The G20 is not Take Your Daughter to Work Day

The Ivanka Trump thing really annoys me…probably partly because it’s such a grotesque inversion of feminism. No no no no no no no, feminism is not about boosting unqualified inexperienced daughters into jobs in the Executive Branch because their daddies are president. No. That’s the opposite of feminism. It’s a grotesque leering parody of feminism. It’s insulting.

And it’s just all wrong. Heads of state don’t bring their toddlers with them to global meetings, and have them “sit in” while they’re away for a few minutes. They don’t bring their adult children either, or their cousins or siblings or any other relatives. That’s not how any of this works. It’s a break from diplomatic protocol.

Former NATO ambassador Nicholas Burns, who served as a diplomat under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said the incident was a breach of protocols for such summits. Those traditions are intended to send a clear message to world leaders about who has power in the government.

Burns said in his experience at summits, the secretary of state would take the president’s place at the table.

Of course Trump’s Secretary of State is also grossly underqualified, but at least he’s not a relative.

“This is a group of the 20 most powerful leaders in the world in the 20 most powerful countries in the world,” Burns said. “It conveys that impression and we are a democracy and that’s also important here.”

“Authority is not conferred upon family members because of the president’s position,” he added.

And normally, everybody knows that. Everybody.

Trump and other world leaders of the G-20 sat around a massive table for a working session on “Partnership With Africa, Migration and Health” when Ivanka relieved her father, who had to leave the room for additional meetings. The move placed her squarely between British Prime Minister Theresa May and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“Yes, it stuck out,” said a senior European official who took part in the G-20 talks and who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly. “The very fact that his daughter is senior adviser smacks of the kind of nepotism not seen since John F. Kennedy named Robert F. Kennedy as attorney general.”

At least Robert Kennedy wasn’t a fashion marketer.

Some critics online compared Ivanka Trump’s presence at the table to a “banana republic” and argued that she is both “unelected” and “unqualified” to step into a role usually filled by officials with policy expertise.

What need is there to argue? Of course she’s neither elected nor qualified, and of course a job like that requires policy expertise. Ivanka Trump sells shoes and jewelry. She’s not qualified.

There were some tweets.

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