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Kellyanne Conway: A job well done

  • Published at 01:42 pm November 16th, 2016
Kellyanne Conway: A job well done

In the movie Our Brand is Crisis, Sandra Bullock played the role of a campaign manager named Jane Bodine who was given the charge of re-electing a controversial president in Bolivia.

The President Pedro Gallo, played by Joaquim De Almeida, who she needed to be re-elected was having the lowest numbers in the latest polls. He had anger managememnt issues and slapped people in public events.The Bolivian media went on a frenzy to criticise him for almost all of his deeds.

Jane read the situation well and formulated her strategy accordingly to put Pedro in line. She somehow made the bad look good by identifying the public pulse and ultimately won the election for Pedro.

The task that Kellyanne Conway, a 49 year old New Jersey based political strategist, commentator and a mother of four, had in her hand was no less challanging than the one that Bodine had in the movie. Kellyanne was given the charge of electing Donald Trump as the President of United States of America in 2016.

….and she did her job.

Donald Trump named Kellyanne his campaign manager on August 17 this year, making her the first woman to ever run a Republican presidential campaign. Kellyanne Conway however, is not a novice in the political arena of USA.

She has been running her polling firm, The Polling Company/WomanTrend, for more than two decades, advising corporate clients and top Republican officeholders like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas senator Ted Cruz and Indiana governor Mike Pence, who Trump tapped as his running mate.

Kellyanne once lived in a Trump building, and had known her new boss for about a decade. She served as an informal adviser to Trump during his flirtation with a 2012 presidential campaign. When the New York developer briefly mulled a bid for the Empire State governorship in 2014, she conducted a poll assessing his chances.

Interestingly, when Trump first offered Kellyanne the opportunity to join his presidential campaign in mid 2015, she declined over fears of how the public would view the partnership because much of her political works had focused on how to reach out to women. She was the co-author of a 2005 book, What Women Really Want, with Democratic pollster Celinda Lake.

Kellyanne knew about Trump's reputation regarding women and she feared that an association with Trump might rasie questions like- “What are you doing there?'” "Riding on a plane? Whispering in his ear about what he should say to women?"

Kellyanne told the Cosmopolitan magazine that she was worried about Trump's way of addressing the female voters. “"I grew up in a house with my mom and her mom, and two of my mother's unmarried sisters," she explained. "So four Italian Catholic women raised me and I have known what women empowerment is from the core of my heart."

“The problem is Trump was up against one of strongest women in the world and I didn't like the way he was handling his campaign. But I believed in him and I wanted to work for his campaign,” she said.

After that, she joined Trump's team and in a few short months she became a constant fixture on television -- laying out his agenda, talking points and often trying to smooth over Trump's controversies.

She specially formulated startegies to earn the attention and support of female voters. Lake, her Democratic co-author, told the TIME magazine during the campaign that Kellyanne is “a real expert on women voters” who knows how to target key groups who will be receptive to his message.

“In our book, we identified religious women, senior survivors, suburban caretakers, and waitress moms, among others, that I would think would be targets for Trump,” Lake told TIME magazine. “She could be a great help to Trump if he listens to her.”

Trump listened to her. Even after uttering phrases like “Grab'em by the p****”, Trump got away with the election and the result shows that Trump was able to get a significant number of votes from white female voters of the USA.

Political pundits said that appointing Kellyanne as the campaign manager was a masterstroke from Trump and it paid off in spades.

She told CNN after the election result that working with Trump was not easy. “He had the tendency of getting off-script very often. I tried to keep him in line.”

She said that she was tough with Trump in private. She told CNN what happened when they got on the plane after Trump's controversial Gettysburg speech.

She told him after his off script rant, "You and I are in a fight for the next 17 days."

When Trump asked why, Conway replied: "Because I know you're going to win. And that comment you just made sounds like you think you're going to lose. And we're going to argue about it until you win."

His response?

"He was like, 'OK, honey. Then we'll win,' " Kellyanne said.

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