In October, when Ivanka Trump described herself as “pro-life, and unapologetically so,” her comment was seen as the surest sign to date that the ambitious, spotlight-seeking Trump daughter was serious about a career of her own in Republican politics.
Over the past four years, Ms. Trump, 39, has undergone a political transformation, from a registered New York Democrat to what she has described as a “proud Trump Republican.” During the 2020 campaign, she was considered by Trump campaign officials to be the top surrogate for her father, often speaking on his behalf to suburban women. For years, she has promoted articles and had her staff pitch stories about how she rivaled top Democratic presidential candidates in her fund-raising abilities.
She is still packing up her mansion in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, but will relocate in the coming weeks to Florida, where her advisers say she is weighing her options when it comes to elected office. That includes not popping a trial balloon about a potential primary challenge next year to Mr. Rubio, who Republican critics note could be vulnerable because he did not vote to sustain any objections to the state’s electors.
Other observers have dismissed that scenario as a difficult way to begin a political career and said Mr. Rubio needed to take it less seriously after the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. Running for state office is off the table for Ms. Trump because Florida law requires seven years of residency. Some people who know her say that her ambitions are higher, that she likes the ring of “first female president” and that there’s simply no downside to keeping her name afloat.
She has surprising allies promoting it for her. “Ivanka would be a terrific candidate, with her presence, grace and beauty,” said Stephen K. Bannon, the former chief White House strategist who received a pardon from Mr. Trump. Once an enemy of Ms. Trump’s in the White House, he is now intent on propping her up. “She’s also the most populist because she’s fully focused on working families,” he said.
“From Huckabee to Lara Trump to Don Jr. to Kayleigh McEnany, this is the new vanguard of the MAGA movement,” Mr. Bannon added. “I anticipate these people will be either running in 2022 or 2024.”