Kellyanne Conway during an interview on Late Night With Sethy Meyers. Lloyd Bishop / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Kellyanne Conway during an interview on Late Night With Sethy Meyers. Lloyd Bishop / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Newsmaker: Kellyanne Conway



When it comes to bare-knuckle political lobbying, 12-year-old Claudia Conway is a chip off the old block. Today her mother, Kellyanne Conway, the Republican pollster credited with turning round Donald Trump's presidential campaign, will be celebrating her 50th birthday at the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States.

As his special counsellor, Conway is looking forward to life as the most powerful woman in the White House, but there’s trouble back home in Alpine, New Jersey. One month ago, shortly after Trump announced the appointment, Claudia began an online petition aimed at her mother and father.

“The Conway family might be moving to Washington DC,” she wrote on change.org. “I am sad to hear this, but believe that if I can get enough people to sign this petition, the plan may be reconsidered.” Claudia and her three siblings “love our community, friends, and nearby family”.

Claudia’s mother was born Kellyanne Elizabeth Fitzpatrick on January 20, 1967, in Camden, New Jersey, where her Irish father owned a small transport company and her Italian mother worked in a bank. Her parents divorced when she was three years old.

“I grew up in a house with my mum and her mum, and two of my mother’s unmarried sisters,” she recalled in 2008. It was in this all-female environment in Atco, a “blue-collar farming community”, that the foundations of her conservatism were laid. “Family and faith and self-reliance were premier,” she told Newsmax.

The only woman to have run a successful US presidential campaign was once a high school cheerleader and in 1983, at the age of 16, won the New Jersey Blueberry Queen beauty pageant. But these two staples of US life offer fewer clues to Conway’s future success than her 1987 victory in a blueberry speed-packing contest.

For eight years through school and college she worked on a local fruit farm and was a fast and “intensely motivated worker”, Conway’s first boss Bill DiMeo recalled this month. When the contest was judged a tie, she demanded a re-count – and won. “Everything I learned about life and business started on that farm,” she said last year.

In 1989 she graduated in political science from Trinity College, Washington, before studying law at George Washington University Law School. Though she practised for a few years, she gave up law for politics and describes herself as a “fully recovered” lawyer. After a brief sojourn at two consulting firms, in 1993 she started The Polling Company, providing consultancy services to businesses, lobby groups and Republican politicians. Her WomanTrend division sought to “better connect corporate America with the female consumer”.

Conway was “absolutely brilliant”, one former political client recalled recently. “She understands the data [and] knows what you’ve got to do to reach that constituency. She never let ideology get in the way of smart political behaviour.”

In 2005, Conway co-authored a book, What Women Really Want, with Celinda Lake, a leading political strategist for the Democratic Party. "Single women," they wrote, were becoming "the most desirable demographic – fervently courted by industry ... and not putting their lives on hold until Mr Right comes along".

Conway’s Mr Right was New York lawyer George T Conway. She was 34 when they married in 2001 and they now have four children.

She met her future boss in 2006, while she was on the residents’ board at Trump World Tower in Manhattan and they stayed in touch. When Trump made his infamous proposal in 2015 to ban Muslims from the US, he cited a poll that had been carried out by Conway’s firm. The Polling Company told the media Trump’s policy proposal had “no backing in the survey”.

Nevertheless, in March 2015 Trump offered Conway a job on his presidential campaign team. She turned him down, she later said, because she didn’t like the idea that people would see her as just “whispering in his ear about what he should say to women”.

The woman who would nevertheless become known as The Trump Whisperer began the 2016 presidential race working for his Republican rival Ted Cruz but, after Cruz lost, Trump reached out again. On July 1, as Trump’s run for the presidency appeared fatally crippled amid gaffes and slumping polls, Conway was appointed senior adviser, and by August 17 was in charge of the entire campaign.

Trump's new campaign manager, said New York magazine, was "a veteran Republican pollster [and] cable-gabber ... who has made something of a specialty out of teaching wild men how to be less threatening to swing voters, especially women".

Overnight Conway was omnipresent in news studios, “propelling the Trump candidacy against all odds”, as one observer put it.

Conway’s genius lay in spotting, and exploiting, the wriggle-room in Trump’s perceived disdain for women. Lowlights during the campaign included the branding of comedian Rosie O’Donnell as “disgusting”, with a “fat pig face”, while the tape of Trump discussing his attitudes to women, leaked in October, would have finished most candidates.

But Conway knew what women wanted. For a start, as she said in one interview in July, "a critical mass of women have not said they'd vote for Hillary Clinton", while behind the scenes, as The Washington Post noted, "the woman hired to fix Trump's image with women [is] nudging the Republican presidential nominee to stop insulting his critics' looks and display more compassion".

