Conway's departure deepens negative image of Trump administration, shows a society divided by politics


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Conway's departure deepens negative image of Trump administration, shows a society divided by politics


Source: Global Times    Published: 2020-08-24

Few days after Steve Bannon, former advisor of US President Donald Trump, was arrested and charged with fraud, another long-standing advisor Kellyanne Conway announced on Sunday to leave the White House, which observers believe may deepen the negative image of Trump administration and update people's impression to the world largest power.

Conway, 53, announced through a Twitter post that she will step down by the end of August, to mend relations with her daughter and husband, who oppose Trump openly.

Conway admitted that she and her husband "disagree about plenty" on political issues, and she will focus on her family and four teenaged children who are starting a new term in middle school and high school.

"For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama," she wrote.

Her husband George Conway tweeted minutes earlier he had decided to leave his post at the Lincoln Project, a group operated by Republicans who oppose Trump, to "devote more time to family matters."

The Conways' desire to repair family ties, which have been disrupted by politics, is real, Diao Daming, a China-US relations expert at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Monday.

Some analysts noted that Trump's four years in office have been the most divisive period in US public opinion. As US political temperatures have risen in recent years, political divides within families have become more common.

In 2019, 35 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Democrats said they would be unhappy if their child married someone of the opposing political party - a sharp increase from attitudes 50 years ago, The Atlantic reported.

Conways' daughter Claudia has become a controversial figure on TikTok for her criticism of Trump and support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Although Kellyanne Conway said she supports her daughter's right to have her own views, Claudia claimed recently that her mother had tried to shut off her phone, media reported.

As a veteran Republican pollster and analyst, Kellyanne Conway joined the Trump camp in 2016 during his first presidential campaign. She was believed to have had a good relationship with Ivanka Trump and always defended Trump publicly. However, observers noted that there is no indication that Kellyanne Conway has played a significant role in Trump's re-election in 2020.

Her position as senior top advisor is a power-sharing position without exclusive duties and with no discernible impact on the White House's power structure and policy, explained Diao.

Her decision was announced on the eve of the Republican National Convention to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina on Monday local time, where President Trump seeks to gain momentum for the tough election race.

Diao believes that while Kellyanne Conway's departure might hint at divisions within the Republicans, the case is unlikely to have an impact on Trump's firmest supporters.

Regarding swing voters, "even without Conway's case, it's hard to imagine Trump having any obvious appeal among them," said Diao.

Most officials around Trump have not been in their posts for a long time. A long-serving official like Kellyanne Conway has a broken family, and it can be seen that there is not much benefit in staying close to a leader like Trump, Diao said.

In fact, speaking for the "dictator" Trump without telling right and wrong, Conway and other yes-men think tank including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been criticized by the US people.

"My mother's job ruined my life to begin with. Heartbreaking that she continues to go down that path after years of watching her children suffer. Selfish. It's all about money and fame," said Claudia on Twitter on Sunday, which received 170,000 likes.

"Hopefully this woman can comprehend she's destroying her daughter's future and the future of tens of millions of other young Americans by supporting Trump & the GOP. Is supporting them really worth destroying the future for your children?" asked a Twitter user under Claudia's post.

Diao Daming is a researcher of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.