Friday, July 22, 2016

Ivanka Conjures Up a New Personality for Her Father

She gave it her best shot, trying to turn FrankenTrump into Santa Claus/Prince Charming/God.  Sorry, Ivanka, all the lipstick in the world couldn't bring beauty to this pig.

Ivanka the Fabulous Fabulist
By Maureen Dowd

Ivanka Trump glided onstage to the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun."

It was apt.

She was sun-kissed, her blond hair perfectly sleek, blowing photogenically, no doubt from a fan in the podium. The fashion entrepreneur's blush-pink sheath and stilettos looked Fifth Avenue chic.

The 34-year-old ornament to the Trump brand was like a beautiful sunny morning in the midst of a dark, lashing hailstorm.

She was glossy, both in how she looked and how she spoke.

She glossed over all of her father's ugly rhetoric and incitements, his erratic behavior and lack of any policy depth or even any policy, and offered a gauzy, idealized vision of a Bobby Kennedy-style figure as her father channeled Richard Nixon in '68.

She hailed her dad as a fighter against injustice, a boss who is "colorblind and gender neutral," who hires people of all ethnicities and backgrounds.

She glossed over the entire ideology of the G.O.P. and the regressive party platform for women and presented her father as a feminist who fights for women in the Trump organization and who would fight as president for child care, "affordable and accessible for all," and for women's rights, equal pay and maternity leave.

"I will fight for this, too, right alongside him," she said, serving, once more, as the classy conjurer of the Moderate, Sane Donald in place of the Dark, Ugly Donald.

One impediment to joy, as Ivanka tried to channel Hillary: The Boston Globe's Matt Viser reported last month that men in the Trump campaign earn about 35 percent more than the women in his campaign.

Trump would never make the eat-your-peas pivot to professionalism, comity and civility, so Ivanka did it for him.

She called her father "the people's champion" and "the people's nominee," making him sound like Princess Diana, the people's princess.

She offered sweet anecdotes to personalize her father, but she was so sunny that her portrait of him was almost unrecognizable. More like a jolly Santa than a short-fingered vulgarian.

She said she remembered him, when she was a child playing with Legos in the corner of his skyscraper office, tearing stories out of the newspaper about someone facing some injustice or hardship and writing a note in his black felt-tip pen to find the person and have them brought to Trump Tower, where he could get in their corner when they were down and give them a job or a break until they could feel that life is great again.

She said her father had "empathy and generosity," and threw in "kindness and compassion" for good measure.

Hopes are often reposed in family members. Everyone hoped that Barbara Bush was secretly working to make H.W. Bush more liberal on choice issues. Everyone hoped that Laura Bush was secretly working on W. to get Donald Rumsfeld fired.

But Ivanka Trump has a stupefyingly harder task. Everyone is hoping that with her calm and gracious air, she is secretly working to turn Donald Trump into a completely different being, to make him stop acting self-destructive and crazy and nasty.

She offers herself as that bright promise. But, as much as she might try to steer her willful father, we know that it is not really possible to curb his impulsiveness and narcissism or to moderate and modernize his positions. He is too in thrall to the roar of the crowd, too old to develop impulse control.

So it just turns her into a fabulous fabulist.

She said her father advised her when she was growing up: "Ivanka, if you're going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big." And what can be bigger thinking than making the most divisive, disliked candidate in modern history seem like noble Atticus Finch — though it would be hard to imagine Atticus saying, as Donald Trump once did of his own daughter, that he would like to date a full-grown Scout.

She said he taught his kids to have a moral compass – with a straight face.

Ivanka has, at times, played the charming sidekick to Trump in his more unsavory business dealings. In 2006, she helped sell spots in a future Baja California condo complex that bore the Trump name. While the Trump organization earned $500,000 for their branding and sales efforts, all the people convinced by her and her father's promises lost their money when the outside developer failed to build anything. She denied any fault, telling CBS News that her family had "lived up to our obligation under a license agreement."

In the absence of all the normal political allies a typical candidate has, Trump's family takes on paramount importance as character witnesses. Melania tried to be one for her husband Monday night, saying how inclusive he would be, but the attempt got bollixed up in a speech shoplifting incident.

Ivanka tried again tonight. And in return, her dad came onstage and cupped his hands around her hips and patted them.