Making a speech in North Dakota yesterday, President Trump told the assembled crowd that he and first daughter Ivanka Trump, at age 35 one of his senior advisers, had engaged in some serious planning for the stop.
"[Ivanka] wanted to make the trip. She said, 'Dad, can I go with you?' She said actually, 'Daddy, can I go with you?' I like that, right?" the president said.
The visit, on which the president was accompanied by Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, was intended to warm up constituents to the idea of tax reform. But first, the president played hype man to his daughter.
"Ivanka Trump, everybody loves you! Come up, honey! Should I bring Ivanka up?" he began, before the "Daddy" discourse. "Sometimes they'll say, 'You know, he can't be that bad a guy, look at Ivanka.' Come on up. She's so good."
“Hi, North Dakota,” laughed Ivanka upon taking the stage. “We love this state, so it's always a pleasure to be back here. You treated us very, very well in November, and have continued to, so we like showing the love back. Thank you.”
“Thank you, honey. Come,” Trump said, reaching for his daughter and pulling her in for a kiss on the cheek before she left the stage.
On Twitter, many a vomit gif was shared, along with other disapproving reactions.
I'm drinking hand sanitizer— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) September 6, 2017
There's so many reactions that can go with this tweet. pic.twitter.com/rXwATdgmCH— Hatrick Swayze (@SarahEastcoast) September 6, 2017
President Daddy! pic.twitter.com/qJsbK0vxVX— Jarrett W (@jarrett_willAZ) September 6, 2017
This morning, CNN analyzed the president's repeated strategic deployment of Ivanka: To signal that a meeting is over or to change its subject. This happened most recently in yesterday's meeting with Capitol Hill leaders, in which Trump bypassed the advice of his own party and agreed to Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi's opening offer of a three-month debt-limit increase. (The Republicans wanted 18, to punt the issue beyond next year's midterm elections.) While Republican leaders stood "shell-shocked," as CNN reported, Ivanka entered the Oval Office to talk about her favored child-care tax credit.
Washington observers say that even the most grizzled D.C. veteran is no match for Ivanka's powers of charm and disarmament. "It's complicated for staff because they know that, in the end, the family has the greatest influence over Trump and so what they say can be overruled as soon as they leave the room. They don't feel like they can be as honest when a family member is in the room," said Kate Andersen Brower, author of "First Women: The Grace & Power of America's Modern First Ladies."
"This relationship between father and daughter is even closer so it makes it even more difficult," added Brower.