Despite her best efforts to humanize her father, some critics are saying that Tiffany Trump’s speech Tuesday night made Donald Trump seem aloof, both as a man and as a father. In a speech that ran for about five minutes, Tiffany told delegates about how her father wrote notes on her childhood report cards and called her once on the phone after someone close to her had died. She said that Trump was good with advice but that “he keeps it short,” and that she always enjoyed introducing him to her friends who had “preconceived notions” about him. “In person,” she said, “my father is so friendly, so considerate, so funny and so real.” In so doing, argued Ruth Graham of Slate, Tiffany implied that “the Donald Trump the public knows is none of these things.”
The only child from Trump’s second marriage to model Marla Maples, Tiffany, by comparison to her older half-sister Ivanka, is something of an unknown figure. Unlike Ivanka, who serves as executive vice president of development and acquisitions at the Trump Organization, the Republican presidential nominee doesn’t follow Tiffany on Twitter and rarely mentions her in comments. His highest praise of Tiffany may have come shortly after her birth. “She’s got mama’s legs,” said Trump of infant Tiffany in 1994. “We don’t know whether or not she’s got this part yet,” he added, cupping imaginary breasts, “but time will tell.”
Maples has said that after she and Trump divorced in 1999 that she essentially became a single mother, taking her daughter “into New York a couple times a year [to] let her go see her dad.” But despite their distant relationship, Tiffany cites her father as a great motivating force in her life. “I don’t know what it’s like to have a typical father figure,” she told DuJour magazine. “He’s not the dad who’s going to take me to the beach and go swimming, but he’s such a motivational person.” Tiffany emphasized those motivational qualities last night — her father, however, wasn’t there to see it. He had already flown back to New York for the night.
Watch her full convention speech below:
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