Ivanka Trump, favorite daughter, steps into limelight

By AFP/Jennie Mattew   July 21, 2016 | 07:07 pm PT
Ivanka Trump, favorite daughter, steps into limelight
Ivanka Trump takes the stage to introduce her father and Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Mike Segar
Beautiful, intelligent and successful Ivanka steps into the limelight to convince America to vote her dad into top office.

The 34-year-old mother of three, until now a loyal if largely quiet fixture on the Trump campaign, takes center stage when she introduces her father at the Republican National Convention for speech to accept a nomination for president that few imagined ever possible.

"As a woman, I, as a person could never support someone who was sexist or racist," she told CNN in a rare interview broadcast Wednesday.

For those disturbed by Trump's inflammatory comments about women, Muslims and immigrants, Ivanka presents a quandary: how can a woman whose public image is beyond reproach support him so lovingly?

The answer, apparently, is that America does not know the man as intimately as she does, and if they did, they too would be won over.

"He is authentic. You know, nobody tells him who to be. He is himself," she told CNN. "When I hear things that are factually inaccurate, it's sometimes hurtful."

So far Ivanka has trod a careful line, often supporting her father at public events but careful not to say the wrong thing, as she maintains a carefully curated public image as businesswoman and entrepreneur.

Her Instagram account is a heady mix of adorable pictures of her photogenic young children, tips for working mothers and pictures of herself modeling elegant dresses from her affordable high-street range.

But behind the scenes, she is a force to be reckoned with. She reportedly urged her father to adopt a more presidential style and took exception to ugly nicknames he gave opponents.

Assets to the corporation

Trump often gushes about Ivanka and her business acumen, and her siblings publicly acknowledge that she is the apple of her father's eye.

"Part of the reason we have such a good relationship is because he respects me, and because I'm candid in my opinions, and I share them, solicited or otherwise," she told CNN.

With her brothers Donald and Eric, she is also thought to have been instrumental in persuading her father to pick conservative Indiana Governor Mike Pence as vice president in a bid to unite the party.

On Thursday she presaged her speech with a first campaign email -- of the type which former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, Ivanka's reported friend, routinely sends for her mother, Democratic presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton.

Ivanka's speech will be targeted at women, of whom only 34 percent support Trump according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Born in 1981, she is the second child of Trump and his first wife, the Czech-born Ivana, whose marriage exploded in tabloid scandal and ended in divorce when she was 10 years old.

Privately educated at Chapin and Choate, some of the East Coast's most exclusive schools, she followed her father to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with a degree in economics.

Much has been made by the Trump children of the value of hard work that their parents instilled in them, and how they spent summers working rather than jetting off to the French Riviera with friends.

While the offspring of  New York's super rich can be seen in and out of rehab, or struggling to hold down serious jobs, the Trump adult children are seemingly happily married and assets to his global corporation.

Today Ivanka is executive vice president of acquisitions and development at The Trump Organization and founder of her eponymous fashion line, the Ivanka Trump Collection.

Married to multi-millionaire real estate developer and publisher Jared Kushner, for whom she converted to Judaism, the couple are fixtures on the society circuit but also known to like the quiet life at home.

In an interview with People magazine, she also praised her step-mother Melania, who came under fire on Monday for delivering a speech that plagiarized Michelle Obama as an "unbelievable" mother to her 10-year-old step-brother Barron.

"She's really tried to keep him protected and keep him out of the public eye so he can have some normalcy, which is so important."

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