(Slate) -- Ivanka Trump is on a quest to brand herself as a champion of women in the workplace, a sort of millennial Sheryl Sandberg. She is largely responsible for getting her epically misogynist father to embrace paid family leave and subsidized child care, which he did in a short speech on Tuesday evening. But much credit also belongs to Hillary Clinton, who took issues that have been largely absent from politics for 40 years and put them at the center of her presidential agenda. Thanks to Clinton, government support for working parents of young children has become something that Trump feels like he has to compete on, rather than simply to oppose. For the moment, we have a bipartisan consensus that the federal government should address the fact that “the United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not provide new mothers with paid maternity leave,” as Ivanka said in introducing her father last night.
This is not to say Donald Trump’s proposal is a good one. He says he will fund six weeks of unemployment benefits for new mothers who need paid leave by weeding out fraud and abuse in the unemployment insurance program. The numbers, naturally, don’t add up. (Trump, of course, often promises to pay for things through a “waste, fraud, and abuse” crackdown; it’s the imaginary pot of gold that lets him pretend his financial plans aren’t whimsical and contradictory.) The plan only cites “maternity” leave, not parental leave, which is keeping with Trump’s assumption that infant care is strictly a wife’s job. (It’s unclear whether the leave would be available to adoptive parents.)