The United States continues to hurtle towards the 2020 presidential elections, but President Donald Trump is apparently already thinking even further ahead. During a conversation with reporter Elaina Plott ahead of a profile of his daughter and adviser Ivanka for The Atlantic, he suggested that Ivanka would be a strong presidential contender if she ever decided to enter the fray — presumably, only after he himself ran out of re-election opportunities.
‘If she ever wanted to run for president, I think she’d be very, very hard to beat.’
To be clear, Ivanka’s only experience in elected office or government in general is her role advising her father, which has often sparked allegations of nepotism compounded by the fact that sometimes it’s an open question what she’s actually doing.
In the same conversation with Plott, Trump touted Ivanka as “good with numbers” as an explanation for why he considered nominating her to serve at the World Bank, although a description that could easily be applied to a middle schooler who got an A on their math test isn’t exactly reassuring when used for a possible future career in national and global politics. Besides positions at the World Bank and the U.S. presidency, Trump also suggested that Ivanka would have been a good fit as the United States’ Ambassador to the United Nations — although again, she has close to no political experience, even though the president claimed her to be “a natural diplomat.”
Her past doesn’t match up with that. She tried to get a proposal for paid family leave passed that hasn’t gotten anywhere, in large part since there’s a lot more to the story than simply providing for working new parents. The plan she put forward with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) would have required parents benefiting from the program to lose corresponding amounts of their possible eventual Social Security benefits.
Trump offered an attempt at tangible evidence for Ivanka’s political prowess during his talk with Plott, but it was a complete lie. He claimed — as he’s done before and as she herself has done — that Ivanka helped create millions of jobs. She did not. In reality, she has helped lead the National Council for the American Worker alongside Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, which has gathered pledges for career training opportunities from hundreds of companies. However, that training is available to already employed workers, and it’s just that — training. It doesn’t constitute new jobs, and even tracks in many cases with already established patterns from the pledging companies.
In other words, there’s close to no apparent policy experience basis on which Ivanka could base an eventual presidential run, although that surely didn’t stop her dad. Still, Trump claims Ivanka has never shown an interest in the office he currently holds, and The Atlantic adds that she hasn’t raised the possibility with friends.
Ironically, Donald Trump Jr. has floated the idea of running for president publicly — but that didn’t seem to phase his dad, who former longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen claims thought his son had the “worst judgment of anyone in the world.”
Before any Trump kid runs for president, Donald Sr. has to face a growing field of Democratic presidential contenders, led in the polls at present by former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, and Sen. Kamala Harris, in that order.
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