Skip To Content
Forward 50 2017

Ivanka Trump

Is The First Daughter A Fighter Or A Fig Leaf?

Ivanka Trump, 36, has unprecedented duties for a first daughter. She keeps a West Wing office and serves as a special assistant to her father. She has promised to champion such women’s issues as family leave and child care. She even has taken foreign trips on behalf of the United States, meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel and briefly sitting in for her father at an international summit meeting.

Where her father is crass and off-the-cuff, she is polished and poised. Where he caters to his right-wing base, she has tried to send messages of unity and to push his administration left on social issues. But she has consistently refused to criticize him publicly.

This triangulation has caused Trump intense challenges. Many have questioned her ability to actually influence the administration’s policies. Others have criticized her for using politics to promote her book and lifestyle brand, “Women Who Work.” And on a more fundamental level, she has faced skeptical glares from pundits who feel she’s unqualified to be a White House adviser.

Whatever the criticism, she and her husband, Jared Kushner, will be at the center of events as long as Donald Trump remains in the White House.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.