Donald Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway is continuing to follow her principles and show she’s a valuable addition to the next administration. She’s been whipping Trump into shape as the first woman to run a successful presidential campaign, toning down his arrogance and less appealing characteristics, and solidifying his conservative credentials.
Conway presented a relentlessly positive and appealing presence in the media, and was far more relatable than Trump, especially with women. Rather than defending Trump’s worst moments, she turned focus to his apologies and how things could be done better. Conway has honed and perfected her skills at presenting conservative male politicians in ways that are more media- and voter-friendly.
She’s a rockstar in politics right now, and that reputation is hard-earned and well-deserved. Conway is using that influence and attention to pull focus to issues the mainstream media would rather ignore. Conway will be speaking at the March for Life in Washington DC, just a week after Trump is inaugurated, as the first sitting White House official to address the event in person.
Using Her Platform Well
William McGurn, an editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, praised her brave support for life Monday. He outlines her longstanding pro-life history and influence on Trump’s proposed policies, and notes that her move to speak at the March for Life steals thunder from the similarly named but ideologically opposite Women’s March on Washington.
“She focuses attention on big changes ahead for abortion policy,” McGurn writes. “She challenges the feminist trope that to be a woman is to be pro-choice.” His article notably lacks typical media digs at pro-life people, and it’s refreshing to see facts covered without slams, subtle or otherwise. Whether or not Conway influenced the tone in the piece, having a woman in such a prominent political role certainly can’t hurt.
It’s exciting and historic to see a White House official showing up at the march, let alone coming to speak. Conway is smashing ceilings and forcing people to reexamine what they have assumed to be the truth about Trump and the Republican Party. Trump is lucky to have Conway, and she’s an invaluable addition to his administration, especially since she’s been completely transparent that as a working mother she’s really thinking through how to best balance her children and the needs of the country.
Kellyanne Shores Up Trump’s Abortion Weaknesses
Don’t think for a moment, though, that being a woman and mother makes her less effective at her job. Conway’s been putting detractors firmly in their place when they’ve suggested that her job is more looking nice on TV than actually running the campaign: “It smacks of misogyny and sexism to suggest that I can’t do the job of a campaign manager, [that] I can only go on TV.”
Conway is astute and in touch with middle America, excelling in taking the repugnant and shifting the focus right back where she wants it—on the best of her candidate. That’s another thing that McGurn rightly observed, pointing out the huge amount of changes the next four years could bring to abortion policy with Conway shaping Trump’s responses and policies.
The WSJ was pro-Trump when others were still thinking he was a faux-candidate. McGurn has spent time watching and thinking through what other sources are only now starting to clue into— that when Trump said he’d hire top people, he meant people like Conway. With her, he’s shown he can spot top talent and place them in effective roles, making good on at least one campaign promise.
It’s irresponsible to predict what Trump will do on these fronts as president, because of his checkered record on this issue and because the media frankly has no idea where he’s going or what he plans to do next. His unpredictability helped sink all of the things that the talking heads expected out of the election, and his administration has no reason to halt that momentum.
In reaching out to the ardently pro-life crowd, Conway acknowledges the large portion of America uncomfortable with the course of the country’s policies about the unborn, and offers hope for some humanity and compassion from those in power.