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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

'A voice for the voiceless'
Kiley O’Brien ’25, Assistant Features Editor • July 18, 2024
Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

A new perspective on Kellyanne Conway

A+new+perspective+on+Kellyanne+Conway

The woman behind the man of the year

On the cloudy night of Jan. 10—less than two weeks until the inauguration of now-president Donald J. Trump— my family and I took the Amtrak line from Hamilton to Penn Station in New York to see Late Night with Seth Meyers. Although the show airs at 12:35 a.m., it’s actually prerecorded earlier in the afternoon, around 5:30 p.m. My family was set to arrive at that time for fanfare and to witness a live studio production. It was all part of a carefully-planned Christmas present for my father, who, it’s worth noting, has been a registered Republican for his entire adult life, but sides with Democratic ideals like the rest of my family. But at the time we got the tickets, we didn’t know just how political that afternoon would be.

The guest was Kellyanne Conway, the successful campaign manager and current senior advisor for President Donald J. Trump

Ah, how my family had rejoiced.

For those of you unfamiliar with the various personas and ideologies in the Tralies family, I’ll give you this: as lovers of education, in all forms, and Irish Catholics descended from hard workers, somewhere along the way my home became a hub for the liberal agenda and a place for lively dinner conversation about current events brought by the nightly news. Friends of mine at St. Joe’s know, as a result of my upbringing, I’m basically a walking idealist covered in Hillary Clinton stickers about owning your body with a social justice poster in tow. So when President Trump won the election, no one in my family was exactly tickled pink.

Months later, time and coincidences collided, bringing my entire family to Meyers’ set to see his main guest of the evening—the woman who had dedicated her time to elect what my family considered to be a “class A ninny.” We were all a little stumped on how to handle this, even my father, a quick-witted, happy guy who gets along with mostly everyone he meets. We were about to come face-to-face with someone of great power, who we didn’t agree with, period. I remember thinking that this was what it felt like to be on the outskirts of comedy and politics, unaware of what to do, stuck in the controversial pool of ignorance and adversity.

When Conway came on, everyone in the audience applauded and grew still, edging forward a little in their seats. She was draped in flashy, beautiful, and black attire. Conway looked smart and important—in my eyes the antithesis of the Trump campaign and all the hate it smeared on the path to the White House. Conway’s faith in Trump was clear and I shook a little, the blonde hairs sticking up on my arms, listening to the very real, soft voice of someone who ideologically opposed me. It was like looking straight through clear glass—that can shatter in an instant—and marveling that it is somehow so delicate, too.

The interview continued on and I couldn’t help but wiggle in my seat from discomfort. At one point, I stuffed my face into my cowl knit scarf. This wasn’t the show I had come for originally. I was visibly shaken by her remarks and, honestly, a little distressed. After the show finished taping, my father reflected that he wanted to make sure he had clapped enough during her appearance, out of respect. Perhaps, I will remember his own reflection more than my own that evening.

He told me that it was important that people like Conway keep speaking respectfully to the media, because it was all we had, at least for the next four years— from those porcelain walls of the White House. I looked at him, this man that had raised me, marveled at his respect and decency, even in the face of someone who had chosen to take easier roads of lesser morale.

In some ways, I hope he’s wrong – I’d like to think Trump’s administration will do some kind of good and continue to communicate through the media – but I think my dad will be right after all. If nothing else, I can only remain open minded, informed, passionate, and ready to yell – at the top of my lungs – in the face of injustice. And, of course, always listen to my father.

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