Deflecting Attention May Help Betsy DeVos Succeed In The Era Of Trump

It is incredibly hard to get a read on the billionaire Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Her confirmation hearing gave little insight into her political background. She simply sat in front of Congress with a big smile while continually answering with clich├ęs.


News cameras caught her running away from protesters at schools in Washington, DC. She did not make a fuss about these interactions and the media quickly forgot. In fact, I think we all collectively forgot. And this may be the exact plans of Betsy DeVos.


The billionaire comes from Michigan where she has been involved with state politics for years. Anybody that has worked with her knows that she is incredibly smart and intimidating. She has been fighting for education reform for her entire political career and continues to do so at the federal level. The only difference is that she is not outspoken or intimidating at the federal level. That’s because she does not want any media attention.


One anecdote leads us to believe that she cares deeply about people. She huddled her employees, some of them homosexual and transgender, to warn them that Trump was about to repeal protections for transgender students in public schools. Trump used executive powers to eliminate an Obama-era rule that allowed transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice. She fought Trump vigorously over the elimination of the rule and then warned her staff after losing the fight. She did not, however, take the fight public in order to stay out of the media’s spotlight.


And this may be the perfect administration for her. Donald Trump has been mired in scandals and there has been record-breaking turnover in his White House. The media seems focused on the president while Betsy DeVos is free to push her agenda without any attention.


Just look at her charter school visits across America. She recently flew down to Florida to visit a charter school started by hip-hop artist Pit Bull. The Florida native is famous for his pop songs that use profane lyrics and misogynistic images. But Betsy DeVos was quick to team up with the popular rap artist in order to push charter schools across the country.


It is this a slow, intelligent and diligent work that may prove effective for the secretary. She has put her feisty nature on hold in order to deflect attention to become the most effective politician possible.


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