Magazine article Psychology Today

Daughters of an American Revolution

Magazine article Psychology Today

Daughters of an American Revolution

Article excerpt

DONALD TRUMP AND Hillary Clinton may be on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but they have one thing in common: media-savvy daughters who are instrumental to their campaigns.

Indeed, Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump have arguably been as integral to their parent's presidential bid as any adviser, humanizing their polarizing progenitors after gaffes on the trail and generally being a calming presence in Hillary's and Donald's soap-operatic lives.

It's no wonder that Chelsea, 36, and Ivanka, 34, (Chevanka?) gravitated toward each other in recent years, complimenting each other on Twitter and in the pages of Vogue. Fledgling friends before the campaign, they were often spotted together at A-list events, meticulously tousled hair tumbling past their shoulders, teeth as dazzling as the camera lights chronicling their every step.

It made perfect sense: Their parents were once friendly as well, before becoming political rivals. The Clintons attended Donald Trump's 2006 wedding to Melania Knauss, and Ivanka and her father donated money to Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid. (Donald Trump was a supporter of Democrats before he became, well, less so.)

It's not just that Chelsea and Ivanka ran in the same red carpet circles; who else could a young heiress of financial or political capital turn to but someone cut from the same cloth?

For high-profile women like these two, "it's hard to know whether others are interested in you, or whether they just want to meet your parents and bask in fame by association," says Jane Greer, a psychotherapist and celebrity commentator. "It's hard to trust people and know when they're being authentic and genuine."

The Daughters have other striking similarities: Both share the unique humiliation of learning more about their father's sexual proclivities than a child should ever know. Both endured relentless commentary about their physical appearances as young women-sometimes vicious in Chelsea's case, as she spent her awkward years in the White House, and glowing (if not lascivious) in the case of Ivanka, a onetime model.

Today, the two are poised, articulate, and well-educated professional women, each of whom also happened to marry a Jewish man whose father has done time in jail for white-collar crimes. (Ivanka also converted to Judaism.) And despite being mothers to toddlers, both have remained visible surrogates for their parents throughout the campaign.

After stints as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, a financial analyst, and an occasional "special correspondent" at NBC (fbrawidely ridiculed $600,000 a year), Chelsea Clinton is now vice chair of the Clinton Foundation. She takes no salary for her work there, but earns six figures from her speaking engagements, which she says she funnels back into the foundation. On the trail, she emphasizes her role as a working mother: "I stand here first and foremost now as a mom myself," she told New Hampshire voters before that critical primary. More than the candidate's daughter, she is the mother of the candidate's granddaughter-and few things soften a politician's rough edges more than images of her as a doting grandma.

As for Ivanka, in addition to being executive vice president of development and acquisitions for the Trump Organization, she also markets lines of clothing, shoes, fragrance, and accessories and runs an eponymous lifestyle site, which trumpets itself as "The ultimate destination for #Women WhoWork." (It's arguably a more empowering message than her mother Ivana's famous dictum, shared after her 1992 divorce from Donald: "Don't get mad. Get everything!")

The Daughters do differ in their approach to their private life. Chelsea has released only one photo of her daughter, Charlotte, to her 1.07 million Twitter followers-and that was when she announced that she was pregnant with her second child. She is far more public about her politics and wrote a book, It's Your World, meant to encourage 10- to 14-year-olds to make a difference. …

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