A weekend Vanity Fair profile confirms what everyone already suspected: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump aren’t particularly competent, and are principally concerned with protecting their own brand images. “It’s clear that, after an initial period of awe at the sheer power of their positions, Jared and Ivanka have been stung by the vitriol directed at them,” Sarah Ellison reports. “Increasingly you hear chatter in Washington that Jared and Ivanka won’t last, not because they are at risk of being pushed out, but because they will save themselves from a damaged White House.”
Ellison’s profile isn’t exactly sympathetic to Jared and Ivanka, but it’s possible to detect the signs of future spin. They want us to believe that they had good intentions, that D.C. is mean, and that they didn’t fully understand what they had signed up for. The last assertion is the only one that survives scrutiny. As for the other two: D.C. may be mean, but it’s hard to argue that Jared and Ivanka merit alternative treatment. The first is incorrect on its face.
Their unpopularity is such an inevitable thing that it’s initially difficult to believe that they’re really surprised by it. But it actually makes a perverse sense. If Jared and Ivanka really grasped the depth of Daddy Dearest’s toxicity, they would have disavowed him a long time ago. They didn’t. So the most likely explanation is that they thought his presidency would benefit them. This is not very smart, which is why it’s probably true. Ellison hits at this in her profile:
During those heady weeks after the election, Ivanka realized that her previous life—running her own clothing-and-accessories brand and working alongside her brothers in their father’s real-estate company—was gone forever. The decision to move to Washington, where Ivanka and Jared occupy a $5.5 million home in the Kalorama neighborhood, just blocks from the Obamas, was as much driven by Jared’s deep role in the campaign as it was by Ivanka’s determination to remain at her father’s side. Ivanka initially planned to simply move to Washington with her family and work as an advocate for favored causes. But then she saw the potential opportunity to wield more clout.
Nepotism giveth, and nepotism taketh away. The only reason Jared and Ivanka are wealthy and successful is because of their parents, and rather than chart their own course they decided to become complicit in corruption and bigotry. They may lament the death of their New York life, but they have only themselves to blame.