President-Elect #trump’s wife, Melania, has passed on the position of First Lady for the start of the new administration and for an excellent reason - she doesn’t want to disrupt her pre-teen son’s life in New York.
But someone needs to fill that position in Washington society and that will be Mr. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka
First Ladies of note
Eleanor Roosevelt was the first widely known First Lady, despite Dolly Madison saving some important artifacts during the War of 1812 when the Brits burned down the then White House.
But Mrs. Roosevelt was never felt to have any policy position in the wartime #Government.
Nancy Reagan was widely thought to schedule President Reagan’s meetings on advice of her astrologer and has been seen on tape prompting her husband so she was probably the first First Lady to take an active role in policy - not necessarily a bad thing.
Hillary made no secret of being a big influence in the Clinton Administration, virtually a co-President.
So what about Ivanka? She has already broken all precedent by sitting in on meetings with heads of state, and President-Elect Trump was notoriously reported as telling one potential VP candidate that if he accepted he would be in charge of both foreign and domestic policy. He also wanted his "kids" to sit in on intelligence briefings - given the secrecy of those it isn't known if Ivanka is involved or not, but it is clear that the President-Elect wanted her included.
With Ivanka (who as a businesswoman and generally famous person uses her maiden name) in the White House, will she do more than take her place as the head of Washington, D.C. society? As an accomplished business person who is already sitting in on meetings with Al Gore, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and probably many others, could the President-Elect be positioning her to be not just his top, tippy top advisor, but his surrogate president?
I’m not saying this would be a bad thing despite the fact that she wasn’t elected to anything. Other First Ladies weren’t elected either.
People who look to Trump’s vitriolic, vindictive, outrageous, and sometimes frantic-seeming tweets for policy clues are making a big mistake in my opinion.
He simply isn’t the kind of person who will ever tone down his rhetoric, but he isn’t stupid. I feel certain Mr. Trump knows he could get the country in a lot of trouble with his instant analysis of events he can’t have any knowledge of as yet.
But look at Ivanka Trump’s twitter account. It is all sweetness and light despite the fact that she must be a strong person to have succeeded in business, and she undoubtedly bristles at some of the insults hurled at her and her family. What that tells us is that she has a degree of self-control which is leagues beyond what her father has - something badly needed in the any administration.
The new Administration
I see Ivanka as taking over more and more of the actual job of being President of The United States while remaining mostly in the background while President Trump is out there making wild comments, playing golf, and twittering away at 3 a.m.. After all, you can’t have twitter without a big twitt.
Ivanka can play good cop to "The Donald's" bad cop and even when or if Melania moves to Washington. Melania is essentially an unknown but she just doesn't seem likely to fill an advisory roll in the administration any more than she seemed front-and-center during the election. That's not a criticism, just an observation.
When will we (or at least insiders) know Ivanka's true position in the Trump administration? Probably when she is denied access to something, such as the situation room and a way is found to appoint her to some position which will permit her access to the JFK Conference Room (commonly known as The War Room). #America