As presidential pairings go, it is hard to envision a creepier ticket than Donald Trump and Mike Pence: an alleged sexual predator alarmingly at ease with white supremacy, enabled by a weenie who is obsessed with his meat and sleeps every night with his beloved Mother? Ahh! But, just as a fun and spooky game, had you considered … Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka?
It would undeniably be a weird choice for a politically inexperienced dad to chose his equally ill-equipped daughter as his running mate, but it’s allegedly one Trump gave a lot of thought to back in 2016. According to convicted criminal Rick Gates, formerly Trump’s deputy campaign manager, Trump continually floated Ivanka’s name during VP selection talks four years ago, until she herself shut it down.
“I think it should be Ivanka. What about Ivanka as my VP?” Gates recalled the president saying, according to the Washington Post, which has previewed Gates’s forthcoming tell-all. “She’s bright, she’s smart, she’s beautiful, and the people would love her!”
From a practical standpoint, “Ivanka as vice-president” probably wouldn’t be all that different from “Ivanka as senior adviser to daddy,” which is her current position. Certainly, it is less cringey than the Ivanka as First Lady narrative that plagues us. But as the Post points out, in June 2016, Ivanka was a 34-year-old “fashion and real estate executive who had never held elected office,” none of which qualifies her to hold the nation’s second-highest office. Yet Trump — whose professional history amounts to “reality-TV and real-estate personality,” so there you go — reportedly refused to let the matter drop. For weeks, he tried to “sell his campaign staff on the idea,” the Post says, pitching the prospect so persistently that his campaign wound up polling the idea twice. (“This is not true and there was never any such poll,” his current campaign communications director told the Post.) According to Gates, Trump only dropped it when Ivanka insisted it wasn’t a good idea.
It’s marginally surprising decision from a woman who seems to love nothing more than self-empowerment, but it just goes to show — things could always be weirder.