While President Donald Trump was readying himself to sign a bill blocking transgender children from using school bathrooms that match their gender identities, Betsy DeVos was meeting with LGBT representatives. The purpose of the meeting was to inform them of what was coming while also assuring them that she was working vigorously to stop it from happening. However, Ms. DeVos may have been too polite in public for her own good. This is because many in the public sphere have been she may be too meek to be a team player, and that President Trump signing such a bill was an example of this.
However, despite being so polite in presidential politics over the past few years, this isn’t the reputation that she’s fostered in her home state of Michigan. Instead, she’s developed a reputation as someone who’s driven and relentless. Because of this, she’s often been seen as an effective political fighter, often using her families immense fortune to help those she believes as allies. She’s also used this fortune to help unseat many of other political rivals in the past. Mike Cox, a Republican and former state attorney general, has said that much of her ruthless reputation isn’t down to her status as a billionaire, however.
In contrast, Mr. Cox has said that she’s become feared in many areas of politics because of her steely determination. As Mr. Cox has explained, this is because once she’s focused on an issue, she’ll do everything she can to ensure that she gets her way. However, Ms. DeVos arrived in Washington D.C with almost no experience in politics, and no relationship with the President, despite being a harsh critic of many of his policies and outspoken views. This lack of governmental experience may have played against her with the recent transgender school bathroom bill, as many experts have suggested.
This rings even truer when you consider the fact that she was up against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former senator with decades of Washington experience. A.G Sessions has also been a frequent friend to President Trump and has been known to be able to hold his ear. However, many people who admire Betsy DeVos have said that you shouldn’t count her out just yet. Many have suggested that they expect her to build key friendships and partnerships in Washington pretty quickly, as well as to learn the ropes just as fast. This was something that Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, echoed.
According to Mr. Weingarten, while Ms. DeVos can come across as personable, especially in public, she can be more dangerous than that. This is because, as Mr. Weingarten has noted, there’s been a tendency to underestimate her, which can end up being an advantage for Ms. Devos in the future.
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