#DimensionTrump | #WhatTheyVotedFor
It is easy enough, given the plethora of news media options we might choose to attend or ignore, that we might somehow manage to forget about Kellyanne Conway, or Chris Christie, and even to the degree that it should be strange not only to encounter those names, but even more so at once.
“She has this unique position that she’s earned,” said former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who worked closely on the opioid crisis with Ms. Conway and credited her with urging the president to personalize the issue through his brother’s experience with addiction. “She’s gotten a bad rap at times, but I think that’s because of some of the really awful people inside the White House who have been trying to hurt her, as opposed to anything the press came up with on its own.”
In recent months, Ms. Conway has watched, somewhat from the sidelines, as John F. Kelly, the president’s current chief of staff, came in and pledged to bring order to the West Wing, dispatching a number of aides who had once envied the access Ms. Conway cultivated with the president.
To the other, this is the Trump administration.
“I think that she is the president’s political adviser and she is someone who is very skilled on television,” Mr. Christie said. “She’s unique in the White House in someone who can give him both political and policy advice.”
Mr. Christie said that, early on, this prompted other aides to target her. A friend of Ms. Conway’s, who didn’t want to be identified because of the social opprobrium she would face as a Democrat, said Ms. Conway had particularly struggled with Reince Priebus, the president’s former chief of staff, during the first chaotic months of the administration. She also survived efforts to curtail her influence by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, who for months privately bristled over Ms. Conway’s getting credit for the campaign victory.
There is a great line in there, via text message, from a former Jeb Bush spokesman: “She has no shame,” Tim Miller explained, “and that is a quality the president values.” It probably is an asset, to some degree.
Still, though, look at who Chris Christie is calling awful. Such moments count for something.
Image notes: Top —Chris Christie joins Donald Trump during a press event at Mar-a-Lago, 1 March 2016, amid widespread ridicule for endorsing Trump. (Image uncredited) Right — Kellyanne Conway (Photo: Tom Brennan/The New York Times)
Rogers, Katie and Maggie Haberman. “Defying the Odds, Kellyanne Conway Steps Back and Hangs On”. The New York Times. 4 March 2018.