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January 29, 2007

Trump Power

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Like Father, Like Daughter

Indeed. Besides the plump lips, Ivanka has clearly inherited a little of her father's P.T. Barnum instincts, as well as his liberal way with superlatives. For instance, the deal she's overseeing in Mexico is "major," as is a condo offering in Hawaii. The project off the coast of Dubai is "the largest reclamation job ever," and the 75 "very high-end" homes under construction in Los Angeles will be sprinkled around an "incredible property." Ivanka glances at her computer to check the time. Like her father, she claims that doing interviews is not something she really enjoys. They're often boring for her because she gets a lot of the same questions, but she's learned to accept it in order to "grow the Trump brand."

"I love the name my father has given me," she says, "but I'm also Ivanka Trump as a person. That's important to me, and I think that's sort of why the interview thing becomes tedious. It's like, how many times do I have to say, 'Barron's adorable'?" That would be the 10-month-old son of Donald and his third wife, Melania. "Of course I think my brother is adorable," she says. "But for some reason that's really intriguing to people, how adorable I think he is, and whether my dad changes his diapers."

Ivanka is in town for two days to look at a job site, then it's off to California for three days, one day in Vegas, back to New York City, Chicago for a day, back to New York again, then Thailand for three days.

"There's nothing more fun for me than being on our sites," she sighs. "I'm probably the only girl who will be in a cute outfit and taking off her stiletto heels to put on her workmen's boots. It's just fun for me." At present there are 33 Trump holdings and projects in countries across the globe, and it's up to Ivanka and her brothers, Eric and Donald Jr., to continue taking the Trump brand worldwide. Toward that end, they have accompanied their father on numerous TV appearances — The Today Show, 20/20, the Forbes.com video network, and so on. And accompanying him is perhaps a good thing: When Donald appeared on The View solo last March, he told the hosts that "if Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her." The creepiness of that didn't go unnoticed by the press — Ivanka describes the aftermath as "a nightmare."

"I mean, I've even heard him say that before," she says. "He loves seeing people's reaction, when they're flabbergasted. Plus, he was obviously making fun of the fact that he has a tendency to date younger women."

I look around her somewhat cluttered office: There's the Trump-themed board game, the new Plum Sykes novel, golf clubs (she's a 16 handicap). "You should play sometime on one of our courses," she says. Then we check out the pictures up on the wall.

"The project in Dubai, a building I'm working on in Las Vegas," she says pointing to the framed images. "A panda bear, my favorite lawyer, my brother and me on the set of The Apprentice. Playing golf with my best friend, Christina, and her father, [pro golfer] Raymond Floyd. Me jumping out of an airplane."

I apologize for keeping her.

"I know, get the hell out of here!" she laughs, showing me out. "I have to do my conference call!

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