Fatigue could be setting in among members of the Trump family: In an interview with CBS News on Saturday, First Daughter Ivanka Trump indicated she might not return to her role as White House senior adviser for a second Trump term. “I am driven, first and foremost, by my kids and their happiness, so that is always going to be my top priority, and my decisions will always be flexible enough to ensure that their needs are being considered,” she told Margaret Brennan on Face the Nation. “They will really drive that answer for me.”
An immediate question arose from the comment: What, exactly, has Ivanka Trump done in her father’s first presidential term? While the senior adviser did help push for the recent passage of a bill securing 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal workers, her signature initiatives tend to fall short; some of those that have passed, like the increase to the Child Tax Credit, benefit already wealthy families. The idea, popular during the transition, that she could pull her father back from the brink of his lesser tendencies has been proven false as well. In response to the president’s “very fine people on both sides” description of a 2017 white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Ivanka reportedly said, “My dad’s not a racist. He didn’t mean any of it,” rather than speak out against her father’s woeful statement.
On other difficult fronts that would apply to her area of policy interests, like child separation at the border, she has remained silent. In February, when she was asked by The View’s Abby Huntsman why she hadn’t objected to the practice, which affected around 4,300 families, she claimed she was “not president of all women’s issues.” On Face the Nation this past weekend, she again attempted to distance herself from family separation, saying that “immigration is not part of my portfolio.” She has, however, served as a perfect symbol of nepotism on the international stage on at least three occasions: when her father said he considered nominating her to head the World Bank; when her father had her represent the U.S. at G20 talks in 2017, despite her nonexistent foreign-policy record; and when she was seen on video trying to hop into a conversation with world leaders at this year’s G20, despite their clear disinterest.
If Ivanka is out in 2021 — by personal choice or Electoral College loss — she may be leaving with the expectation that it’s not permanent. She has reportedly made a pact with her husband, fellow nepotism icon Jared Kushner, to run for president, while her friends are “100 percent sure” she will enter the race in the near future.