Ivanka Trump’s most striking quality is her boldness. Last night, at the GOP convention, she stood in front of thousands of Republican delegates — many of them hardcore partisans — and told them she isn’t “categorically Republican or Democrat.” Then, she delivered a speech that didn’t sound categorically Republican at all — there were no familiar talking points or conservative buzz words. She talked about equal pay and child care and she was cheered.
She looks like a Disney princess, speaks with pro-level poise, and is as smart as they come. She’s a successful business woman and a feminist — not a Clintonian, live-like-I-tell-you-to feminist but a life, liberty, pursuit of happiness feminist. The kind of feminist who doesn’t believe that feminism is a collectivist endeavor with rules that trickle down from the top but an individual endeavor, self-realized and self-regulated.
In Ivanka’s speech, she spoke about her father’s “strong ethical compass.” It’s hard to imagine anyone uttering these words about Hillary Clinton.
She’s a millennial, but she doesn’t fit the stereotype we’re getting used to. Her speech left people feeling optimistic about the future, and her talent did not go unnoticed:
Time Magazine tweeted an article declaring “Ivanka Trump steals the show.”
Independent Journal tweeted a story, “6 Reasons Why Ivanka Stole the Show.”
Ivanka Trump is a leader.
Cut to Philadelphia next week. At the Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton’s top family member surrogate, Bill Clinton, will be a far cry from Ivanka Trump. He’s literally the face of the past, trotted out to compete with a fresh, inspiring role model for a new generation.
Invanka’s a feminist; Bill’s a walking, talking war on women — ask Monica Lewinsky, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, et al. She’s a successful business woman; he’s the founder of a nonprofit organization that’s constantly in the news but rarely for anything positive. Dinesh D’Souza’s new book details how the Clinton Foundation made a pile of money exploiting Haitians, and House Republicans are currently seeking a federal investigation of the foundation.
Obama once called Bill Clinton the explainer-in-chief. It’s the perfect title for him. He is the explainer-in-chief. He has to be. You can’t champion policies that weaken the country and the middle class, treat the White House like a frat house, and juggle myriad lies without a true gift for explaining it all away.
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But, like Jerry Springer brawls and AOL free-trial CDs, Bill Clinton’s hypnotic rhetoric is a relic of the 1990s. On this side of the millennium, Bill Clinton in your corner is more of a liability than an asset. Every time he’s in the news these days it’s because he’s unwittingly sabotaging his wife. Most recently it was his surreptitious meeting with Loretta Lynch — just days before the Justice Department announced no charges would be filed against Hillary Clinton. Before that, it was his affairs resurfacing. And before that, it was shouting inconvenient truths at Black Lives Matter protesters.
When Bill Clinton takes the stage at the Democratic National Convention, it won’t leave anyone feeling optimistic about the future. It will leave thoughtful people feeling pessimistic about the present and the past because it will be emblematic of political elitism in America.
In Ivanka’s speech, she spoke about her father’s “strong ethical compass.” It’s hard to imagine anyone uttering these words about Hillary Clinton, whose malfunctioning ethical compass was recently exposed by the FBI. It’s even harder to imagine Bill Clinton being the one to utter them, given his many ethical failings. The Clinton’s seem to find their way out of everything, but the compass they use has nothing to do with ethics.
For weeks, the mainstream media has shoveled a thousand holes, digging for anything that will harm Donald Trump’s candidacy — like The New York Times article that unsuccessfully tried to paint Trump as a womanizer. At the same time, the mainstream media ignores the Clinton legacy of endless scandals. By doing this, they’ve failed to frame the presidential race as it actually is: the ultimate outsider versus the ultimate insider.
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The contrasts between Ivanka Trump and Bill Clinton illustrate that frame perfectly. Old ideas that have failed every time being implemented by the same old politicians — versus new ideas and new people with a fresh vision for the future of America.
Eddie Zipperer is an assistant professor of Political Science at the Georgia Military College.