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What happened to Ivanka? The liberal hope of Trump administration remains silent

Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

NEW YORK -- Soon after the presidential election, a group of New York artists started a social media campaign dubbed #dearivanka.

They were sure that Ivanka Trump, a 35-year-old self-professed feminist, patron of the arts and Democratic fundraiser, would play a moderating role in her father's White House and were appealing to her to intercede on abortion rights, climate change and other issues. The artists considered her part of the "liberal bubble of New York," said Alison Gingeras, an art curator and one of the organizers of the initiative known as Halt Action Group.

So far Ivanka Trump has largely disappointed the bubble. While she may have softened President Donald Trump's stance on equal pay for women and child care for working mothers, he has pushed ahead with hard-line conservative measures on immigration, the environment and domestic spending, leaving liberals feeling betrayed.

"Ivanka is completely complicit because she is the one who white-washed him during the campaign," Gingeras said.

Although friends described her core beliefs as more in tune with the Democratic Party, Ivanka Trump appears to have put family loyalty to her father above her own political views.

"Ivanka is the one person who can speak frankly with her father," said R. Couri Hay, a New York public relations executive who has known the family for three decades. "And he will listen. But in the end, it is him who makes the decision. Donald rules the roost."

With first lady Melania Trump conspicuously absent, Ivanka Trump is a luminous blond presence by her father's side, a smiling counterpoint to the president's sometimes-scowling personage.

A former model, she has become one of the most photographed women in the world, appearing in official White House shots as well as a prolific stream of her own Facebook and Instagram accounts.

There she is standing in the Oval Office jiggling a baby, posing on the steps of the Supreme Court with her daughter or popping up in meetings with heads of state.

She often showcases her own fashion label, wearing an $89 striped skirt for a photo-op at an Orlando, Fla., school and $78 sandals to last month's governor's ball at the White House.


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