Ivanka Trump's Worst Week in Washington

Story highlights

  • Through the first 134 days of Donald Trump's presidency, Ivanka has been far more talk than action
  • Her inability to deliver results came to a head this week

Washington (CNN)Ivanka Trump has long been cast as the one person that her father -- aka the President of the United States -- really, truly listens to.

So, when she formally joined the White House earlier this year, many people who were deeply concerned about the direction Donald Trump would take the country viewed it as a a major step in the right direction.
But, through the first 134 days of Donald Trump's presidency, Ivanka has been far more talk than action. And her inability to deliver results came to a head this week as Ivanka failed to convince her father to keep the US in the Paris climate accord.
    "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh -- not Paris," Trump thundered in his Rose Garden speech announcing that the US would join Nicaragua and Syria as the only three countries who are not part of the Paris accords.
    It was a statement --- and a sentiment -- right out of the mind of Steve Bannon, chief strategist in the Trump White House and someone with whom Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump's husband, has repeatedly clashed over the first four-plus months of the administration.
    Bannon represents a hard-charging, nationalist, populist, anti-establishment view of politics. Ivanka and her husband -- "Javanka" for short -- are far more liberal and moderate-minded.
    Bannon's views won out on this issue, due in no small part to the fact that Trump promised to get out of Paris during the campaign and felt compelled to make good on that pledge to appease his political base.
    For Ivanka, this week serves as a blunt reminder that, despite her considerable influence with her father, she has yet to affect major changes -- or even minor ones -- in his views since coming to the White House.
    On virtually every issue -- trade, immigration, healthcare and now climate -- Trump has sided with his political base rather than his daughter and her husband. Whether "Javanka" want to admit it or not, that's embarrassing given the role in the White House they quite clearly envisioned for themselves.
    Publicly, Ivanka's serenity is unbothered. This comes from a terrific story in Politico:
    "Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, have taken the defeat in stride, according to two people familiar with their thinking on the issue. Their view of their roles in the White House is that they're playing the long game, helping the President to be successful. And they don't tally their own influence day by day or bill by bill."
    Riiiiiiiight. Relatedly, I am playing the "long game" on making it to the NBA.
    None of this means that Ivanka -- or Jared -- is going anywhere anytime soon. They aren't. And, if they do, it will be their choice, not because President Trump pushes them out.
    But, what this week disproved -- or at least poked holes in -- is the notion that Ivanka Trump can get her father to do what she wants when she really sets her mind to it.
    Ivanka, for realizing that no one rules Donald Trump but Donald Trump, you had the Worst Week in Washington. Congrats, or something.