women that identify with some of the balances with family versus professional,” she said. “She’s very eloquent, she speaks very well and I think that she could help mold the way he talks to women.”
At a millennial town hall in Cleveland, a large group of young Republicans agreed that Ivanka is their favorite member of the Trump family.
One of those voters, Gabby Lurrs, said she admires Ivanka’s beauty and poise and that her appeal has nothing to do with political issues.
“She probably keeps her thoughts to herself a little more than her dad does,” Lurrs said. “But I don’t know her views on everything. And I don’t think anyone does, because she kind of keeps it to herself.”
Another woman at the town hall, Isabel Reid, isn’t sure she will vote for Trump, but she does appreciate that Ivanka is one of his close advisers. “She comes off as being intelligent, a smart businesswoman, and someone who’s more informed than her father,” Reid said.
This goodwill for Ivanka may prove to be a powerful political weapon for her father. And while she might not be able to flip votes, she could very well solidify support for him.
Thursday night, when she addresses the Republican convention, Ivanka, more than anyone else, might be the one to humanize her father to skeptical voters.