The 2016 presidential election was a historic night for now President-Elect Donald J. Trump, but thanks to the hard work of his campaign manager, he wasn’t the only person who made history. Kellyanne Conway has become the first woman to run a victorious presidential campaign.
Conway moved up from Trump’s senior adviser and pollster to campaign manager in mid-August. With more than 20 years of polling and research experience, she has worked for congressional candidates and as president of Keep the Promise I, a PAC that advocated for former GOP presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz.
The mother of four young children, Conway was admittedly the third campaign manager on Trump’s staff. However, her hard work undoubtedly helped pave the way to last night’s results.
Although she is the first to be victorious, that’s not to say other female campaign managers haven’t come close before. Michael Dukakis’ presidential campaign was run by Susan Estrich, yet he was famously beaten by George H. W. Bush in 1988.
Al Gore’s presidential campaign was run by Donna Brazile: The very same Donna Brazile that currently chairs the Democratic National Committee and was recently fired from CNN.
But Conway is adamant about why she was hired, why Trump chose her. It’s not because she is female, but because she is capable.
“I wasn’t hired because of my gender. But it’s a special responsibility,” Conway told CNN. “I want to do right, apart from my gender – I want to do right as a campaign manager.”
The Trump campaign was “very confident” about the election, Conway said on NBC after Trump’s victory. She also declared that Trump will be working fast to accomplish his goals with a Republican-controlled House and Senate to join him in his efforts.
“[Trump] is a problem-solver. He’s a builder,” she continued. “When you are a business man, you are accountable. You can’t run your business with $19 trillion worth of debt like the federal government does somehow.”
“It’s quite the mandate,” she said, adding that if asked to serve in the Trump administration, she will do so “in whatever capacity I’m asked, where I feel I can be most helpful.” Whether she does or not, glass ceilings were broken thanks to her efforts.