She’s one of Donald Trump’s closest allies, while he spends his days denouncing Trump. Yet somehow, for Kellyanne and George Conway it still works.
She’s one of Donald Trump’s closest allies, while he spends his days denouncing Trump. Yet somehow, for Kellyanne and George Conway it still works.

Inside America’s strangest marriage

OPINION

One of the more intriguing chapters of the Trump White House has come to an end with the resignation of Kellyanne Conway, counsellor to the president and half of one of America's most fascinating marriages.

Credited with helping seal Donald Trump's 2016 win when she stepped in as campaign manager, Conway was the brittle blonde spokeswoman who coined the term "alternative facts" in the days after his inauguration to explain away the difference between what people could see in front of them and what they were being told was a record crowd in attendance.

One of Trump's closest aides, Conway is a regular cable TV presence who has never faltered in her public support of the president.

All the while, her husband George has been working solidly against his wife's agenda.

We know this because Mr Conway, a lawyer who represented one of then-president Bill Clinton's sexual harassment accusers Paula Jones, did so on social media, using Trump's favoured medium to regularly label him insane, psychotic and an habitual liar.

Kallyanne Conway and husband George Conway with their four children. Picture: Twitter
Kallyanne Conway and husband George Conway with their four children. Picture: Twitter

A co-creator of The Lincoln Project, one of several anti-Trump Republican groups, Conway's needling was so irritating that the president couldn't help but strike back a few times.

The most dramatic was this post from March last year when Trump tweeted: "George Conway, often referred to as Mr. Kellyanne Conway by those who know him, is VERY jealous of his wife's success & angry that I, with her help, didn't give him the job he so desperately wanted. I barely know him but just take a look, a stone cold LOSER & husband from hell!"

Now, I personally know two couples whose marriages couldn't sustain the pressure of the T-word in their household and have now split. One was in media, the other finance, and you didn't want to be around them if politics came up.

All reason would be gone in a flash as voices rose and tempers frayed (even if they were sober!) which is an experience apparently shared by families across the country.

Of course it takes a lot more than political differences to end a relationship but with both of these friends it was as if the incendiary nature of their disagreement about whether Trump was evil or a messiah exacerbated all their other issues.

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Kellyanne and George Conway may have the most interesting marriage in DC. Matt Rourke/AP
Kellyanne and George Conway may have the most interesting marriage in DC. Matt Rourke/AP

What made the Conways so interesting was the fact that while they were so obviously at extreme loggerheads professionally, they were also committed to staying together and sharing the parenting of their four children.

And while they were publicly so vocal in their support or derision of her boss, they never criticised each other directly.

It was only as their 15-year-old daughter recently became more outspoken on social media, posting about (you guessed it) the torturous politics of America, that they seem to have finally come to their senses.

With an announcement that she planned to spend more time with her family, Conway on Sunday said she was leaving the White House to give her kids "less drama, more mama".

George Conway withdrew from the Lincoln Project and social media "to devote more time to family matters".

Since any public stance you take these days immediately draws hate from every imaginable direction, both have been slammed for exposing their children to the situation in the first place.

But I have to say it was some rare good news, and there's a little part of me that thinks that if this strange little family can make it work, well then there's hope for all of us.

Originally published as Inside America's strangest marriage



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