How can somebody profess to ‘hate’ Ivanka Trump, unless they are motivated by jealousy or have simply not taken the time to hear her speak?
In my opinion, the President would be wise to dispatch his daughter as the purveyor of his messages, because she has a manner of explaining his policies in a way that both Democrats and Republicans can understand. She explains the Trump agenda in a manner which Donald too often fails to: eloquently, non-combatively, and linearly.
Whether you love her, hate her, or fall somewhere in between this spectrum, her appearance on Fox and Friends provided insight and updates on the Trump team’s agenda going forward, much of it substantive in nature.
While We Were Watching Comey, the Trump Team was Talking Infrastructure
Ivanka touched briefly on her father’s reaction to the James Comey hearing in which, despite ample mainstream media muckraking and spin, Trump came out unscathed, perhaps even ‘vindicated,' as Trump himself put it.
While the nation continued to consume the mind-numbing coverage of Jim Comey and still uncorroborated allegations of Russian interference, it was “infrastructure week” at the White House, according to Ivanka.
This included brainstorming policies aimed at improving waterways, rebuilding rural locations which have fallen into “great disrepair,” as well as improving the mechanisms related to air traffic control. Surely they discussed more during the week, but these were three issues that stood out to Ivanka.
The Upcoming Week Will Be Focused on Workforce Development
One of the benefits of Ivanka’s more measured, linear approach to explanations compared with her father is that the structure by which the administration operates is evident in her words.
Having different agendas for each week ensures that the vast array of issues this country faces are considered and acted upon in a continuous, efficient manner.
She described conversations regarding workforce development as revolving around job creation, but did not go into much detail. She made it clear, however, that attacking the issues which Americans elected Donald Trump to address is their number one priority regardless of what the media chooses to focus their attention on.
Education is Something The Administration is Actively Assessing
Ivanka described how she, President Trump, and the Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta would be making a trip to Wisconsin in order to examine one of the country’s premier technical schools.
She expressed the administration’s views on the role skill-based training and apprenticeships will play in the skills gap which America has faced due to oversaturation of four-year colleges, among other reasons:
“There is a viable path other than a four-year college experience,” Ivanka said. “There are 6 million available American jobs, so we’re constantly hearing from CEOs that they have job openings, but they don’t have workers with the skillsets they need to fill those jobs. So (we want to be) bridging that gap, and bringing experience-based education to the forefront.”
She added that although America has de-emphasized experience-based technical education in favor of four-year university degrees, the two are not mutually exclusive, and promoting trade and skills-training schools is a critical aspect of increasing the American workforce and bolstering the economy.
Increasing the Percentage of Women in STEM Fields is a Priority, as is Lessening Part-Time Jobs in Favor of Full-Time
As a tie-in to the discussion about skills training, Ivanka made it clear that women and minorities may be particularly affected, either positively or negatively, depending on how successful promotion of skills-based education ultimately proves.
“While women represent 47% of the overall workforce, we only make up 23% of STEM related occupations. So, we’re moving in the wrong direction in terms of our (female’s) participation (in STEM fields), and that’s something ultimately we’ll need to change.”
Part of this change includes encouraging K-12 age students to consider these fields, while also offering re-training for those who have been structurally pushed out of the workforce.
She added that part of increasing the overall labor participation rate, getting part-time workers on full-time salaries is imperative.
“We need the full participation (in the workforce). So many people are also working jobs that are part-time, and it’s an enormous problem in this country, the number of part-time workers who are working two or three jobs that, collectively, they’re making less than when they worked one job. And, they don’t have access to leave, to vacation, holidays, to traditional benefits.”
Jobs, jobs, jobs, as promised.
Congress will address the Perkins Act next week, which is aimed at injecting funding into these skills-based education institutions.
On the Opposing Forces in Washington
Whether it is the Russia witch hunt or other ceaseless attacks on the President and his family’s character, Ivanka had some reflections on what her first few months in Washington have been like with respect to opposition forces hoping to stymie Trump at every turn.
“It is hard, and there’s a level of viciousness that I was not expecting. I was not expecting the intensity of this experience.”
This is Ivanka, a soft-spoken, subtly beautiful young woman who measures her words so as not to say anything unintended or offend anybody, speaking of the viciousness she has witnessed firsthand for doing nothing more than assisting her father in trying to enact real, positive legislation.
It would be logical that most women, even men, would cede their position. After all, she has plenty she can be doing as a businesswoman and mother other than working in Washington. But the toughness that is masked by her beaming smile and modelesque looks emerge, showing why she should be the official spokeswoman for all things Trump, in my humble opinion. She makes it clear: I, and my father, don’t want your pity.
“This isn’t supposed to be easy. My father and this administration intends to be transformative, and we’re looking to do big, bold things. We’re looking to change the status-quo…for me, I’m trying to keep my head down, not listen to the noise, and just work really hard to make a positive impact in the lives of many people.”
She went on to describe scenarios which she considers truly ‘difficult’: the factory worker who’s been laid off, the mother who’s lost a child to opioid abuse. These, she says, are the real challenges that are facing America, and by extension the Trump administration.
It’s Ivanka’s strength: addressing the issue of viciousness against her father and herself realistically, while keeping the challenges of the Americans that look to them to re-orient the nation in her mind as a form of perspective on what struggle for people far less fortunate than the Trumps really means. She recognizes her privilege and what true struggle really is, and vocalizing the dichotomy between Trump-family ‘struggle, ’ and common American ‘struggle’ is essential to her credibility. The fact that she seems sincere in her concern for the common American’s well-being is even more ingratiating.
She Saw the Trip to Saudi Arabia as Historic
“When you are talking about the historic nature of gathering 54 Muslim and Arab leaders to talk about the goal of eradicating terrorism and to have a collective effort…it was amazing, the leadership my father showed, the way he was able to foster real dialogue, substantive dialogue.”
She added that the trip resulted in the collection of billions of dollars for American businesses through the trade and business infrastructure deal with Saudi Arabia, an irrefutable fact.
Also discussed was the historic, unprecedented flight from Saudi Arabia to Israel, extremely important in its symbolism. Ivanka, who converted to Judaism upon marrying her husband Jared Kushner, found the moment of arriving in Israel and meeting Prime Minister Netanyahu as indescribably impactful for herself.
She goes on to discuss the trip to Rome and the group’s visit with the Pope, highlighting the fact that they encompassed the world’s three largest religions, back-to-back-to-back, in a single trip. Pretty noteworthy stuff, right?
Ivanka’s 12-plus minute interview with Fox and Friends gave us a window into what she offers as an aid to her father, the President, but also what she offers as a professional woman and political figure.
The way in which she pauses, searching for the perfect word in order not to misspeak, is something her father lacks.
She is able to stay on point, detailing in a linear fashion the accomplishments and goals of the administration.
She is non-combative, speaks softly, but carries a big stick. She is clearly an intelligent, articulate, and well-rounded representative not just of the Trump administration, but of the United States.
The fact that she is easy on the eyes, and ears, is secondary, but it doesn’t hurt. Not one bit.