Last spring before Ivanka Trump was made an official part of the Trump West Wing, Ivanka made an appearance at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum to discuss STEM for girls, at the behest of Betsy DeVos and on the same bill as Kathryn Hire, a NASA astronaut. Incredibly, it took 150 emails and 21 employees over almost two months to arrange an appearance that was less than an hour in length. Newsweek:
The staff hours, angst and emailing that goes into putting a political “principal” like Ivanka Trump, assistant to the president, on stage at any event in Washington is always an exercise in theatrical production and people-management skills, what with the squads of coat-brushing, purse-holding, door-opening flunkies fighting for face time. But in this case, it required the mobilization of at least 21 government employees (some of the emails were fully redacted) to choreograph less than an hour in the schedule of a woman who was not yet an official employee. And high-ranking DOE staff were happy to oblige.
A panic ensued during the final days before the event, as Ivanka’s staff was unable to give the DOE organizers a time for her arrival and departure, even as the participants were doing a walkthrough. “[S]o sorry to bug,” wrote DOE staffer Laura Riggs, one of several emails to the White House that tried to get a final time. “Any way we can nail down her arrival/departure today?” Radford replied that they had scheduled Ivanka for 45 minutes (the organizers wanted an hour and a half) but were “working to move things around” to arrive a little earlier to comply with DOE’s plan.
The Keystone Kops were better organized than this. This is bubble mentality expressed to the exponential degree. It’s well established that everything in the Trump administration is fundamentally a photo op, but one would think that given the dignity of the venue and the task at hand, education for girls, that a little dignity and rectitude could have been found. Miraculously, the appearance went forward and Ivanka was actually able to get to the stage with her army of enablers and sycophants. It makes one wonder what the back story is behind other appearances, both of hers and other members of Trump’s administration. And finally, guess who’s footing the bill for this charade and all the others?