There has been a shift in American policy at the highest levels of government ever since the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency. Donald Trump campaigned on changing the very nature of government from the inside out, bringing in outsiders that might never have had the opportunity. One of these outsiders is Betsy DeVos, a prominent Michigan Republican, who has spent her entire political career championing charter schools and the viability of school choice. DeVos was confirmed by the Senate and has taken up her post as the Secretary of Education at the Department of Education. This huge honor comes with its own set of challenges, but Betsy DeVos seems uniquely ready to take on the challenges.
Born and raised in Holland, Michigan, Betsy DeVos formulated much of her outlook on life-based on her community and her faith. Raised in a small Dutch neighborhood, DeVos saw quickly how important both of those aspects were to her life. DeVos would go on to Calvin College in order to cement her education and guide her political aspirations. While at college, Betsy would meet her future husband Dick DeVos. At school, Betsy DeVos gained a reputation for someone with a personable demeanor and a sharp-wite, always ready to discuss any topic available. However, her reputation in Michigan did not follow her to Washington D.C. and as a result, many politicians and people on the national stage had no idea what to expect of her after confirmation.
In Washington D.C., politicians have to be bulldogs that are willing to tenaciously fight for everything that they need. Randi Weingarten, President of a prominent teacher’s union, said of Betsy DeVos, “There is a real tendency to underestimate her. She comes across as personable, plain-spoken, but she is dangerous.” Weingarten was invited to a meeting with DeVos following her confirmation by the Senate. Weingarten quickly found out that DeVos was not someone who was going to be meek in her approach to governance.
Mike Cox, a former state attorney general, also spoke highly of Betsy DeVos, subverting expectations that she was some sort of meek individual. Cox said, “In Michigan politics, she instilled fear in a lot of people, and it’s not just because she’s a billionaire.” Cox and Weingarten are only two of the many individuals who have quickly come away with a different outlook on Betsy DeVos than the media would have you believe. Now, simply put, it is time for her to get to work.
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