WASHINGTON (AFP) — Ivanka Trump, the omnipresent first daughter who may harbor White House ambitions of her own, has remained her president father’s loyal senior adviser, seeking to humanize him at the Republican National Convention as she introduced the “warrior” standing for reelection in November.
Of Donald Trump’s five children, Ivanka was the only one invited to address the final night of the RNC Thursday — interpreted as a sign of the president’s closeness to her.
But if Ivanka Trump is presenting herself as the heir apparent carrying the family political banner into 2024 and beyond, she has competition from her older brother Donald Jr., who is a political force unto himself.
The telegenic 38-year-old Ivanka relished her repeat role at the Republican National Convention, recalling how she took the stage as a relative newcomer to national politics in 2016 when she introduced her father as the party’s nominee.
“Four years ago I told you I would fight alongside my father, and four years later here I am,” she said.
With a recording of Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” blaring, she strode out to cheers from more than 1,000 non-social-distancing guests packed into seats on the South Lawn of the White House.
She appeared comfortable and confident as she proclaimed “the people’s president” as a man of conviction who would once again be a champion of the American worker, “our voice for the forgotten men and women” of the United States.
“Now more than ever, America needs four more years of a warrior in the White House,” she said to a roar, before addressing her father directly.
“Dad, people attack you for being unconventional. But I love you for being real and I respect you for being effective.”
“I recognize that my dad’s communication style is not to everyone’s taste. And I know that his tweets can feel a bit unfiltered,” she said. “But the results, the results speak for themselves.”
She also painted the president as a family man who keeps her son’s Lego replica of the White House in the Oval Office “to show world leaders just so they know he has the greatest grandchildren on earth.”
When Trump took the stage afterwards he thanked his “amazing daughter” and asked her to stand up, as her siblings remained seated.
Accused of benefiting from a nepotistic connection to the commander in chief, Ivanka Trump holds a broad White House portfolio focusing on education, women’s empowerment, job creation, workforce development and entrepreneurship.
While her husband Jared Kushner has been given his own outsized role seeking Middle East peace, Ivanka often aligns herself with key domestic initiatives of the president, as she adroitly did Thursday with Trump’s bid to lower prescription drugs.
“Now, when we see attack ads from Big Pharma, my dad smiles and says to me ‘You know, we’re doing something really right if they’re hitting us so hard,'” she said.
While she is cool elegance and soft-spoken effectiveness, an insider who hosts women’s roundtables at the White House, brother Don Jr inherited their father’s bombastic, rabble-rousing style.
Speaking to the convention on Monday, the son served as dutiful attack dog against his father’s election rival Joe Biden, branding him the “Loch Ness monster” of the Washington swamp who “sticks his head up every now and then to run for president, then he disappears and doesn’t do much in between.”
He also connects on a basic, intuitive level with Trump voters, often taking to conservative radio and other media to blast Democrats and convince working-class Americans that his father deserves their vote.