The Dark Magic of Kellyanne Conway
If you happened to watch CNN on Friday morning, you saw a brutal exchange about Russian hacking between a righteous anchor with steam coming out of his ears and a right-wing operative with ice in her veins.
“Chris Cuomo bulldozes Kellyanne Conway,” said a headline in one of the many publications so impressed by the encounter that they reported on it.
“克里斯·科莫(Chris Cuomo)碾压凯莉安·康维(Kellyanne Conway)，”一个新闻标题这样写道，这场对战太过精彩，以至于许多媒体做了报道。
If you happened to watch CNN on Monday morning, you saw that Conway was actually back with Cuomo for more.
Surprised? Then you don’t know the first thing about her.
She’s no mere mouthpiece, no measly surrogate. She’s more like the David Blaine of political spin, intent on working feats of magic that few others would attempt and surviving situations that would cripple any ordinary mortal. He catches a bullet in his mouth; she makes Donald Trump sound like a humble servant of the common man. He lasts 44 days in a plexiglass case over the Thames; she lasts 40 minutes with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.
她不仅仅是传声筒，也不仅仅是代理人。她更像是政治舆论控制界的大卫·布雷恩(David Blaine)，一心一意地表演很少有人会尝试的魔术，从任何肉体凡胎都会被搞残的状况中逃生。他用嘴接子弹；她让唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)听上去像是服务于普通人的谦卑公仆。他在泰晤士河上的一个有机玻璃箱里捱过了44天；她在MSNBC节目上面对雷切尔·玛多(Rachel Maddow)捱过了40分钟。
She reunited with Cuomo not just to pooh-pooh Vladimir Putin’s misdeeds anew but to answer Meryl Streep’s complaint about the way Trump once mocked a disabled journalist. And she came up with that gem about disregarding the president-elect’s words and judging him instead by what’s in his heart, which she apparently knows to be good. She has done Blaine one better. She’s a stuntwoman and a cardiologist.
她和科莫重聚，不仅为了驳斥与弗拉基米尔·普京(Vladimir Putin)的最新不端行径有关的消息，还为了回应梅丽尔·斯特里普(Meryl Streep)关于特朗普曾如何嘲弄一名残疾记者的指控。她想出了一个绝好的点子，提议人们在评判候任总统时忽略其言论，重视其内心——她显然知道特朗普的内心是极好的。她比布雷恩更胜一筹。她是一名特技替身演员和心脏病学家。
As the cabinet nominees submit to their inquisitions and Trump holds his first news conference since the election, there’s a surfeit of political spectacle this week.
But for sheer, jaw-dropping wonder, I doubt that any of it will improve on a typical Conway television interview, which is a circus of euphemisms, a festival of distractions and a testament to the stamina of a willed smile. She looks cheery when attacking, even cheerier when attacked and absolutely radiant when descending into a bog of half-truths and fictions. It’s always sunny on Conway’s side of the street.
And it’s always a landslide when her candidate wins. She describes Trump’s victory as a mandate — never mind its narrowness or all that Russian nefariousness — and dismisses his critics by citing their inability to see that heady triumph coming. They had no foresight. Now they have no grounds.
Waving away what Hollywood stars said about Trump at the Golden Globes, she told Cuomo: “That place, this network, frankly, all believed the election would turn out a different way.”
She also questioned why Streep would go after Trump and not the “four young African-American adults in Chicago screaming racial anti-Trump expletives” at a disabled young man in that chilling Facebook Live video. Is this the new bar for taking Trump to task? You can’t do it until you’ve completed a roll call of every bully in the news?
“Saturday Night Live” is transfixed by Conway, but they don’t get her quite right. As portrayed by Kate McKinnon, she experiences pinpricks of horror over abetting Trump’s ascent. The real-life Conway shows no such remorse. She’s exultant to the point of taunting Hillary Clinton’s aides for their defeat, as she did when she appeared with them at Harvard in December for an election post-mortem.
康维把《周六夜现场》(Saturday Night Live)震住了，但他们始终没太吃透她。凯特·麦金农(Kate McKinnon)所演绎的康维在推动特朗普崛起的过程中经历了很多恐怖时刻。但现实生活中的康维不会表现出这种懊悔。她兴高采烈到了会嘲弄希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Clinton)那些落败的助手的程度，她在去年11月和他们一起到哈佛大学对大选进行事后剖析时便是如此。
That was the occasion of my favorite Conway-ism. She was asked if Trump’s baseless insistence that he would have won the popular vote except for millions of illegal ballots constituted presidential behavior.
“He’s the president-elect, so that’s presidential behavior,” she said.
Many journalists don’t get Conway quite right, either, assigning her more power in Trump World than she has. When you’re doing that much TV, you can be in only so many meetings.
What she possesses is a showmanship that Trump can’t help appreciating. I know dozens of people who despise her politics but are mesmerized by her performances. She’s the Streep of “Fox & Friends” (of “Morning Joe,” too) and a perfect emblem of these polarized times, when no claim is too laughable or denial too ludicrous if it counters the supposed insidiousness of the other side.
她所拥有的是一种令特朗普禁不住赞叹的演艺才能。我认识好几十个人虽然厌恶她的政治观点，但却折服于她的表演。她是《福克斯与朋友们》(Fox & Friends)（以及《早安，乔》[Morning Joe]）节目上的斯特里普；是分裂时代的完美符号，在这样的时代里，没有任何主张或否认会显得太过可笑或荒唐，只要可以用它们来对抗想象中的另一方的险恶用心。
She’s also the gold-haired standard for a rising generation of unflappable partisans. I imagine that Kayleigh McEnany, the Trump apologist on CNN, studies her moves the way a backup quarterback watches the starter. Should Conway go down with a broken fibula, McEnany’s ready to lead the drive.
The Trump booster Anthony Scaramucci is perhaps another of the sorceress’ apprentices. With MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle last week, he was Conway-esque in pivoting from the questions he was asked to the answers he preferred to give.
特朗普的热情支持者安东尼·斯卡拉穆奇(Anthony Scaramucci)或许是女法师的另一名学徒。上周，面对MSNBC的斯蒂芬妮·鲁尔(Stephanie Ruhle)，他以康维的套路绕开被问及的问题，给出了他想要给出的答案。
But he needs practice: I heard nothing at the altitude of Conway’s claim this week that the Democrats demanding more financial information from Trump’s nominees were “political peeping Toms.” What pith. What alliteration. What a year we’re in for.
但他还需要练习：我没听到任何可以和康维本周的说法比肩的东西——她说那些想让特朗普的提名人选公开更多财务信息的民主党人是“政治偷窥癖”(political peeping Toms)。多么精辟。多妙的头韵。我们迎来的是怎样的一年啊。