A discussion about Betsy DeVos, the newly appointed Secretary of Education, would change wildly based on who you had it with. If you talked to longtime friends and community acquaintances, then they would say that Betsy DeVos is a gentle figure who is pragmatic, kind and generous. If you talked to political opponents who now have to square off against Betsy DeVos over any number of issues, well, the description would be quite different. However, the common thread between these two descriptions is simple: Betsy DeVos is a devout believer in her role as Secretary of Education and she is willing to go to battle in order to pursue what she values most for the good of the country.
Betsy DeVos comes from a small community in Holland, Michigan. DeVos was born and raised in a Dutch community with a heavy Christian presence and it is no surprise that Ms. DeVos has kept those values close to heart. She would go on to attend Calvin College where she would plant the seeds of becoming the political fighter that she is today. At Calvin College, DeVos would meet her future husband — Dick DeVos — while also laying the groundwork for becoming the chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party. Despite being relatively off of the national political radar, Betsy DeVos has spent years honing her edge.
Still, despite her strong track record there are going to be those that doubt DeVos’ ability at such a prominent position in the federal government. The question we should be asking ourselves is this, how will Betsy DeVos handle the doubt? So far, she has shouldered the burden by turning into the political bulldog that Republicans have always wanted. DeVos may be seen as meek and courteous during a sit-down lunch, but when it comes time to fight for political changes then all bets are off. Mike Cox, a former attorney general, said of DeVos, ” “In Michigan politics, she instilled fear in a lot of people.”
While Ms. DeVos gets targeted for her lack of connections to public schooling, a realm that her position puts her in charge of, DeVos continues to plug away at her work. DeVos came right into the office and scheduled a meeting with prominent leaders at various teachers unions and she was largely rebuffed. Still, Randi Weingarten accepted the invitation and quickly found out that Betsy DeVos is for real. Weingarten says of Betsy DeVos, “She’s completely ideologically focused.”
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