by Maggie Gallagher
This is the week Kellyanne Conway, a Jersey beauty queen, took Manhattan. She looks at you wide-eyed and laughing from the cover of New York magazine where Olivia Nuzzi points out the obvious: “Kellyanne Conway Is a Star. Not your star, perhaps. But that’s the point.”
Nuzzi calls her “[m]ore what the press expected Ivanka to become…a pervasive female double of the president, an extension of his will and much more fiendishly committed to her boss than anyone else on his behalf.” That is, Nuzzi argues, “the functional First Lady of the United States.” (Meaning no disrespect to Melania, who prefers a surprising degree of privacy for a beautiful ex-model.)
“Horrified critics of the president are often surprised to find that, in person, it’s very difficult to dislike Conway,” Nuzzi goes on. “With her airy voice and cheeky sense of humor, she’s charming and magnetic almost in the manner of a particularly gifted retail politician, and without the alien creepiness that actually being a politician sometimes requires.”
Switch to the magazine next door, and you find The Atlantic profiling Conway under the (absurd but flattering) headline “How Kellyanne Conway Controls Her Boss.”
Just to vary it up a bit, the cover story of The New Yorker this same week is on the “mysterious” Mercer family and their relationship with the Trumps, breathlessly foretelling the collapse of democracy because, well you know, a rich tech guy who’s not a Democrat made a smart play — as if the author doesn’t remember how the Clintons sold off the Lincoln bedroom. Whatever.
Kellyanne Conway: she’s smart, she’s witty, she’s funny, she’s likable, and she’s one of the most powerful women in the country. Congrats to us!