Not that Conway is above clashing with the sisterhood. After Meryl Streep criticised Trump during a speech at the Golden Globes for mimicking the disability of a reporter in 2015, Conway attacked her on Twitter and Fox News, accusing America’s most revered actress of “inciting people’s worst instincts”.

At times, Conway’s dogged defence of Trump’s frequently indefensible Twitterings has approached the farcical. “You always want to go by what’s come out of his mouth rather than look at what’s in his heart,” she chided one CNN presenter.

Such episodes inspired Saturday Night Live's portrayal of Conway as a working mother whose attempt to enjoy a rare day off is continuously frustrated by having to fight Trump fires. Unlike Trump, whose tweets about his portrayal by SNL's Alec Baldwin showed he has no sense of humour, Conway has played the good sport, praising comedian Kate McKinnon for doing "a great job ... she's got me down pat".

Today, Conway is in the White House, despite having previously fretted publicly about the impact such a role might have on her family, and it remains to be seen whether husband and children join her in Washington.

So far, Claudia’s petition has garnered 139 signatures. But as the US presidential campaign demonstrated, if anyone can swing an undecided electorate, it’s a Conway.

weekend@thenational.ae

UAE rugby season

FIXTURES

West Asia Premiership

Dubai Hurricanes v Dubai Knights Eagles

Dubai Tigers v Bahrain

Jebel Ali Dragons v Abu Dhabi Harlequins

UAE Division 1

Dubai Sharks v Dubai Hurricanes II

Al Ain Amblers v Dubai Knights Eagles II

Dubai Tigers II v Abu Dhabi Saracens

Jebel Ali Dragons II v Abu Dhabi Harlequins II

Sharjah Wanderers v Dubai Exiles II

 

LAST SEASON

West Asia Premiership

Winners – Bahrain

Runners-up – Dubai Exiles

UAE Premiership

Winners – Abu Dhabi Harlequins

Runners-up – Jebel Ali Dragons

Dubai Rugby Sevens

Winners – Dubai Hurricanes

Runners-up – Abu Dhabi Harlequins

UAE Conference

Winners – Dubai Tigers

Runners-up – Al Ain Amblers

MATCH INFO

FA Cup fifth round

Chelsea v Manchester United, Monday, 11.30pm (UAE), BeIN Sports

Guns N’ Roses’s last gig before Abu Dhabi was in Hong Kong on November 21. We were there – and here’s what they played, and in what order. You were warned.

  • It’s So Easy
  • Mr Brownstone
  • Chinese Democracy
  • Welcome to the Jungle
  • Double Talkin’ Jive
  • Better
  • Estranged
  • Live and Let Die (Wings cover)
  • Slither (Velvet Revolver cover)
  • Rocket Queen
  • You Could Be Mine
  • Shadow of Your Love
  • Attitude (Misfits cover)
  • Civil War
  • Coma
  • Love Theme from The Godfather (movie cover)
  • Sweet Child O’ Mine
  • Wichita Lineman (Jimmy Webb cover)
  • Wish You Were Here (instrumental Pink Floyd cover)
  • November Rain
  • Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden cover)
  • Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan cover)
  • Nightrain

Encore:

  • Patience
  • Don’t Cry
  • The Seeker (The Who cover)
  • Paradise City
Results

5pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 2,200m, Winner: Zalman, Pat Cosgrave (jockey), Helal Al Alawi (trainer)

5.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m, Winner: Hisham Al Khalediah II, Fernando Jara, Mohamed Daggash.

6pm: Handicap (PA) Dh85,000 (T) 1,600m, Winner: Qader, Adrie de Vries, Jean de Roualle

6.30pm: Abu Dhabi Championship Listed (PA) Dh180,000 (T) 1,600m, Winner: Mujeeb, Fabrice Veron, Eric Lemartinel

7pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,600m, Winner: AF Majalis, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel

7.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh90,000 (T) 1,600m, Winner: Shanaghai City, Fabrice Veron, Rashed Bouresly

8pm: Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 1,400m, Winner: Nayslayer, Bernardo Pinheiro, Jaber Ramadhan

Why it pays to compare

A comparison of sending Dh20,000 from the UAE using two different routes at the same time - the first direct from a UAE bank to a bank in Germany, and the second from the same UAE bank via an online platform to Germany - found key differences in cost and speed. The transfers were both initiated on January 30.

Route 1: bank transfer

The UAE bank charged Dh152.25 for the Dh20,000 transfer. On top of that, their exchange rate margin added a difference of around Dh415, compared with the mid-market rate.

Total cost: Dh567.25 - around 2.9 per cent of the total amount

Total received: €4,670.30 

Route 2: online platform

The UAE bank’s charge for sending Dh20,000 to a UK dirham-denominated account was Dh2.10. The exchange rate margin cost was Dh60, plus a Dh12 fee.

