Eternally cheerful Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway appeared on MSNBC after Sunday night’s presidential debate to spin the whole circus as a win for her boss and to remind viewers that the real enemy of women is Hillary Clinton. So far, so normal. But then Chris Matthews asked Conway if she had any plans to leave Trump’s campaign, and her answer was … not normal. “You’re with the campaign till the bitter end?” said Matthews.
“I’m with the campaign till the bitter end. Unless … ” There was a dramatic pause, as though Conway were contemplating where her life might be right now if she hadn’t decided to lead the campaign of a notorious misogynist. Then she whispered something that sounded a lot like, “Who knows?” and reminded herself where she was. “I’m sitting here as his campaign manager. I’m sitting here with you in the debate hall where he just performed beautifully.”
“So you’re worried about more shoes dropping?” Matthews asked.
“No, I didn’t say that,” she replied, flustered. “No, no, no. No. No. I’ve made a commitment. And I believe that he will be a much better president.” Conway stumbled through a confusing sentence about how everyone knows Trump won the debate but that everyone is talking about it how he stood menacingly behind Clinton, and then she found her way again. “The woman you saw out there tonight I think is unfit to be president,” she concluded with most of her usual swagger.
MSNBC’s panel of analysts, particularly Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd, were so gobsmacked by Conway’s mysterious “unless” that they made their producers in the debate hall put her back on camera for a follow-up interview about a minute later. Conway had transformed back into her usual beaming, poised self, telling Maddow, “The ‘unless’ is very simple. It’s unless someone in my household needs me or unless something changes in my own life.”
All those rumors about Apprentice footage that’s even worse than Trump’s “grab ’em by the pussy” tape? Conway says such a revelation wouldn’t bother her in the slightest! But maybe she’s telling the truth about only leaving the campaign for personal reasons—for all we know, she got some ideas from Saturday Night Live’s recent sketch envisioning Conway rollerblading, painting self-portraits, and taking romantic bubble baths on her day off. A life of leisure is probably looking pretty good right now to a woman charged with a tanking campaign.