Kellyanne Conway was a spokesperson for Donald Trump as he transitioned from his 2016 campaign to presidency, and has been one of his most vocal defenders throughout his term and since.
Still, even she says that he can’t be elected in 2024 unless he essentially stops being Trump.
It’s the personality, Conway admits.
Right-wing voters love the policies Trump supported, like his useless southern border wall, but (she explains) they want all of that without the abrasive personality.
She says that Trump could prevail if he can lay off the “name-calling” and the “insults,” and if he focuses forward (read: drops his endless obsession with 2020 and his election lies) and puts his energy on “the people’s grievances and not his own.”
The problem, she confesses, is that it’s unlikely to happen.
Don’t mistake this for Conway ceasing to adulate and excuse — she still claims that “Trump derangement syndrome” drives the opposition to the former president, and echoes his persecution complex by framing the many investigations of legitimate allegations of wrongdoing by Trump as an “incessant cry to ‘get Trump!'”
She characterizes the possibility of an indictment in any of these investigations as “wishful thinking” on the part of his critics, and declares that the ousted former president “endures persecution and eludes prosecution like no other public figure.”
Okay, she’s at least half right on that one — Trump has certainly been incredibly successful at “elud[ing] prosecution.”
Even Conway, though, admits that Trump has a hard road to victory, and that the 2020 election was a loss surfacing from his own failures, and those of his campaign. (Admitting that 2020 was a loss already places her a branch higher on the honesty tree than Trump, but that’s not exactly high ground.) In a new op-ed for the NY Times, she says:
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“This is not 2016, when he and his team had the hunger, swagger and scrappiness of an insurgent’s campaign and the “history be damned” happy warrior resolve of an underestimated, understaffed, under-resourced effort…Any repeat by the 2024 Trump campaign of the disastrous mistakes in personnel, strategy and tactics of the 2020 Trump campaign may lead to the same 2020 result.”
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.