[E]ven though those who believe that my success is a result of nepotism might be right, they might also be wrong…. [T]here’s just no way to measure the advantage I’ve gained from having the Trump name…. So rather than worrying about what other people think…my focus is to ensure that these successes continue for the next generation of Trumps. After all, we Trumps don’t play to perceptions. We play to win.
Gosh, I sound like my father, don’t I? But that’s what you get from this particular Daddy’s girl.
—Ivanka Trump, from The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life
Ivanka Trump is moving out of her Manhattan apartment to Washington, where, she has said, her biggest job will be to ease her three small children into their new lives, new schools, and new city. The rumor is that she will also serve as a surrogate first lady while Melania Trump stays in New York with her young son. Much as Michelle Obama was concerned with childhood obesity, Ivanka will pursue issues related to women and work, which also happens to be the subject of her forthcoming book, Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success.
No one forced Ivanka to uproot her life like this. She could have remained in New York and assumed the leadership of the Trump Organization along with her brothers Donald Jr. and Eric, while also continuing to work on her own clothing and accessories brand, IvankaTrump.com. Instead, she will leave both to follow her father. It’s the kind of decision she has always made. After graduating from the Wharton School, as her father did, Ivanka decided to go into his business. She married another real-estate scion, a man who’s the virtual double of her father, albeit with better hair. She joined the cast of The Apprentice, because her father ran that. Now, dutiful and unimaginative, Ivanka is following Donald to DC, which he also runs. Many presidential family members have ridden similar coattails throughout this nation’s history, but not when attempting to embody the role of the independent working woman.
For three generations, the Trumps have been a family business. And, as is usual in a traditional family business, Ivanka’s father will bring his son-in-law into the executive sphere rather than his daughter. Jared Kushner, now a senior White House adviser, is just the kind of man that Donald Trump can trust, respect, and rely on, because he’s just like his father-in-law. Most important, Kushner is a man. In his official capacity, he’ll be in charge of bringing peace to the Middle East, among more prosaic tasks like reaching out to the business community. Ivanka has no such official portfolio.
In other words, Trump has left Ivanka to take care of women’s things, like her three little ones and possibly White House dinners, as well as… America’s women. From her new house in Kalorama (no official office, no official desk), Ivanka will be unofficially consulting for her father while Dina Powell works as his new senior adviser on entrepreneurship, economic growth, and women’s economic empowerment. Powell is a well-connected figure on the New York–Washington power axis who will be leaving her position at Goldman Sachs to join the administration. During the transition, she advised Ivanka.