There has been some hand-wringing in the media lately over the revelation that Ivanka Trump has a second-floor West Wing office. I’ll admit this is an unusual development, so I’m not surprised by the raised eyebrows and faux concern. But in this case, the move should be welcomed by anyone who wants the president to succeed. The problem with this White House isn’t that there is too much poise, maturity, discretion and deft judgement surrounding the president. There is too little. And by all accounts, Ivanka Trump possesses much-needed poise, maturity, discretion and deft judgement that could be put to good use. She is a reassuring presence in an unpredictable White House.
During my tenure in the Bush 41 administration, some of the president’s kids would use my West Wing office as a way station when they were in the vicinity. But even that was kept quiet and low-key. And while we’re on memory lane, I remember working as a young staff member in the Reagan White House, where the president’s adult daughter, Maureen Reagan, lived in the White House residence and had the run of the place. She was certainly dedicated to her father, but I’m sure her presence was greeted with more trepidation than that of Ivanka Trump’s. I remember being “invited” to attend some of Maureen Reagan’s presentations, and just like in North Korea today, no one wanted to be noticed as the first person to stop clapping. But the republic managed to survive just fine.
And let’s face it: Most of President Trump’s problems have been caused by his intemperate outbursts, gruff body language and off-putting calls and meetings. But everybody says Ivanka Trump has a calming influence on the president. She sticks to the matter at hand and handles controversy with grace. She is an asset for this White House, and the more she’s around, the better.
Instead of questioning why Ivanka Trump has an office in the ozone of the second floor, we need to be asking why she doesn’t have an office on the first floor of the West Wing. Everything we know about her and her relationship with the president suggests that more proximity is desirable, not less. Why not just go ahead and put her in the president’s private study so that she can rush into the Oval Office at the first sign of trouble?
Perhaps those who are whining about Ivanka Trump’s office don’t know that there is no rule that says, “The president’s daughter shalt not have an office in the West Wing.” They are probably the same people who don’t want the president to succeed and who would celebrate only if a Democrat were empowering their daughter in the workplace. The fact is, everyone should be thankful that this president has such an asset.