PAGING IVANKA

The only woman Donald Trump seems to think is competent is his daughter

Obsession
2016
Obsession
2016

Donald Trump just announced his team of economic advisors—a crackerjack group of the nation’s “top economists” and “most successful industry leaders in finance, real estate and technology.”

It includes 13 men, 0 women.

Trump also can’t think of any women—aside from his daughter, Ivanka—to hire for his cabinet, were he to win the presidency. Asked in an on-camera interview to name the first female he’d put in his cabinet, he said:

“Well, we have so many different ones to choose. I can tell you everybody would say, ‘Put Ivanka in, put Ivanka in,’ you know that, right? She’s very popular, she’s done very well, and you know Ivanka very well. But there really are so many that are really talented people—like you, you’re so talented, but I don’t know if your viewers know that.”

Trump’s punt harkened back to Mitt Romney’s comment about “binders full of women” in response to a question about the gender pay gap during a presidential debate in 2012—a parallel that wasn’t lost on the marketing mogul’s opponent.

Mind you, this wasn’t exactly gotcha journalism. Trump was speaking to one of his former Trump Spa employees, Angelia Savage, now co-host of The Chat, a talk show on Florida’s First Coast News.

It is, however, of a piece with Trump’s steadfast dismissal of women’s equality. On Aug. 2, after Trump defended Roger Ailes, former head of Fox, against charges of sexual harassment, USA Today asked him what should happen if Ivanka were sexually harassed. “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case,” Trump said.

In his speech accepting Republican convention, Trump didn’t mentioned gender equality issues at all. That’s despite the fact that Ivanka, in her speech introducing her father, announced his plans for gender-focused reforms that amounted to the boldest concrete plans mentioned in the entire GOP convention, making “quality childcare affordable and accessible for all” and labor laws more female-friendly. It was as though discussing these fairly critical labor force issues was women’s work.

This isn’t just chauvinistic; it’s self-defeating. More women vote than men—and Hillary Clinton keeps pulling farther and farther ahead of Trump in support from women voters.

It may be that Trump couldn’t find a female economist or business leader willing to join his council. Then again, maybe it has something to do with the expertise Trump seems to favor (pdf). While his team includes two economists and one public policy expert, seven are ultra-wealthy captains of finance, and another two are real estate tycoons. If you’re looking for conservative women economists, it’s much easier to find them in academia or think tanks than among Wall Street’s upper-most crust. And that’s assuming you can find any women at all.

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