By now, everyone is aware of the politician that is Betsy DeVos. They know her primarily for her role as Education Secretary. However, what they do not know is that under that calm exterior lies a woman who has an intense and steely focus when she sets her sights upon a goal. The best way to sum it up would be this: while Betsy DeVos may be publicly polite, she is a driven and determined political fighter behind the scenes. Ask anyone who has experience with Michigan politics, and they will be able to tell you – the woman literally instilled fear in many of her political opponents.
If you think that wariness and timidity only came from the fact she was a billionaire, then you need to think again. DeVos was driven and relentless, and as a Michigan politician she was adept at using her personal fortune to reward allies and punish detractors. She was particularly good at working behind the scenes and passing legislation that furthered her own political beliefs. Moreover, she also was adept at unseating legislators who opposed her goals. You see, in Michigan they are able to play gotcha politics with the best of them. Thus, if you think that Betsy DeVos is not a battle-hardened Trump ally, then you have got another thing coming.
Betsy DeVos has also been a strong proponent of charter schools, and she has worked tirelessly in order to steer tax dollars away from the public schools and into the charter schools. Because of this, critics often paint Betsy DeVos as a full-blown ideologue. However, the fact remains that she understands something that many individuals do not: even the schools we consider “good” in this country are not that great by the world’s standards. Greg McNeilly is one of Michigan’s political operatives, and he was one of the first ones to realize that DeVos wants to see our country’s educational system fundamentally changed.
How can we tell what type of leader Betsy DeVos is going to be in her post as Education Secretary? Simple. We just look at one of her first acts in this cabinet post. She called the leaders of the two major teachers unions in our country and requested meetings with them. While one of them declined, the head of the American Federation of Teachers was happy to converse with her. DeVos has now developed a godd working relationship with department head Randi Weingarten, and they are now going to visit schools together.
As you can see, there is no questioning the fact that Betsy DeVos knows how to play the game. She is one of the best at playing power politics. As Greg McNeilly has said, “opposition only emboldens her.”
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