What happens when two Manhattan women are close friends, but their parents are at each others’ throats?
The similarities in the women’s backgrounds are striking. Both come from famous, tumultuous families, both went to the best schools and both understand each other as few can.
One’s parents went through an ugly divorce when she was 10, the other’s dad’s philandering embarrassed the family. Both have survived and thrived. One attended the Wharton School and became a writer and designer, then joined the family business. The other attended Stanford and Oxford universities before becoming a TV correspondent, then also joined her family’s enterprise. Both Christian-born women married Jewish men and are moms of preschoolers. They obviously have a lot in common, and it isn’t surprising they became fast friends.
But can Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton’s relationship — they’ve been friends for years — survive their parents’ hatefests?
In a relationship stranger than anything ever aired on “Friends,” Chelsea and Ivanka try to remain buds despite their parents’ nasty exchanges in their quests for the White House.
For starters, Ivanka’s dad (“The Donald”) recently said Chelsea’s dad, Bill (“The Big Dog”), had a “terrible record of women abuse” and that her mom, Hillary, got “schlonged” by President Barack Obama in 2008. Meanwhile, Hillary called Ivanka’s father a sexist, a bully and a bigot.
Have Chelsea and Ivanka compared notes on who was raised by a more embarrassing dad? For a while, Bill’s dalliance with an intern was tops in the humiliation category, until The Donald said recently that if Ivanka weren’t his daughter, “perhaps I’d be dating her.” Yecch.
They say friendships are the family you choose, and it’s not surprising that Chelsea and Ivanka have bonded. But advisers to both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have suggested their daughters not be seen together during the campaign, according to the New York Daily News, which adds that they’ve gone “underground” with their relationship.
As their parents remain the front-runners, and as the vitriol grows, I wonder: Can this unique friendship survive?
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.