Ivanka: Is her brand damaged?
If there were any doubts that President Trump would use the White House to promote “the business interests of himself and his family,” said Sheelah Kolhatkar in NewYorker.com, those doubts have been laid to rest. Trump last week publicly scolded Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka Trump’s fashion line because of poor sales, tweeting that the retailer had treated his daughter “so unfairly.” Then White House counselor Kellyanne Conway jumped in, urging Fox & Friends TV viewers, “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff. I’m going to give a free commercial here.” This “stunning promotional message” broke a rule barring U.S. officials from endorsing products, and the Office of Government Ethics recommended disciplinary action. Trump, however, was reported to be delighted that Conway defended Ivanka. Apparently, he feels that winning the election gave him a mandate to engage in “overt profiteering” and “enrich his family.”
“The White House isn’t even pretending to care about ethics rules anymore,” said Josh Voorhees in Slate.com. Ivanka has supposedly removed herself from day-to-day operations at the Trump Organization and “distanced herself from her eponymous fashion brand.” But this fiasco demonstrates that—like her father—her name “remains firmly and inextricably linked with both the family business and many of the things it sells.” That’s why the #GrabYour Wallet boycott of Ivanka’s products is so important, says Jamie Peck in The Guardian (U.K.). Her campaign appearances had been “paying off at the bank;” during the Republican National Convention, Ivanka advertised the pink shift dress she wore and “it sold out in a matter of hours.” Business boomed. But as Trump’s outrageous policies and behavior fueled the boycott, “stores began dropping Ivanka’s wares” or giving them less prominence, from budget T.J. Maxx to posh Neiman Marcus—and now, Nordstrom. This victory shows what can happen when liberals stay “angry and engaged.”
The irony is that Ivanka is “the one friend they may have in this new White House,” said Nolan Finley in The Detroit News. She and her husband, Jared Kushner, reportedly killed an attempt by Trump’s more conservative inner circle to rescind an executive order on LGBT rights. Ivanka also has pushed her dad on parental leave and wage equality for women, and may be a lone voice in the White House arguing for the reality of climate change. Liberals, though, “can’t see past their blind fury” to realize that Ivanka is “a possible ally.”