Why Ivanka Trump Thinks Women Should Vote For Her Dad

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images.
Expect to see a lot more of Ivanka Trump on the campaign trail in the coming months.

On Thursday, the eldest daughter of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump delivered a fiery speech in support of her dad on the final night of the Republican National Convention.

The 34-year-old has been praised as the campaign's "secret weapon" and "greatest asset," especially when it comes to reaching out to young, female voters. Her introduction, ahead of her father's own convention speech, provided a preview of the message she might bring to the trail in the coming months.

Like her siblings, who spoke in the days before her, Ivanka sprinkled her remarks with personal anecdotes that showed a more human side of her father. She said he “listens to everyone” and shared that when he reads stories of injustice in the newspaper, he seeks out those people and invites them to Trump Tower.

“My father not only has the strength and ability necessary to be the next president, but also the kindness and compassion that will enable him to be the leader our country needs,” she said.

But she also gave a direct and powerful appeal to women. She called her father “color-blind and gender-neutral,” arguing he hired women early in his career and has women at high-level positions within the company now. Ivanka said that he will fight close the wage gap by focusing “on making quality childcare affordable and accessible for all.”

“He will fight for equal pay for equal work, and I will fight for this, too — right alongside him,” she said.

Ivanka also made a reference to her own personal politics. She has supported Democrats in the past and her recent status of not being registered with any political party as of last fall prevented her from casting a ballot for her dad in New York's GOP primary. On Thursday night, she said, “like many of my fellow millennials, I do not consider myself categorically Republican or Democrat."

"More than party affiliation, I vote what’s right for my family and my country," she said. "Sometimes, it’s a tough choice. That is not the case this time."

Trump's other adult children — Donald Jr., Eric, and Tiffany — also addressed delegates this week. (The only one who didn't speak was Barron, his 10-year-old son with current wife, Melania Trump.)

But Ivanka's role may be especially crucial as her father tries to win over more women voters. Polls show large percentages of women have a negative view of the GOP nominee — even some young Republican women are continuing to reject his candidacy.

Her remarks were likely aimed at countering voter concerns about Trump's treatment and views of women, which have been in the spotlight in light of insults he's hurled at female adversaries and past comments that paint a less progressive view of women in the workplace. On equal pay, for example, while Trump has said women should make the same as long as they "do as good a job" as men at the same job, he also cautioned that determining what constitutes the same job is a "very, very tricky question."

Alex Smith, chairman of the College Republican National Committee, said featuring the oldest daughter so prominently is a "100% deliberate" move.
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My father not only has the strength and ability necessary to be the next president, but also the kindness and compassion that will enable him to be the leader our country needs.

Ivanka Trump
“She is an incredibly beautiful and successful businesswoman who credits her success to her father’s willingness to treat women equally in the workplace at all levels of his organization," Smith told Refinery29. "I think she can be an incredibly effective ally, but it’s up to us to make sure that we go out there and create that conversation."

In addition to working for her father's organization as an executive vice president, Ivanka has launched her own jewelry, fashion, accessory, and fragrance collections as part of a growing lifestyle brand, which her website describes as a "celebration of women working at all aspects of their lives." (Women's Wear Daily reported that she wore one of her own designs to the RNC on Thursday.)

That brand has gained fans like Victoria Feldmeier, a 21-year-old conservative from Pennsylvania.

"A lot of girls my age love her," Feldmeier said from the stands of Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday. "She is a strong, classy woman. We’re really obsessed with her blog — we look at it all the time."

Beyond the blog, Feldmeier sees Ivanka as a "great role model for young women."

"She clearly has very ambitious goals and aspirations and the way she carries herself is something a lot of girls can look up to," she said.

Feldmeier thinks Trump's daughters, along with female GOP politicians who support his campaign, can help "him to win over a lot of women."

“What [Ivanka] says and what Tiffany Trump says about their father, a lot of women should take into consideration," she said. "They speak very highly of him.”

Ivanka's influence goes beyond her role as a campaign surrogate. She and husband, Jared Kushner, with whom she has three children, are also seen as key advisers to Trump's campaign.

Bethany Bostron is one of those GOP voters Trump has yet to win over. When asked about whether she supports her party's nominee, the 25-year-old Virginia delegate said that she's "not his biggest fan."

"I don't think he's a very good representation of conservatism," she said.

But earning her vote will likely take some work.

"I hope there's some good substance in her speech," she said when asked what Ivanka can do to help gain her support. "That's what I care about."
Refinery29’s News team is on the ground covering the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention. Follow along @R29News and check out our full coverage of the 2016 race here.

This story was originally published at 12 a.m. on Friday, July 20.
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