Ivanka Trump may be readying herself to take on the role of the first lady, and Donald Trump’s 35-year-old daughter has already dropped a few hints about what her pet projects would be.
Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, are reportedly house-hunting in Washington, D.C. Both played instrumental roles during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and it’s looking more and more likely that they’ll continue to have the president-elect’s ear after he takes office.
Ivanka Trump currently serves as an executive vice president of her father’s business empire, The Trump Organization. However, as Heat Street reports, she is following her father’s lead by distancing herself from the company. According to the New York Times, Donald Trump is looking to place his sons in charge of most of his business interests while he’s in office, but Ivanka may leave the Trump Organization completely. Ivanka is also “assessing how to disentangle from her apparel and licensing brands,” and she’s looking for a president to oversee her business’ day-to-day operations while she prepares for her new role in D.C.
Because Ivanka Trump is making many big changes, and this has led to speculation that she’s preparing to temporarily serve as the first lady while Melania Trump remains in Manhattan. As Fortune reports, Donald Trump’s wife and their 10-year-old son, Barron, will continue living in Trump Tower until Barron finishes school. Because of Melania’s decision to stay in the city, the $1 million-a-day expense to protect the future first family likely won’t drop much during Donald Trump’s first year in the White House.
Little of Melania Trump has been seen since Donald Trump won the presidential election, but Ivanka has been very visible; she was even present during one of her father’s first meetings with a foreign leader. Ivanka may be trying to avoid the appearance of impropriety by distancing herself from her business interests before she moves to D.C. with her father, but red flags were raised when she sat in on Donald Trump’s meeting with Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe. As the Independent reports, this raised concerns about a potential conflict of interest because Ivanka was in the process of closing a licensing deal between her fashion company and a Japanese clothing company that the Japanese government is a stakeholder in.
During an appearance on 60 Minutes, Ivanka Trump made it clear that she’s not going to be part of her father’s administration. However, she also said that she’s going to try to influence her father’s decisions when it comes to issues that she cares deeply about. The role of the first lady is just a ceremonial one with no official duties, so it perfectly suits her needs.
“But I’ve said throughout the campaign that I am very passionate about certain issues. And that I want to fight for them.… So, you know there are a lot of things that I feel deeply, strongly about. But not in a formal administrative capacity.”
It’s no secret that Donald Trump cares deeply for his daughter, but some of his past comments about Ivanka have raised eyebrows. As Mediate reports, he’s joked that he’d be Ivanka’s boyfriend if she weren’t his daughter. The president-elect made these comments during an appearance on The View after he was asked how he would feel about Ivanka posing for Playboy.
“I don’t think Ivanka would do that, although she does have a very nice figure. I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her,” Trump said.
Donald Trump has also said that his daughter has “the best body.”
However, Donald Trump doesn’t just admire his daughter’s looks; he also values her opinions. As CNN points out, Ivanka’s father allowed her to use his presidential campaign as a platform to speak out in favor of ideas that Republicans usually aren’t very passionate about, including paid maternity leave, affordable childcare, and equal pay for women. Any of these could be Ivanka’s “pet project” as the first lady.
Katherine Jellison, head of the history department at Ohio University, told the Santa Monica Observer that Ivanka Trump may forever change the way Americans view the role of the first lady.
“We’re in a time when all the molds are being broken. That may be the case where we have a redefining of a role that, after all, isn’t in the Constitution.”
However, Melania Trump doesn’t plan on letting Ivanka Trump serve as an unconventional first lady for all of Donald Trump’s term; she made this clear when she chose online bullying as her pet cause.
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]