After largely steering clear of the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump’s famous daughter Ivanka is making a cameo appearance in a radio ad for the GOP front-runner. The ad debuts this week in the crucial early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Although the real-estate mogul frequently references Ivanka Trump on the campaign trail – and sometimes, awkwardly off the stump (he once infamously said if she wasn’t his daughter he’d “perhaps” be dating her) – not unlike his wife Melania, Ivanka Trump has not played a prominent role in the race. She did however make an appearance alongside her father in a poorly received “Saturday Night Live” sketch in November 2015, which portrayed a nation at the peak of its power under the leadership of an imagined Trump administration.
Some have speculated that Ivanka Trump, who serves as executive vice president of development and acquisitions for her father’s company, has strategically stayed on the sidelines to help protect her family’s organizations from being associated with the more controversial rhetoric of its namesake’s campaign. "Ivanka is a very smart businesswoman and she understands that Trump's insistence on political incorrectness is probably not the best thing for business," Nick Morrow, a Democratic strategist, told Cosmopolitan last October. "You don't really want to alienate anyone.” She has previously called her father a great leader and negotiator but has also conceded that her feelings about his polarizing candidacy are “complicated.”
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“I’m proud of him, but it’s a very difficult thing to do,” she told Fortune last fall. “My father has achieved tremendous success, and he’s not a politician but he’s changing the dialogue and disrupting the process in a very meaningful way.” She has also defended her father against allegations of sexism, arguing that while her father is "very blunt" he is not disrespectful of women. Ivanka Trump's shrewd skills as a spokeswoman for her father have led some to call her the candidate's "secret weapon."
“My family has been so supportive of me and my candidacy and I am so proud of Ivanka. She is a terrific person, a devoted mother and an exceptional entrepreneur,” Donald Trump said in a statement about the radio spot. “Ivanka is doing a fantastic job running my company, alongside her brothers, and is building many of my biggest jobs. It is so important to have the support of all of my children and I’m really proud of this ad.”
The ad revisits similar notes Ivanka Trump has hit before with regard to her infamous dad. “My father has experienced unparalleled success in business over many decades and built an amazing company that employs thousands of people. I have witnessed his vision, strength and competence each day of my life. He has been an incredible father to me and my siblings and I love him very much,” she says in the spot.
The ad may represent the beginning of more involvement from the extended Trump family in the 2016 campaign. According to the Washington Post, both Melania and Ivanka Trump will be speaking out publicly more on women’s health issues in the hopes of closing their paterfamilias’ substantial gap with female voters.