Throughout Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, his daughter Ivanka Trump repeatedly said that she would not be playing any role in his administration. That’s why it came as a surprise this week when reports spread that Ivanka will be taking over First Lady duties while her stepmother Melania remains in New York City.
Since Melania is staying in New York for at least a few months while her 10 year-old son Barron finishes his school year, she will not be able to complete most of her first lady duties. Luckily, she has Ivanka to take over for her, as Trump’s oldest daughter is already planning to move to Washington D.C. with her family in January.
As the de facto first lady, Ivanka will be sent to events that her father can’t attend and will meet with people he can’t meet. She will also give speeches to more predominantly female audiences.
“We’re in a time when all the molds are being broken,” said Katherine Jellison, head of the history department at Ohio University and an expert on first ladies. “That may be the case where we have a redefining of a role that, after all, isn’t in the Constitution.”
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