US Election 2020

What role does Ivanka play in Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency?

The President's daughter/Senior Advisor has been very prominent on her father's election campaign but what position does she hold in the White House?

What role does Ivanka play in Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency?
DPA vía Europa Press DPA vía Europa Press

Ivanka Trump is the second child of President Donald Trump and has fulfilled a number of roles in her father’s many business operations. She has served as executive vice president of Trump Organization, ran her own fashion brand and, most notably, served as an advisor in President Trump’s administration.

She joined her father’s White House in January 2017 and was given the title ‘First Daughter and Senior Advisor to the President’. Her husband, Jared Kushner, has also risen to prominence in the Trump administration and was made Senior Advisor in March 2017. Both have been heavily involved in a number of foreign affairs issues during their time in the White House and have frequently acted as US diplomats in overseas disputes.

What role does Ivanka Trump have in the White House?

Her exact role over the last three and a half years has been the subject of much scrutiny, particularly after she took a central role, alongside her father and other world leaders, in 2019’s G20 summit. Donald Trump reportedly wanted her to be his running mate in his 2016 presidential campaign, reportedly telling a group of aides: “I think it should be Ivanka.” 

Her profile on the White House’s official website lists her main duties as: “the education and economic empowerment of women and their families as well as job creation and economic growth”. It also lists some of her achievements in the Trump Organization. The exact parameters of her role are fairly vague and many have expressed concern about the sway she holds over the President. However she dismissed those claims, telling the Financial Times: “Some people have created unrealistic expectations of what they expect from me.”

How does Ivanka Trump help her father’s campaign?

With just three days to go before the Election Day, Trump’s adult children have been out in force as he looks to mobilise his support for 3 November. On Saturday alone, Eric Trump was on a Catholic radio station and Donald Trump Jr has been in Montana, but it Ivanka who has done most of the Trump offspring’s heavy lifting.

She was in Ohio this morning, telling the crowd that 700,000 fracking jobs are at risk if her father loses. Later she was in Wisconsin posing alongside a team of police officers, and will reportedly host a campaign event in Michigan later this evening.

One of the key issues for Donald Trump this election is his declining support among the suburban women who helped him to victory in 2016. His mismanagement of covid-19 and brash manner have seen them largely turn their back on him and a recent poll by the New York Time and Siena College found that Biden leads by 23 points amongst suburban women in swing states. Ivanka’s more measured public persona and greater ability to relate to the departing female Trump supporters could be vital, and is something that the Trump campaign have been eager to play to.

Mercedes Schlapp, a senior adviser for the Trump campaign, described Ivanka as: “As a working mother who has dedicated her career to the improvement of women’s lives, Ivanka intrinsically understands the issues facing American families today.”

She continued “Ivanka Trump can speak to President Trump’s success from the perspective of both a policy adviser and close family member — a remarkably effective combination on the campaign trail.”