Politics - News Analysis

Ivanka Took ‘Secret Trip’ to Maui to Test the Political Waters as She Appears in One of Her Famous Photo Ops

Anything to improve her brand.

Ivanka Trump made a surprise visit to Maui a few weeks ago after wildfires ravaged the tropical paradise. It seemed an odd choice, since there was no reason for her to actually travel there.

Imagine being in the middle of trying to recover and clean up from the devastation that was seen from Lahaina to Upper Kula, and then having to deal with a whole entourage of security, paparazzi, and aides accompanying the former First Daughter.

Ivanka made sure, however, that she was photographed with the rest of CityServe International, handing out food and supplies. It was reminiscent of Paul Ryan at the soup kitchen in 2012 — clearly meant to be seen by fans. She might as well have been modeling another can of Goya brand black beans.

CityServe, a faith-based network that coordinates with local churches, issued a statement with high praise for Ivanka:

“Her humble presence lifted spirits and reminded the people of Lahaina that they are not forgotten. Amidst the tears being shed are tangible signs of hope and love, and with the arrival of meals and supplies, our partners and team alongside Ivanka, were hefting boxes of supplies, consoling survivors, and passing out meals to those who’ve lost everything.”

The charity, however, earned only a 65 percent rating on Charity Navigator, a site that evaluates non-profit and for-profit philanthropic organizations. For effectiveness, CityServe scores very well; for accountability (as in, where the money goes), not so much.

Ivanka will continue to build and brand herself as a philanthropist, as she plans to have a Boeing 747 full of scooters, toys, ukuleles, and Jockey brand clothes delivered to Maui, “all because of Ivanka’s connections,” the charity said.

All in all, it seems as though a high-profile visit from someone like Ivanka, who could just as easily have simply sent the money and food and supplies rather than burden the city with an unnecessary presence, comes out as basically a wash.

Ivanka Trump wore a name tag that read ‘Iva’ as she distributed food

But there’s no way Ivanka, who swore she was leaving the limelight to pay more attention to her family, can stay away from the cameras for too long. Must be those Trump genetics her dad is always talking about.

Ivanka joined CityServe International on their humanitarian mission.
meet the author

Andrew is a dark blue speck in deep red Central Washington, writing with the conviction of 18 years at the keyboard and too much politics to even stand. When not furiously stabbing the keys on breaking news stories, he writes poetry, prose, essays, haiku, lectures, stories for grief therapy, wedding ceremonies, detailed instructions on making doughnuts from canned biscuit dough (more sugar than cinnamon — duh), and equations to determine the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow. A girlfriend, a dog, two cats, and two birds round out the equation, and in his spare time, Drewbear likes to imagine what it must be like to have spare time.


Comments are currently closed.