Ivanka Trump on Her Signature Issue – The New Yorker
I know I grew up rich, but, let me tell you, nothing has ever been handed to me. Good ideas only come from a lot of hard work. That said, when it came to me that I should put climate change at the top of my list of things to start “caring” about so that my dad can more fully ignore them, I knew exactly what to do next.
I texted Steve Bannon: “I PICKED A SIGNATURE ISSUE JUST LIKE U TOLD ME 2 IT’S CLIMATE CHANGE NOW WHAT?”
A few seconds later, I heard Steve’s special ringtone—the sound of Linda Blair vomiting on the priest in “The Exorcist.” His response said, “LEONARDO DICAPRIO PROBLY HAS SOME DUM MOVIE U CAN PRETEND TO WATCH. ALSO CALL THAT LOSER AL GORE.”
Leo came over right away and brought me a DVD about floods or maybe just water in general (?). “Why are you giving me a DVD?” I asked.
“Because no one is going to print ‘Leonardo DiCaprio sent Ivanka Trump a link to a video,’ ” he said.
Leo seemed like he could have stayed forever explaining stuff to me, so I tried to make myself look busy. I wrote “Call shoe factory” on a Post-it and stuck it on my desk. He saw it but kept talking. “Look, I know you’re in a position of power, and I would be so happy if you would think about how vulnerable the planet is and influence the government to move forward with policies that protect it.”
“No worries,” I said. “This is my Signature Issue.”
I wanted him to go, but he still didn’t. I wrote, “Call shoe factory right now,” and underlined “right now” several times.
“O.K.,” Leonardo said uneasily, rising. “I mean, I know your dad says he thinks climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, and he is going to be the President . . .”
“My father and I are not the same person,” I said, giving him the warm, reassuring smile I had practiced so many times along with this phrase, in front of the mirror. “Thank you for the wonderful DVD. I will try to visit 2006 somehow to watch it.”
The next morning, Al Gore came over.
We got right down to business. I said, “I have been given a climate-change DVD by Leonardo DiCaprio, and have begun looking for a device with which to watch it. In short, I have begun to move forward with my Signature Issue.”
He shook his big head doubtfully. “I don’t know, Ivanka. We’re not at the point where we can just pay lip service to this stuff. We need someone who can really push climate-change issues with the current Administration. I’d like for you to be that person, of course, but . . .”
I pretended to look hurt. “Do you have someone else?” I asked, innocently. “Another person close to the incoming Administration who will listen to you? Because, if so, I’m happy to step aside.”
Al burst into tears. “Of course I don’t!” he cried. “You’re the only one. You know you’re the only one. You’re everyone’s last shred of hope. And you’re not even supposed to have any influence. It’s not—it’s not legal. You’re supposed to start running your dad’s business! Oh, how can this be?”
I gave a little shrug.
“God help us! God help us all!” Al collapsed on the floor, sobbing.
I brought him some bottled water. “I brought my own,” he said, clutching an orange Klean Kanteen as if it were a safety blanket.
I helped him lift it to his trembling lips. “Should I get a Klean Kanteen?” I asked. “If this is my Signature Issue?”
“I’ll get you one,” he whispered. “I’ll ship you and your whole family Klean Kanteens. Please use them. It’s small, but it’s a gesture. Maybe if America sees you and Jared using Klean Kanteens . . . Oh, who am I kidding? Nothing matters anymore and we’re all going to die.”
I helped him to the elevator. As we waited, I felt I should offer some reassurance. “My father and I are not the same person,” I said. But I forgot to add the warm, reassuring smile, and I saw a look of sheer terror cross his face.
“I believe you,” he said, staring at me with wide, haunted eyes.
“Tell everyone you also saw my dad and that he was cool and I promise to use the Klean Kanteens,” I said, as the elevator doors closed.
The next day, five Klean Kanteens—four big ones, and a little one for Teddy—arrived with a note: “Thanks for a productive meeting.” My Klean Kanteen is pink and has my name on it. I’m going to take it everywhere!