This week, the Joe Biden presidential campaign announced that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee had selected California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. Longtime Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway had a bizarre takeaway — speaking to reporters outside the White House on Wednesday, Conway seemed to suggest that media coverage of the Harris announcement had been “sexist” because it included points about her wardrobe while Trump’s own running mate, Mike Pence, didn’t get the same sort of coverage. First of all: Mike Pence is not a newcomer to the race for the White House — Harris is, so she gets coverage. Secondly: does Conway want journalists… to ask Pence about his jacket?
‘People excited about what jacket she’s going to buy. And just giggling, some girl time in a dressing room… You have The New York Times do a big spread, I mean, a wall-to-wall picture of Kamala Harris as opposed to Mike Pence. So I really hope we’re going to see fair coverage because America deserves that. Instead of saying, ‘You look nice in this jacket,’ and by the way, how sexist, I guess the best question for Kamala Harris is, do you support defunding the police? Joe Biden has said he doesn’t.’
Is she seriously trying to turn very basic media coverage of the Harris announcement into some kind of conspiracy against the president? It’s not, by any stretch of the imagination.
That was not her only complaint, however. She also seemed to suggest that media coverage had unfairly hyped up Harris as making history although other women had come before the new vice presidential contender and made their own historical strides. (Harris’s mother and father were from India and Jamaica, respectively, and she is the first woman of color on a major party presidential ticket.)
‘We can’t say certain words or certain words mean a certain thing. And I’d be careful about that, not just because all of those words are said by all of you about people like me but also because I guess we don’t treat all women the same, especially women who were the first and made history. But that’s alright. I’ll have my say one day… [I was] the first woman to run a Republican presidential campaign and the first woman ever to successfully manage a presidential campaign.’
Watch her discussion with reporters below:
Is she trying to suggest that basic media coverage of the historical nature of Harris’s selection as a running mate is somehow some kind of conspiracy to denigrate other accomplishments, like Conway’s own? It’s not. Everything that doesn’t have a Trump ally in the spotlight isn’t some kind of conspiracy to make the Trump team look bad. They don’t exactly need help looking bad, anyway.
Besides Conway’s own ranting, the criticism for Harris has already been coming in from the rest of Trump World. At a Tuesday press conference, Trump complained that Harris had been “nasty” for the way she’d treated Trump Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process. Although the Republican majority on the Senate eventually confirmed Kavanaugh to the court, he faced accusations of perpetrating sexual assault. Some have suggested that Republicans could leverage the tough scrutiny of Kavanaugh against Democrats — but the midterm elections, in which Democrats retook the House, came after the Kavanaugh debacle, so that’s not exactly a winning strategy.