The media verdict is in: Trump sure sounded presidential on the final night of the Republican National Convention — Ivanka Trump, that is.
The daughter of Republican nominee Donald Trump continues to impress the media that her father constantly feuds with, earning high praise for her introductory speech in Cleveland.
The only complaint about Ivanka Trump's speech is that she seemed to be describing someone other than her father.
"He will fight for equal pay for equal work," she declared at one point, though Donald Trump seldom talks about pay equity — certainly not as often as his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
But casting the brash business mogul in a warmer-than-usual light was kind of the point of her speech, and Ivanka Trump is being widely credited in the press for doing the job well.
Media kudos are nothing new for the second of Donald Trump's five children. Here at The Fix, Chris Cillizza declared in April that "Donald Trump isn't even the best presidential candidate in his family."
Where he is bravado and threat, she is cool and soothing. Where he is divisive, she is uniting. It's what leads so many people who dislike Donald Trump to admit that his daughter is very impressive and wonder why she isn't the presidential candidate instead. (She'll turn 35 — presidential age — in October.)
Last fall, Politico Magazine dubbed Ivanka "the quiet power behind the Trump throne."
On the campaign, Ivanka Trump, who grew up playing in her father's office, is his most influential adviser, his de facto first lady in waiting and his character foil: the cautious, measured power behind the striving, showy candidate. She was the first person Trump mentioned by name when Sean Hannity asked in August, "Is there anyone close to you that you count on most?" and the member of his inner circle whom he consulted during the Megyn Kelly imbroglio. And when Trump announced his candidacy in June, it was Ivanka who introduced her father, while his wife, the former Melania Knauss — a less public person save for her sometimes racy work as a fashion model — stood in the background.
Even when it became clear last week that Donald Trump would go with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Gawker's Gabrielle Bluestone declared that "the reports are incorrect — it's always been Ivanka." The implication was that Ivanka Trump will be her father's No. 2, regardless of whose name is actually on the ticket.
The biggest mystery for a press corps that has been highly critical of Donald Trump's boorishness is how Ivanka — and the rest of the Trump children — turned out so pleasant. Vanity Fair offered a "scientific explanation" in May: "He outsourced the job."
However he did it, the GOP nominee wound up with a daughter who consistently wows some of the same journalists and news outlets he derides on the campaign trail. It remains to be seen whether Ivanka Trump is influential enough to sway voters — especially women — who are turned off by her father, but at minimum she has the media reporting on the possibility. And that's a more positive Trump narrative than most.