But this wasn’t just a bit of entertainment. In arranging it, the first daughter looked to also be deploying some soft power diplomacy moves in her still-to-be defined role as her father’s special White House assistant. Moreover, she was trying to help out her husband, Jared Kushner, who has become the president’s go-to guy on all sorts of domestic and foreign policy assignments, including brokering high-level meetings between the president and foreign leaders like Xi. Ivanka assumed, or rightly knew, that there is nothing like having the children or grandchildren of a host put on a cute performance to cut down tensions in a room full of VIPs with competing agendas.
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A quarter of a century later and more experienced on the difference between a slight tremor and a major quake, I was pretty certain the rolling, shaking quake that woke me up Sunday morning was a major one. I’d been sleeping peacefully, I presume, with my dog, Bailey, burrowed beneath the covers next to me. I don’t know if it was the quake that startled him or my leaping from the bed, but he darted out and gave me a “what the …” look. I spent the next couple of hours doing what reporters, even pets and wildlife columnists, do, trying to find out what had happened and how bad it was. Bailey sat by my side for a while, then slid back under the covers. He’s been a little “off” since then, begging to go out and then begging to come back in. He wants something, and although what he wants usually are more treats, this has seemed different. Perhaps he wants reassurances that his world isn’t going to start shaking again.
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Miguel Elera, a 20-year-old camper from Brentwood, simply calls it “work.” With his chest swelling with pride and his usual overabundant enthusiasm for life settling into a rare moment focused on a single sentence, Elera embodies the “magic” of an unusual camp hosted each summer by Lafayette-based nonprofit Futures Explored Inc. at St. Mary’s College in Moraga. “I remember my lines,” he declares. ” I say, ‘I was bald, but now I have hair.'”.