I side with George on the political merits in the increasingly bizarre Conway family dispute but it’s impossible not to sympathize with Kellyanne’s predicament. Bad enough to have your spouse trash-talking your boss to an audience of hundreds of thousands online every day. Imagine if he actually started muscling in on your profession — and not only that, but competing with you directly. George going to work for Trump’s main primary challenger would be like him opening a coffee shop next door to a successful coffee shop that’s being run by Kellyanne.
“The coffee she’s serving is garbage,” he might say to critics, and he might be right. But that wouldn’t ease the intense awkwardness of him trying to put his own wife out of business, however unlikely that prospect is.
In the romcom version of this story the primary would somehow lead to the two lovebirds reconciling and resolving to work together for a better future for America. Except of course in the movie it’d be the wife, not the husband, who’s advising the idealistic underdog candidate against the bullying blowhard president.
Joe Walsh, a conservative radio show host and a former Tea Party congressman from Illinois who is expected to announce a long shot primary challenge to President Trump in the coming days, is wooing the husband of Kellyanne Conway, Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager, for a senior role in his campaign — a signal of his intent to troll Mr. Trump into engagement with him.
Mr. Walsh met on Thursday with George T. Conway III, the prominent conservative lawyer who is married to Ms. Conway, one of Mr. Trump’s longest-serving aides. During the hourslong conversation, the two discussed strategy going forward, according to two people familiar with the conversation, and Mr. Walsh asked Mr. Conway if he would join his nascent campaign in a leading formal role.
Mr. Conway, who has gained a large following on Twitter for his increasingly virulent critiques of Mr. Trump and his mental state but who has never worked on a political campaign before, did not commit to anything, telling Mr. Walsh he would think about it, the two people said.
Said Conway to the Times, “I think Walsh’s plan to attack Trump for his dishonesty, amorality, instability and incompetence is absolutely the right approach, and I’ll do whatever I can to help.” Yeah, ah, as I said before, as much as I think Walsh is sincere in repenting for the “Obama is a Muslim” phase of his career, I’m not sure he’s the best option out there to run a character-based critique of Trump. He, and Conway, are already busy apologizing for Walsh 1.0’s excesses.
Yes. I’ve said some hurtful things about Islam. Apologize for that. I stand by what I said about Islamism. Thanks.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) August 23, 2019
Exactly. Who among us hasn’t done something to apologize for? I was wrong to vote for and support Trump, and I apologize.
Millions of others know they were wrong too, and @WalshFreedom sets an example for them.
In that sense, he’s the perfect person to stand up to Trump. https://t.co/xOrVGnbZg7
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) August 23, 2019
Or, as Ramesh Ponnuru put it:
So if I understand the political news from my time off, Republican primary voters next year are being offered a choice between a candidate who thought Obama was a Muslim and one who thought he was a Kenyan. Can't wait for the debate.
— Ramesh Ponnuru (@RameshPonnuru) August 23, 2019
The idea of Walsh using Conway to bait Trump into attacking him and giving him some free press is promising, but Trump’s actually been surprisingly restrained in engaging with George. Whether that’s a favor to Kellyanne or a strategic judgment, it’s smart to deny him any extra media oxygen, a rare example of Trump realizing that “punching down” does more to help than hurt his target. The Times even notes that Trump and his advisors have largely “tuned out” Conway over the past few months. So how would Conway’s addition to Team Walsh do much to help, apart from an obligatory tweet after the announcement from Trump that “a loser campaign has added another loser!” or whatever?
There’s only one good thing that might potentially come of this: One on one, “Meet the Press,” for the full hour — Conway vs. Conway. Put ’em on TV together and let them debate hot topics such as “Is Trump clinically insane?” and “Is Trump a racist?”, an accusation George made this past week — just a few days before his better half headlined a “Women for Trump” event in Tampa, as you’ll see below.
So, yeah. Strange days in Chez Conway. Wait until they start orchestrating oppo hits on each other in the media.
Might George’s “rapist” tweet be a preview of a Walsh attack line on Trump, by the way? I’m thinking back to that event Trump did before a debate with Hillary in 2016 with several of Bill Clinton’s accusers. If Walsh wants some easy free press, organizing a similar event with Trump’s accusers would be an easy way to make the media come running and make Trump squirm.