Kellyanne Con­way is play­ing the ‘woman card’ all wrong

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - Dana Mil­bank

WASH­ING­TON — Kellyanne Con­way, Don­ald Trump’s cam­paign man­ager, or­ches­trated the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion of a man who:

— Boasted on video­tape, in vul­gar terms, about as­sault­ing women.

— Called women bim­bos, pigs, slobs, dogs and hook­ers, pub­licly rated their breasts and but­tocks and boasted dur­ing the cam­paign about his pe­nis size.

— Won with the largest gen­der gap ever recorded: Not only did he lose women by a dozen points but he won men — many of them mo­ti­vated by the gen­der re­sent­ment of Hil­lary Clin­ton — by a dozen points, too.

And now, a month af­ter her can­di­date de­feated the first woman ever to be a ma­jor-party pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee — Trump called Clin­ton “shrill” and said her only as­set was “the woman card” — Con­way is play­ing the woman card her­self.

“It’s a great time to be a woman in Amer­ica,” Con­way ex­ulted Wed­nes­day at the Women Rule Sum­mit, an event in Wash­ing­ton hosted by de­signer Tory Burch’s foun­da­tion, Google and Politico. “We’re a prod­uct of our choices, not just our cir­cum­stances. We’re in­de­pen­dent thinkers. And it’s just a very spe­cial time.”

Her mes­sage to the au­di­ence, many of them young women: Women should “go for it” and “ask for what we think we de­serve.”

What Con­way is ask­ing for now, af­ter Trump’s win, is a re­turn to a tra­di­tional gen­der role. She doesn’t want a job in the ad­min­is­tra­tion, be­cause she wants to have time with her four kids, to help with home­work and make meals. “My chil­dren are 12, 12, 8 and 7, which is bad idea, bad idea, bad idea, bad idea for mom go­ing in­side.”

But fathers of young chil­dren? That’s a dif­fer­ent mat­ter, she ex­plained. When male col­leagues sug­gested she could have a White House job, “I did po­litely men­tion to them that the ques­tion isn’t: Would you take the job? ... The real ques­tion is: What would your wife do? And would you want the mother of your chil­dren to do it?” When she puts it that way, she said, they replied that “they wouldn’t want their wife to take that job.”

Con­way en­dorsed the as­pi­ra­tion that “I could maybe help Amer­ica’s women in terms of feel­ing less guilty about bal­anc­ing life and ca­reer.”

But she seemed to lack self- aware­ness about the choice she made to help elect Trump. She spoke about how she didn’t like the way Clin­ton and Sarah Palin were treated in the 2008 cam­paign. “I left the 2008 cam­paign feel­ing re­ally icky,” she said. “It’s great to ask how we’re mak­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for women, but do we even have each other’s sup­port, frankly, on our way there?”

She ex­pressed no such mis­giv­ings about Trump’s 2016 run, in which he dis­par­aged Carly Fio­r­ina’s face, said both Clin­ton and Fio­r­ina gave him headaches, used a vul­gar word for fe­male gen­i­talia on the stump and sug­gested Megyn Kelly’s men­stru­a­tion played a role in the Fox News per­son­al­ity’s tough ques­tion­ing of him. He had pre­vi­ously fat-shamed a Miss Uni­verse and spoke of the im­por­tance of hav­ing “a young, beau­ti­ful piece of ass.”

Politico’s Anna Palmer, as mod­er­a­tor, was gen­tle in ques- tion­ing Con­way, wait­ing a halfhour be­fore men­tion­ing the “Ac­cess Hol­ly­wood” video in which Trump bragged about grab­bing women by the crotch. Con­way as­sured every­body that Trump’s apol­ogy was “heart­felt,” then went on to say he was faced with a “false ac­cuser” and that Con­way “did not think about quit­ting, for a num­ber of rea­sons I’ll keep pri­vate.” She said Trump is “a gen­tle­man.”

Out­side the room at the Park Hy­att where Con­way spoke, a photo booth for the Women Rule con­fer­ence urged at­ten­dees to “tell us what em­pow­ers you.” What em­pow­ered Con­way on Wed­nes­day was dis­parag­ing Trump’s for­mer op­po­nents (Clin­ton’s “scan­dal­abra” and Tim Kaine’s pal­try crowds) and the me­dia for er­rant pre­dic­tions of a Clin­ton vic­tory. By con­trast, Con­way, like her boss, be­trayed a fond­ness for

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