NYMag‘s The Cut, December 6, 2017:
… When Chris Cuomo questioned [Kellyanne] Conway about Trump’s endorsement of Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by eight women, she defended him by saying, “The president has tremendous moral standards.”….
anyone else notice how Kellyanne Conway went AWOL after news of Wolff book broke. the entire mess has been left to Sarah Sanddrs to clean up–she's failing miserably
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) January 6, 2018
Every unmothered child needs a nanny, or a team of them — none more so than a 70-year-old child who refuses to mature beyond the nursery. Who better to understand this than British GQ, whose authorized Fire and Fury excerpt focuses on two of the Trump campaign’s most high-profile women — “How Donald Trump’s White House team handles his giant ego”:
… Not long after the Trump team’s arrival to the White House, the Correspondents’ Dinner became a cause for worry. On a winter afternoon in Kellyanne Conway’s upstairs West Wing office, Conway and director of strategic communications Hope Hicks engaged in a pained discussion about what to do.
The central problem was that the president was neither inclined to make fun of himself, nor particularly funny himself – at least not, in Conway’s description, “in that kind of humorous way”.
George W Bush had famously tried to resist the Correspondents’ Dinner and suffered greatly at it, but he had prepped extensively and every year he pulled out an acceptable performance. But neither woman, confiding their concerns around the table in Conway’s office to a journalist they regarded as sympathetic, thought Trump had a realistic chance of making the dinner anything like a success.
“He doesn’t appreciate cruel humour,” said Conway. “His style is more old-fashioned,” said Hicks.
Both women, clearly seeing the Correspondents’ Dinner as an intractable problem, kept characterising the event as “unfair”, which, more generally, is how they characterised the media’s view of Trump. “He’s unfairly portrayed.” “They don’t give him the benefit of the doubt.” “He’s just not treated the way other presidents have been treated.”
The burden here for Conway and Hicks was their understanding that the president did not see the media’s lack of regard for him as part of a political divide on which he stood on a particular side. Instead, he perceived it as a deep personal attack on him: for entirely unfair reasons, ad hominem reasons, the media just did not like him. Ridiculed him. Cruelly. Why?…
Curiously, Conway and Hicks each portrayed a side of the president’s alter ego media problem. Conway was the bitter antagonist, the mud-in-your-eye messenger who reliably sent the media into paroxysms of outrage against the president. Hicks was the confidante, ever trying to get the president a break and some good ink in the only media he really cared about – the media that most hated him. But as different as they were in their media functions and temperament, both women had achieved remarkable influence in the administration by serving as the key lieutenants responsible for addressing the president’s most pressing concern: his media reputation.
While Trump was in most ways a conventional misogynist, in the workplace he was much closer to women than to men. The former he confided in, the latter he held at arm’s length. He liked and needed his office wives and he trusted them with his most important personal issues. Women, according to Trump, were simply more loyal and trustworthy than men. Men might be more forceful and competent, but they were also more likely to have their own agendas. Women, by their nature – or Trump’s version of their nature – were more likely to focus their purpose on a man. A man like Trump.
It wasn’t happenstance or just casting balance that one of his Apprentice sidekicks was a woman, nor that his daughter Ivanka had become one of his closest confidantes. He felt women understood him. Or, the kind of women he liked – positive-outlook, can-do, loyal women, who also looked good – understood him. Everybody who successfully worked for him understood that there was always a subtext to his needs and personal tics that had to be scrupulously attended to; in this, he was not all that different from other highly successful figures, just more so. It would be hard to imagine someone who expected a greater awareness of and more catering to his peculiar whims, rhythms, prejudices and, often inchoate, desires. He needed special – extra-special – handling. Women, he explained to one friend with something like self-awareness, generally got this more precisely than men. In particular, women who self-selected themselves as tolerant of or oblivious to or amused by or steeled against his casual misogyny and constant sexual subtext – which was somehow, incongruously and often jarringly, matched with paternal regard – got this…
“KellyannePolls” is a seasoned media professional — her twitter bio calls her “Counselor to the President”, but she hasn’t mentioned Wolff or his book all week. She has a well-to-do husband with his own power base. Somebody knows when to hold ’em, knows when to fold ’em…
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 5, 2018