Education secretary Betsy DeVos has the political battle scars to prove she likes a good fight. Some of her opponents say it’s in her genetic makeup to fight and be feisty and focused on a mission few would attempt. Jumping on board the Trump wagon was a sudden jolt of reality for the entitled DeVos family member. The Senate didn’t want to confirm her even though she was the pride of the Republican Party in Michigan. Rising through the Republican ranks was always on Betsy’s bucket list. She and husband Dick took the Republican Party in Michigan by the short hairs and molded it in her image.
She got the Secretary of Education nod when Trump needed a woman who was able to go ten rounds with any politician in town. But when 60 Minutes came calling, Betsy showed the country what molding the education system into clones for her Michigan for-profit school system would look like. And according to some of her political opponents, she dropped the ball. The DeVos haters said the 60 Minutes interview was the defining moment in her free secretary of education service so far.
But Betsy has a lot of supporters. Betsy is a 21st-century down-to-business kind of woman. She has more money than she could ever spend, so she doesn’t take a salary from the government. And she has the uncanny ability to tell it like is. She is a political evangelical ball of fire even husband Dick can’t put out. Dick is her biggest supporter, and that support comes with a very fat wallet. But Betsy has her own Prince family money. Her dad was a successful automotive executive.
The good news is, the media is not trying to squeeze another story out of her, right now although her trip to Georgia Tech made the news. Betsy is launching the “Rethink School Tour,” and Atlanta is the first city on the list, and Huntsville, Alabama is next. The press travels with her, but the media have their hands full dealing with other Trumpians who are more newsworthy at the moment. Trump’s epic reality show has a cast of press-worthy characters like Brett Kavanaugh, Lindsey Graham, and Mitch McConnell to spotlight right now, so the press is busy.
But news reporters are never too busy to throw DeVos under the education bus. DeVos usually gives the press the ammunition they need to subtly mock her edicts and question her judgment. The recent news that DeVry University, a troubled for-profit university, is up for sale gave the press something to chew on. The education secret Trump hides from the public is he wants to bring back for-profit universities, and Betsy is doing the dirty work. Her detractors say she puts corporate profits in front of the interest of consumers. But giving that Idaho school Blue Ribbon status took a little heat off this battle-scarred secretary.
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