Ivanka Trump is floating the idea of leaving the White House if her father is re-elected. “I am driven first and foremost by my kids and their happiness,” she told CBS in an interview. “So that’s always going to be my top priority.”
Let’s put aside the horror of a second Trump term and the irony of Ivanka worried about her kids’ happiness when her father is locking up immigrant children in cages. The real question is: Will anyone notice if she leaves?
When Trump was first elected, people desperate to grasp any straw of hope thought that Ivanka might be a restraint on her father’s worst impulses, particularly around LGBTQ rights. There was a positive sign early on when the Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner were reported to have killed an executive order repealing Obama-era employment protections for federal contractors. (It was also a sign of how well the Kushners can spin the media with their own leaks.)
Of course, that victory was short-lived. Trump issued an executive order last August paving the way for federal contractors to discriminate if God tells them to. The Kushners were distinctly absent from the stories around that attack on LGBTQ rights.
Ditto the ban on transgender military personnel. Ivanka apparently learned about the ban when her father tweeted it. She had just hosted one the ban’s biggest supporters, Mike Pence, at dinner the night before. While it’s plausible that the president was just being his impulsive self, it was certainly convenient for Ivanka to claim that she was out of the loop.
Ivanka’s record never got better. She posed all smiles with a pastor who said marriage equality was the work of Satan. She even donated $50,000 to an anti-LGBTQ church. All of which makes Ivanka’s 2017 tweet about how wonderful LGBTQ people are, to use one of her father’s favorite terms, fake news.
Ivanka’s carefully cultivated image of a modern, independent woman simply doesn’t square with the feral nationalism that her father sells. The idea that you can work in an administration that has systematically rolled back LGBTQ progress and still present yourself as a beacon of humanity is hard to square.
But then again, like her father Ivanka seems more concerned about the press she gets and the money she makes. The softball interview with CBS allowed her to dodge responsibility for the worst excesses of the Trump administration, including its cruel family separation policy. She simply refuses to take responsibility for anything that looks bad.
Like father, like daughter. Neither would be missed.