Kellyanne Conway, the chief architect of Donald Trump’s general election campaign, was named to the incoming administration on Thursday. After it looked for a time that Conway would not accept a role in Trump’s White House, the transition team announced this week that she would in fact be counselor to the president.
“She is a tireless and tenacious advocate of my agenda and has amazing insights on how to effectively communicate our message,” Trump said in a statement. “I am pleased that she will be part of my senior team in the West Wing.”
Conway instantly became one of the most recognizable women in America this year when she and Stephen Bannon took control of Trump’s campaign back in August. Replacing Paul Manafort in the midst of sliding poll numbers, Conway – who ran Ted Cruz’s campaign in the primaries – turned out to be Trump’s most loyal and effective public surrogate.
Following the announcement on Thursday, Conway said the president-elect would “bring real change to Washington and to Americans across this great nation.”
“I am humbled and honored to play a role in helping transform the movement he has led into a real agenda of action and results,” she said.
The announcement means that President Trump will have both Conway and Bannon by his side when he steps into the White House. Trump named Bannon his Chief Strategist shortly after the election, telling the press that he and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus would share equal power in his administration. Presumably, Conway’s presence will essentially divide that power into thirds.
For Trump supporters who feared that the GOP establishment would get their claws into the new president and turn him into something unrecognizable, this should allay the worst of the concerns. Bannon and Conway devised a clever path to victory together, disciplining Trump’s message without trying to strip him of his strengths. Both of them share Trump’s suspicion of Republican leadership and they will stand by him if Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell try to undermine his agenda.
As exciting as election night was, the four weeks since have only intensified the feeling. We’re about to have a president unlike any other in American history. Even a stock Republican would have been a godsend after the last eight years, but this…this will be something special.