Betsy DeVos has faded from the limelight recently. She was all over television screens during her confirmation as Secretary of Education just a few months ago. She sat in front of Congress and deflected questions with precision while keeping a wide smile on her face. Some might have thought her behavior to be clueless, but her history as a fierce political fighter in her home state of Michigan tells me otherwise.
Let’s take a recent fight she had with the president, for example. The feisty billionaire fought Donald Trump over the repeal of an Obama-era rule intended to protect transgender students. Her fight was witnessed by her aide, and, unfortunately, she did not change the president’s mind. Donald Trump then went out to repeal the protection that stated transgender students could use the bathrooms of their choice in public schools.
Betsy DeVos even huddled her employees around. Her aide as her witness, she explained to her employees, including a representative for the LGBTQ community, that she lost her private fight with the president over the repeal of the rule. But then she went out to support the president’s decision in public. She even said that Obama overreached his power implementing the rule in the first place.
“In Michigan politics, she instilled fear in a lot of people,” said former state attorney general, Mike Cox. The former Michigan politician then went on to describe her as steely and determined. That’s her reputation as a Michigan politician. We haven’t seen much of that public fighter in Betsy DeVos during her tenure in the Trump Administration. That begs the question — Where is the Michigan Mrs. DeVos?
It’s far too easy to say that she’s simply changed. I’d bet that she’s laying low while advancing her agenda at the federal level. The controversies surrounding the Trump Administration even seem to be helping her. After all, you haven’t seen her in the news lately, have you?
Meanwhile, Betsy DeVos is visiting charter schools all over the country. She recently met up with the pop star Pit Bull to tour his Miami-based charter school. She continued to put on that smiling face for the media even as they hurled questions about the rap artist’s misogynistic lyrics. I’m sure she slowly convinced certain parts of the Florida electorate that charter schools are cool with her appearance aside the world-famous entertainer at his South Florida private school.
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