Ivanka, Tiffany Trump and the appeal of a dynastic campaign

trumpdynasty

The Donald Trump dynasty may begin soon.

MARSHALLED on stage at the climax of a debate or rally, the Trump family can seem otherworldly, even faintly sinister. In contrast to the everyman image many politicians try to project—the guy like you, with whom you might enjoy a beer—the Republican nominee’s clan is impossibly well-clad and -coiffed. That collective image is of a piece with the paterfamilias’s implicit promise: not so much to represent the nation as to redeem it, like some baggy-suited Superman. An event on October 26th in Marietta, Georgia, which featured Ivanka Trump and her less-deployed sister Tiffany, exemplified his offsprings’ role in his appeal and his campaign.

“I love the entire family,” said Paulette, an African-American Trump fan, in the crowded, airless room inside. The Trump children were “honourable, respectful, well-educated, honest.” If they seemed remote, that was because “Donald Trump and his wives have invested a lot in them.” As for Ivanka: “I adore her.” (She wasn’t bothered by the gruesome tape: “I have five brothers and I know how men talk.”) That view of the elder Trump sister was widespread. “She represents smart women who know the issues,” said another female attendee.

The crowd broke out the now-familiar chants of “Hillary for prison”, “Lock her up”, and “We are deplorable”, interspersed with the odd rebel yell. Herman Cain, the warm-up act, delivered the standard denunciation of the media (liars) and the polls (rigged), before introducing Ivanka and Tiffany. Ivanka spoke only briefly, not mentioning the ideas for childcare credits and maternity leave that have bolstered her father’s pitch to women. Tiffany was even briefer. The crowd didn’t seem to mind. “You’re amazing,” a devotee yelled; “We love you” shouted another. Then the Trumps got down to the serious business of the afternoon, namely posing for their supporters’ selfies, before moving on to a meeting with local businesswomen.

Read the complete article on The Economist web site here.

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