In the wake of the November election, many citizens throughout America were left with one glaring question: How did this happen? From his racist comments to proposed unconstitutional plans, Donald Trump’s chances at the presidency seemed slim to none, but unbeknownst to most, Trump had a secret weapon: his daughter.

Ivanka Trump has been sculpting the public’s perception of her for years. While other heiresses like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie dominated Page Six with gossip articles and tabloid scandals, Ivanka was obtaining a degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and emerging as a world-class business woman. She appeared frequently on “The Apprentice,” was a regular at the front row of New York Fashion Week, and became a prominent figure at New York City fundraising galas.

Ivanka appears to be everything her father is not. She is well-spoken, graceful, compassionate, and reasonable. She has led a successful career while also raising three children, has campaigned for working women’s rights, and even wrote a New York Times bestselling self-help memoir—all the while evading the consequences of her father’s controversy.

Having successful children, like Ivanka, humanized Trump in a way that even Hillary Clinton admired. Ivanka is respected from politicians on both sides of the aisle, and she helped her father attract many followers. According to a POLITICO/Morning Consult Poll, Ivanka polls higher than both Donald Trump and Melania Trump. During the campaign, Ivanka was often brought out in place of her stepmother to defuse fires such as the “Access Hollywood” Video leak. She patiently defended her father against allegations of sexual assault.

By defending her father, Ivanka bolstered an illusive mentality that Trump was “for women.” Ivanka’s “feminist” image alleviated the strain of Trump’s contentious comments. The New York Times dubbed Ivanka as Trump’s “unofficial campaign spouse”; Cosmopolitan called her his “character witness.” Her poised presence on stage and in interviews made Trump, by association, appear more likeable. Trump is aware of her influence. While Melania Trump is staying in New York until her son finishes the current school year, Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, along with their three children, have already relocated to D.C. mid-year.

Ivanka’s confidence and elegance balance out her father’s fiery temperament, his rude mannerisms, and his unpredictable behavior. Trump and Clinton failed to exchange even a handshake at the second presidential debate, but Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka hugged— an attempt to bridge the gap between the rival families. As a result of this more mild and reasonable act, people have turned to Ivanka in hopes that she will be able to positively influence her father. An open letter titled “Dear Ivanka” appealed “to [her] rationality and [her] commitment to protecting the rights of all Americans”; Leonardo DiCaprio personally gave Ivanka a copy of his documentary titled “Before the Flood,” which highlighted the repercussions of climate change.

However, given how close she is with her father, how can she not share some of his opinions? According to Barry Diller, a social acquaintance of the Trump family and a business associate of Jared Kushner, it is “delusional to believe there’s any difference between Mr. Trump and his children on any of his extreme positions… they’ve had every opportunity to publicly modify them and have not done so.” If that is so, Ivanka has been a perfect pawn for Trump to play. According to Shannon Coulter, “people think that because she’s polished and well spoken, that she isn’t like him. I think she is more dangerous because she is more polished.”

Through her glossy public image and well-spoken manner, Ivanka filled in major gaps that might have otherwise destroyed the Trump campaign. She garnered support for her father under a public pretense that she is different. She humanized him.