On Wednesday, after more than 500 days of seemingly endless campaigning, the presidential election finally came to an end. To the surprise of many pollsters around the country, it was Donald Trump who became the president-elect, and Americans are already critically thinking about what a potential Trump administration might look like. Among those being considered for top jobs are Rudy Giuliani for attorney general and Newt Gingrich for secretary of state, but will Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway join his administration, too? Anonymous sources reportedly told NBC that Conway might reject a job within Trump's administration after working through the grueling nature of the general election period.
According to Cosmopolitan, Conway became the first woman to run a Republican presidential campaign when she was appointed Trump's campaign manager back in August. For the past few decades, Conway has been working with Republican candidates and lawmakers to see how they could better appeal to and represent female voters. She met Trump back in 2006, when she served on the board of one of his condominium buildings in New York City, but she told The Washington Post last year that she initially declined to join his campaign because she worried about how the public would perceive their partnership.
So during the Republican primaries, Conway worked for and donated to a Ted Cruz Super PAC. But after Cruz lost his presidential bid to Trump, Conway ended up joining Trump's campaign — first as a pollster and eventually as his campaign manager — despite her prior reservations. For Conway, Trump's mistreatment of woman was a challenge similar to those she faced with her other Republican clients, even though she told The Washington Post that she did not approve of the insults he hurled at women.
Conway came on board at a time when Trump was slipping in the polls, and she told him as much, but she also told him that there was a "pathway back" to victory, The New Yorker reported last month. Given Trump's victory in the presidential election, one would certainly think Conway turned his campaign around — after all, numerous polls showed him likely to lose — but Conway has also spent an awful lot of time defending the candidate she likely wishes Trump was, rather than who he actually is. She downplayed the comments he made about voter fraud, imprisoning Hillary Clinton, and not accepting the outcome of the election, even as he continued to tweet that he meant the things he said.
So if NBC's sources are correct and Conway really does plan to reject a position in a Trump administration, it would hardly be surprising. She's spent decades of her life trying to get Republicans to seem more palatable to women, but after helping elect a candidate who faces numerous accusations of sexual assault (which he's denied) and who is known for sexist insults (which are undeniable), it doesn't seem likely that she has a chance of improving Trump's attitude toward and treatment of women.