The Unsinkable Kellyanne Conway
It’s impossible to miss Trump media surrogate and so-called “campaign manager” Kellyanne Conway on one of your screens. Her forced smile and unflappable demeanor are especially ubiquitous on live TV where she devours seasoned journalists and partisan commentators with equal aplomb. Erin Burnett: piece of cake. Bill Maher: bring him on!
It’s unnerving to see Ms. Burnett chafing to get a word in edge-wise as Ms. Conway successfully pre-empts the 18-minute (!) live slot CNN has served up. (What’s the ad equivalency for that?) As for Bill Maher, I suppose if he wasn’t high, he might have done a better job last Friday short-circuiting Ms. Conway’s incessant blather. He didn’t and she ate his lunch. Watch below.
Unlike her supreme boss who hasn’t held a presser nor sat down with a legit news org since July, and will only appear on Fox News’s “Hannity” and “Fox & Friends” programs, Ms. Conway, to her credit, will put herself out there…because she’s that good.
It matters little that what she says is rarely grounded in fact. Her relentless, unrepentant regurgitation of honed talking points, coupled with master delivery skills that bridge away from prickly questions to a vast well of calculated disinformation, places her in a league of her own.
From a PR perspective, one has to give credit to the Trump campaign’s puppet masters Steve Bannon and that lurid Roger Ailes for limiting Trump to Fox News and paying surrogates like Ms. Conway and Mr. Lewandowski to appear on live TV where their unrelenting assertiveness effectively neuters today’s complacent journalists, thus allowing their messages to stream, unfiltered, into the living rooms of captive (and captivated) viewers.
In pondering the fate of the Democrats and the state of Secretary Clinton’s media surrogates, I simply cannot think of a single one with a comparable set of interview skills, let alone such an omnipresence on TV news and talk. Can you?