Michael Ian Black: Kellyanne Conway Sure Looks Like She’s Auditioning to Be Trump’s Veep

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty

Former Trump senior presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway wrote a column in The New York Times this week, entitled, “Who Should Be Trump’s No. 2?” It’s an appropriate question to ask given that her former boss, the anthropomorphized adult diaper known as Donald Trump, seems to have a hammerlock on the nomination.

Moreover, Conway is an appropriate person to speculate on the answer since she worked so closely with the president and takes full credit for selecting Trump’s former vice president, Mike Pence. Somehow, though, she elides the fact that Trump has since turned on his former second-in-command after Pence refused to violate his oath on the boss’s behalf. She also failed to mention the gallows erected on Jan. 6, from which the president’s supporters hoped to see Pence swing. Not sure why she left that part out.

In her piece, Conway runs through the predictable names (Tim Scott, J.D. Vance, Elise Stefanik) and a few less predictable ones (Tom Cotton, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Vivek Ramaswamy).

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She then dismisses the “identity politics” of President Joe Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris, claiming that the most important question when selecting a vice president “is less ‘who?’ than ‘why?’”

In Conway’s view, the ultimate GOP veep candidate should support the president’s “America First record and vision” without upstaging him, and should recognize the difference “between loyalty-as-tenacity (yes) and loyalty-as-obsequiousness (no).”

I guess Lindsey Graham won’t be getting the nod.

Having brushed off “identity politics,” Conway then backtracks, saying, “Taking all of this into consideration, if I were advising Mr. Trump, I would suggest he choose a person of color as his running mate.”


If one detects the faintest whiff of hypocrisy, don’t worry, Conway has never been one to let her stance on any particular issue dictate her beliefs. She explains that she wants Trump to select a person of color “Not for identity politics a la the Democrats, but as an equal helping to lead an America First movement.”

Since when has Trump allowed anyone—let alone the hired help—to serve as an equal?

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In Trump’s syphilitic mind, he has no equal. Not even Abraham Lincoln, to whom Trump has been favorably comparing himself. A CNN story from last month described a Trump campaign stop in which he suggested that fighting the Civil War to end slavery in the U.S. was unnecessary, and that Abraham Lincoln should have “negotiated” on the issue of slavery. To my mind, negotiating slavery sounds an awful lot like trying to negotiate pregnancy.

Regardless, in decrying “the predictable auditions and adulations by the ‘pick me’ crowd,” Conway is, perhaps, making her own bid to get back onto the grounds of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In fact, the character traits she deems most essential for a good Trump VP pick—“a credible, courageous, fluent running mate able to articulate what it means to be a pro-life Republican and a pro-choice Democrat”—sound an awful like the particular set of skills that Conway herself brings to the table.

Rarely has a person been able to vomit out so many words in as condescending a manner, while saying so little of substance.

Conway also has a particular set of skills prized by the Trump team. First of all, she’s shameless.

Perhaps uniquely among his advisers, Conway understands that the way to Trump’s heart is through his wallet. She happily promoted Trump brands during her time in the White House, to the point that the Office of Special Counsel recommended she be fired for multiple violations of the Hatch Act. Further, she understands that loyalty-as-obsequiousness is precisely what Trump desires. Take this dandy quote: “I believe that Donald Trump is someone who is not fully understood for how compassionate and what a great boss he is to women.”

Last week, Donald Trump was ordered to pay over $80,000,000 for defaming E. Jean Carroll, who had previously been awarded millions in damages when a jury found Trump liable for sexually assaulting her.

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Question: Why did Conway write this piece at all?

A theory: Perhaps Conway’s positioning herself to be Trump’s VP pick. Why else write her piece for the much-despised New York Times, if not for the fact that she knows Trump hate-reads the paper. She suggests he select a person of color knowing full well that Trump is allergic to “diversity hires.” She also takes a bunch of shots at Vice President Harris, possibly auditioning lines of attack she will take on the debate stage if given the nod.

Conway is one of the sharpest political minds in the country. She’s also one of the most devious, manipulative, callous, and backhanded. A perfect fit for a second Trump administration.

Kellyanne wants in.

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