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The most involved presidential child in any administration in recent history, Ivanka Trump has been front and center in meetings with world leaders and hopes to influence her father when it comes to working women's issues. How effective will she be? USA TODAY

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The pictures say it all.

In all the turbulence of the Trump administration so far, there has been one steady constant: Ivanka Trump, front and center at the White House, at work and at play.

It was expected the first daughter would be at her father's side more than first lady Melania Trump; what's unexpected is she's been there almost as much as her husband, senior adviser Jared Kushner, who's actually working there.

Despite her modest protestations after the election that she planned to be just "a daughter" in her father's administration, the pictures since the inauguration already show something different.

Visiting @boeing in South Carolina with @realdonaldtrump today.

A post shared by Ivanka Trump (@ivankatrump) on

"I've never seen a (presidential) child this involved in her father's administration," says Kate Andersen Brower, author of a study of first ladies, First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies. "There’s nobody else like her. Even George W. Bush, during his father's administration, he was involved in campaign stuff but he wasn't sitting in on meetings at the White House as far as I know."

Not so for Ivanka, 35: There she was Friday with Kushner and two of her kids, walking across the White House lawn to Marine One and then aboard Air Force One for a visit to South Carolina Friday and then on to Mar-a-Lago for the weekend. Melania Trump was not with them.

There she was this week, sitting at the president's desk in the Oval Office, in a picture on her glossy Instagram page featuring other pictures of her and her children at the White House. "A great discussion with two world leaders about the importance of women having a seat at the table!" she wrote.

There she is sitting next to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a White House conference on women in business on Monday, directing her beatific smile at the handsome young pol from the north.

There she was last week in the front row of the joint press conference with POTUS and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, flanked by such Trump titans as chief strategist Steve Bannon, chief-of-staff Reince Priebus and National Security honcho Michael Flynn. A week later, Flynn was gone, having been fired over questions about his judgment and veracity.

But Ivanka is still there. "Ivanka is front and center because she wants to be," says first lady historian Jean Harris, of the University of Scranton's Political Science Department and Women’s Studies.

On Wednesday, Ivanka was once again in the front row at the joint press conference with Trump and visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, sitting next to Kushner, the first lady and Netanyahu's wife, Sara.  She posted the picture on her Instagram. Kushner was there for a reason: He's been tasked by Trump to negotiate peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

When Trump was asked at the press conference about the rise in anti-Semitic attacks since he was elected, he didn't answer directly, instead pointing out that Ivanka, Kushner and their three children are Jewish. "You're going to see a lot of love, okay?" he concluded.

Ivanka has said in interviews that she wants to make empowering more women in business her signature issue during the Trump administration, and she's already started: She's been at two White House conferences with business leaders, plus she and Kushner hosted a dinner last month with a group of CEOs at her new home in a pricey neighborhood of Washington, to talk about working women and issues like paid maternity leave.

In one sense, Ivanka's prominence is natural. She really is close to dad and he is proud of her. In another sense, it's strategic, as Trump suggested in his now-famous tweet last week blasting Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka's fashion line. "She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!" he tweeted on Feb. 8.

"It was very telling and I don't think he's saying that ironically," Brower says. "I think he realizes she is a positive part of his image right now. She's the only women in his orbit who is seen as relatively moderate or seemingly so. He recognizes that people want to think she is advising him."

Harris, however, is skeptical that her father or his advisers are plotting to put Ivanka forward. She is doing it herself, Harris says, because she wants to influence policy on child care and paid maternity leave.

"However, such policies are not typically supported by Republican officials and she therefore may be limited in affecting such matters," Harris says. "Being the daughter of the president typically does not offer the same leverage with the public as does being the president's wife."

The Netanyahu visit was Melania Trump's first appearance at the White House in a FLOTUS duty, greeting the visiting dignitaries and playing hostess. Later Wednesday, Mrs. Trump accompanied Mrs. Netanyahu on a tour of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. She played hostess for the Abes at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend, but notably did not accompany Mrs. Abe when she toured Washington on Friday.

But we already knew Melania would be a part-time FLOTUS initially; just after the election the Trumps announced she would remain New York until the youngest Trump child finishes the school year in June.

Ivanka was seen as a natural stand-in, and she did so when she accompanied her father to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to greet the remains of a fallen soldier. But she didn't host Mrs. Abe, either; she was at the White House instead. In fact, Ivanka has pushed back at the stand-in speculation, telling ABC News it was "an inappropriate observation.”

But there she was again, with her husband and children, climbing on board Air Force One with the Trumps and the Abes for their weekend of golfing and diplomacy at Mar-a-Lago.

Not everything Ivanka has done so far has gone over well: She posted an ill-timed Instagram picture of herself and her husband — she dressed in a $5,000 silvery couture gown — in the midst of the chaos and protests last month that erupted at international airports over President Trump's order barring refugees and travelers from some Muslim countries. It provoked a backlash of mocking "Let them eat cake!" tweets and pictorial comparisons to woebegone Syrian refugees.

Even the picture of her sitting at POTUS' desk, flanked by the president and Trudeau, got push-back from critics who accused her of using the Oval Office as a prop. On the Daily Show, Trevor Noah mocked her.

“Oh, I’m sorry, that photo shows the importance of women having a seat at the table? Your dad let you sit at his desk!” exclaimed Noah. “That’s not a woman in power, it’s take your daughter to work day!"

On Election Day, BuzzFeed's culture writer, Anne Helen Petersen, posted a feminist take-apart piece on Ivanka that asserted the daughter's poise and polish only mask how closely her thinking aligns with the father's.

"Like her father, she turned her lifestyle into a brand. And like her father’s brand, Ivanka’s is guided by a simple, if cloaked, understanding: that the world should be run by straight white men. Women can work in it, but only if they have the right clothes, the right bodies, the right attitude,” she wrote.

Taking a call in the White House with my personal assistant Theodore. ❤

A post shared by Ivanka Trump (@ivankatrump) on

Unlike her father, Ivanka ignores all this, at least in public. Is her presence having an effect, good or bad, on the Trump administration's image or decisions? Too early to tell; after all, Trump has been president less than one month. But he has appeared to respond to her issues by at least talking about women in business at the White House.

"I don't think she's helping much yet," says Brower. "If she's so influential, how come the (Trump administration) head of the Environmental Protection Agency and other cabinet posts aren't reflective of her implied policies, when they're rolling back regulations that impact climate change, for instance?  Is she really pushing (her father) to care about the environment?

"So far she hasn't done something to show she's influential in a real way."

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