sexta-feira, 18 de novembro de 2016
Ivanka Trump is a shoo-in for the Iron Throne
Ivanka Trump is a shoo-in for the Iron Throne
Friday 18 November 2016 16.32 GMT
Before you could say ‘conflict of interests’, America’s most dysfunctional family have already begun blurring the lines between politics and business
Has ground been broken on Melania Trump’s auto-parodic anti-bullying initiative yet? Only I can’t help feeling the second lady could kick things off with a case close to home. “Dear Me. I believe my husband is gaslighting me. It’s more subtle than the lamps dimming without explanation. I mean, he’s spent years saying the only thing stopping him from coming on to his hot daughter is the fact they’re related. Then yesterday I went into the gold drawing room and found Ivanka sitting in for the meeting with the Japanese prime minister …”
She’s not wrong. Thanks to a picture circulated by the Japanese government, we now know that Donald Trump shared a curved sofa in a room in his New York penthouse with Shinzo Abe, while Ivanka watched from a reproduction tub chair (her husband, Jared Kushner, seems to have shown up for photos at the end). How screamingly quaint it now seems that the Simpsons were once frequently described as America’s most dysfunctional family. The Trumps are clearly of a different order of magnitude. I’m not going to get into the elder sons today – Uday and Schmuday, as my friend Matthew refers to them – but the dynamics of the Donald-Melania-Ivanka triangle increasingly read like a script rejected by David Cronenberg for being “a bit too weird, thanks”.
Now that Trump is the president-elect, of course, Ivanka is supposed to be running his business interests, along with her talentless brothers, in some kind of blind trust/King Lear prequel. Which, as you hardly need to be sharp-eyed to point out, makes it a bit odd that she’s sitting in on presidential state business. I guess a meeting with the Japanese premier is a diplomatically tactless moment to bring up the concept of Chinese walls. Anyway, we can probably surmise that Chinese walls don’t even make the top 10 of Donald’s favourite notional walls. And that journalists are already clamouring for a keyboard shortcut for the phrase “conflict of interest”.
After all, throughout the campaign, Ivanka was at pains to state that she was not political, and that she was seeking no role at all in her father’s administration. “I’m going to be a daughter,” she elaborated earlier this week. However: “I’ve said through the campaign that I am very passionate about certain issues. And that I want to fight for them.” Maybe one of those issues is advancing the rights of Tokyo to get a Trump hotel built in it.
Behold, then, an Ivanka’s-eye view of Dad’s first day at the international office – peering through the candelabra in a Trump Tower room whose decor offers one clue as to why Donald Trump can never bring himself to condemn, or even dislike, various dictators. After all, he shares the classic despot’s taste in interior design. To take in the full scheme of the room is to wonder what is just out of shot – a 20-foot gold statue of Saddam, or a room full of slot machines? Possibly both. I am given to understand it is a large apartment.
Disappointingly, though, Ivanka has failed to inform the legions of Americans who’d be Tasered if they came within a 20-foot exclusion zone of Trump Tower what it is she’s wearing for her conflict of interest. When madam appeared alongside her father and various other family members on last Sunday’s edition of 60 Minutes, her firm promptly press-released a “style alert” in relation to the $10,800 bangle she had been wearing during it. For those whose eye was caught by the piece in question, as opposed to the coming war on abortion rights or whatnot, I can share the details: “Ivanka Trump was wearing her favourite bangle from the Metropolis Collection.” We must await the Rust Belt Collection with interest.
Given that Trump essentially conducts himself as a Trump parody account, it seems uncharacteristically restrained of him to have not begun press-releasing his own products when they feature in presidential business. By what vast oversight can we still be in the dark as to whether the president was wearing Empire by Donald Trump or Success by Donald Trump for this meeting with Abe, both of which male fragrances retail at a competitive price point? I would like the presidential cologne choices to be announced from now on, allowing us to really put ourselves inside the smells of a Trump bilateral.
As for Ivanka’s closeness to her father, there is perhaps a historical precedent for this kind of indispensability, though not quite on this scale (and certainly not including the ogling). Donald Trump’s favourite book is clearly The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump, many passages of which he is even believed to have read, or at least listened to on audiobook while getting a massage.
His second favourite book, though, is highly likely to be his well-thumbed copy of Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s study of Abraham Lincoln’s journey to the White House, and his subsequent success in drawing his most formidable opponents into his cabinet, managing their conflicting personalities, and getting the best out of their skills.
In which case, Trump will be more than familiar with the figure of Salmon Chase, once Lincoln’s rival for the Republican nomination, who moulded his daughter Kate as his political helpmeet, and who would clearly have had the function of a de facto first lady, had Chase beaten Lincoln to the White House. By the age of 45, Chase had buried three of his wives – not figuratively, like Donald, but literally – and instead looked to his daughter as his partner in politics. I am sure Trump would point out that Ivanka is merely the Kate Chase de nos jours – however tough on her stepmother that may be.
Admittedly, there will be those who insist that Ivanka’s family ties are born of a darker place, and seem rather more reminiscent of something out of the Lannisters from Game of Thrones. To many of us foreign outsiders, the fact that Ivanka has already been touted as a future US presidential candidate (along with Michelle Obama) does increasingly suggest that the White House has become analogous to the Iron Throne, with just a few families permitted to fight and scheme for it. Chelsea Clinton as the eventual mother of dragons? Only time will show. For now, we must simply marvel at Ivanka’s ability to straddle two worlds, and order her pavé diamond Security Clearance Amulet just as soon as it hits the stores.