« Millennials Want Gender Equality? Not Really. | Main | James Comey: Feminist du Jour? »

Mr. Kellyanne Conway Is His Own Man

Vivia Chen

June 8, 2017

George holding Kellyanne's fur coat at inauguration party.


I always knew he was a smart cookie. And sure enough, he did what anyone with career savvy would do: Spurned a big job offer with the Trump administration and ran for the hills.

I'm talking about George Conway, Trump's pick to lead the civil division of the Department of Justice. Though Big Law cognoscenti know he's a big wheel—he's a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, for goodness sake!—most Americans probably regard him as the arm-candy (and husband) of Kellyanne Conway, Trump's famously infamous advisor.

Now, however, George Conway is introducing himself to the rest of America and telling everyone he's his own man. Not only did he refuse Trump's offer but, two days later, he blasted Trump, essentially saying, "Glad I'm not part of that legal hellhole."

First, let's look at the curious way he dissed the job. His statement reads:

I have reluctantly concluded, however, that, for me and my family, this is not the right time for me to leave the private sector and take on a new role in the federal government.

Dig that "family" excuse. You usually hear "family" from women who want out of high-pressured jobs—but rarely from men. And you certainly don't expect that from a hard-driving Wachtell partner. Is Conway saying that he's carrying most of the burdens at home in New Jersey because Kellyanne is too busy with her White House career? (George Conway did not respond to my call for comment.)

And what's that jazz about not being "the right time for me to leave the private sector"? Is he suggesting that he can't afford to go into government? Granted, the Conways have a fairly large family (four kids), but Wachtell's profit per partner is close to a whopping $6 million! C'mon, he can afford college for at least a dozen kids on that pay.

What's obvious is that Conway doesn't want the DOJ job. And who could blame him? He's got a swell career and he's making an ungodly sum of money. (Did I mention that $6 million PPP already?) And though it's normally a nice capstone to get a high government post after a successful private sector gig, a lot of folks seem to be running away from the honor in this administration.

Conway knows that joining team Trump can be a disaster—and he's saying so. He showed his disdain for the administration when Trump recently complained on twitter about how "the original Travel Ban" had been "watered down" into a "politically correct version." Conway jumped on his case, tweeting:

These tweets may make some ppl feel better, but they certainly won't help OSG get 5 votes in SCOTUS, which is what actually matters. Sad.

Conway is essentially saying that Trump is stupid or a nut job. To underscore that point, he ends it with a Trumpism: "Sad." He might as well have added: "Loser." "Disaster." "Complete Fail."

Of course, Conway did try to temper that tweet with other tweets right afterwards: "I still VERY, VERY STRONGLY support POTUS, his Admin, policies, the executive order. . . .and of course, my wonderful wife." (We'll get to the wife later.)

But then he banged out other tweets, suggesting that the lawyers in the administration can't or won't put a clamp on Trump's big mouth. (Paging White House Counsel Don McGahn!) At one point, he tweets that "every sensible lawyer" would "agree with me (as some have already told me)."

And maybe that's Conway strategy: to get his wife the hell out of there. Maybe he's doing Kellyanne a favor by putting her in such an uncomfortable, awkward position that she'll have to quit—or be forced out.
It's just his way of saying, "Honey, time to come home."


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Agree. I think he has observed how little his wife is regarded in White House circles and for the sake of her and the family's sanity indirectly stating "It is time to pull the plug on this White House experiment". What do you think?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Subscribe to get The Careerist via e-mail

Enter your e-mail address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

To search across all ALM blogs, go to www.Lexis.com.