Ivanka calls her dad a 'fighter', appeals to female voters

Ms Trump praised her father in her speech at the Republican convention on Thursday night, calling him "colour-blind and gender-neutral".
Ms Trump praised her father in her speech at the Republican convention on Thursday night, calling him "colour-blind and gender-neutral".PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

CLEVELAND (Ohio) • Ms Ivanka Trump, the eldest daughter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and perhaps the most poised and articulate defender of his character and ideas, introduced her father as "a fighter" who will "fight for you".

"I ask you to judge my father by his results," she told the rapt crowd on Thursday night in a speech that was equal parts familial praise and a recitation of his accomplishments.

"He is colour-blind and gender- neutral."

The former model turned businesswoman discussed the number of female executives at her father's company, saying that they were treated well even as new mothers, in a bid to build a bridge to female voters with whom Mr Trump's ratings are low. She also said that as a young girl, her father told her that if she was going to think at all, she should "think big".

Ms Trump's influence with her father is almost unrivalled in their family. And her goal at the convention was to serve as one of his strongest character witnesses, offering a warmer portrait of one of the most famous celebrities in the world - yet someone who is known mostly superficially and most recently in a negative light.

In recent months, the 34-year- old has operated as something of the superego of the evolving Trump campaign, gingerly influencing and promoting her father's ambitions, while avoiding becoming ensnared in his controversies. Her efforts have impressed donors, Republican members of Congress, sceptics and delegates at his nominating convention.

With Mr Trump's wife Melania being a reluctant co-campaigner, it was left to his daughter to introduce him when he announced his once seemingly improbable candidacy in June last year.

And at the convention on Tuesday night, Ms Trump, who is married with three children, beamed as her 38-year-old brother Donald Jr cast the delegate vote that officially made their father the Republican nominee.

"One of the ways I judge a person is the quality of their children," said Mr Dan Perrier, a delegate from Washington state. "Everyone should bring their best role to the table and she has with him."

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2016, with the headline 'Ivanka calls her dad a 'fighter', appeals to female voters'. Print Edition | Subscribe