Total cost: Dh74.10, around 0.4 per cent of the transaction

Total received: €4,756

The UAE bank transfer was far quicker – around two to three working days, while the online platform took around four to five days, but was considerably cheaper. In the online platform transfer, the funds were also exposed to currency risk during the period it took for them to arrive.

The biog

Place of birth: Kalba

Family: Mother of eight children and has 10 grandchildren

Favourite traditional dish: Al Harees, a slow cooked porridge-like dish made from boiled cracked or coarsely ground wheat mixed with meat or chicken

Favourite book: My early life by Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah

Favourite quote: By Sheikh Zayed, the UAE's Founding Father, “Those who have no past will have no present or future.”

Brief scoreline:

Liverpool 5

Keita 1', Mane 23', 66', Salah 45'+1, 83'

Huddersfield 0

Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022

First match: November 20
Final 16 round: December 3 to 6
Quarter-finals: December 9 and 10
Semi-finals: December 13 and 14
Final: December 18

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League, semi-final result:

Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona

Liverpool win 4-3 on aggregate

Champions Legaue final: June 1, Madrid

Company profile

Company: Verity

Date started: May 2021

Founders: Kamal Al-Samarrai, Dina Shoman and Omar Al Sharif

Based: Dubai

Sector: FinTech

Size: four team members

Stage: Intially bootstrapped but recently closed its first pre-seed round of $800,000

Investors: Wamda, VentureSouq, Beyond Capital and regional angel investors

Pari

Produced by: Clean Slate Films (Anushka Sharma, Karnesh Sharma) & KriArj Entertainment

Director: Prosit Roy

Starring: Anushka Sharma, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Ritabhari Chakraborty, Rajat Kapoor, Mansi Multani

Three stars

Retirement funds heavily invested in equities at a risky time

Pension funds in growing economies in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East have a sharply higher percentage of assets parked in stocks, just at a time when trade tensions threaten to derail markets.

Retirement money managers in 14 geographies now allocate 40 per cent of their assets to equities, an 8 percentage-point climb over the past five years, according to a Mercer survey released last week that canvassed government, corporate and mandatory pension funds with almost $5 trillion in assets under management. That compares with about 25 per cent for pension funds in Europe.

The escalating trade spat between the US and China has heightened fears that stocks are ripe for a downturn. With tensions mounting and outcomes driven more by politics than economics, the S&P 500 Index will be on course for a “full-scale bear market” without Federal Reserve interest-rate cuts, Citigroup’s global macro strategy team said earlier this week.

The increased allocation to equities by growth-market pension funds has come at the expense of fixed-income investments, which declined 11 percentage points over the five years, according to the survey.

Hong Kong funds have the highest exposure to equities at 66 per cent, although that’s been relatively stable over the period. Japan’s equity allocation jumped 13 percentage points while South Korea’s increased 8 percentage points.

The money managers are also directing a higher portion of their funds to assets outside of their home countries. On average, foreign stocks now account for 49 per cent of respondents’ equity investments, 4 percentage points higher than five years ago, while foreign fixed-income exposure climbed 7 percentage points to 23 per cent. Funds in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan are among those seeking greater diversification in stocks and fixed income.

• Bloomberg

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

MATCH INFO

Manchester United v Brighton, Sunday, 6pm UAE

'Operation Mincemeat'

Director: John Madden

Cast: Colin Firth, Matthew Macfayden, Kelly Macdonald and Penelope Wilton

Rating: 4/5

RESULT

Everton 2 Huddersfield Town 0
Everton: 
Sigurdsson (47'), Calvert-Lewin (73')

Man of the Match: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)

MATCH INFO

Champions League quarter-final, first leg

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City, Tuesday, 11pm (UAE)

Matches can be watched on BeIN Sports

Other promotions
  • Deliveroo will team up with Pineapple Express to offer customers near JLT a special treat: free banana caramel dessert with all orders on January 26
  • Jones the Grocer will have their limited edition Australia Day menu available until the end of the month (January 31)
  • Australian Vet in Abu Dhabi (with locations in Khalifa City A and Reem Island) will have a 15 per cent off all store items (excluding medications) 
The specs: 2017 Dodge Viper SRT

Price, base / as tested Dh460,000

Engine 8.4L V10

Transmission Six-speed manual

Power 645hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 813Nm @ 5,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined 16.8L / 100km

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

Quarter-finals

Saturday (all times UAE)

England v Australia, 11.15am 
New Zealand v Ireland, 2.15pm

Sunday

Wales v France, 11.15am
Japan v South Africa, 2.15pm

SPECS

Mini John Cooper Works Clubman and Mini John Cooper Works Countryman

Engine: two-litre 4-cylinder turbo

Transmission: nine-speed automatic

Power: 306hp

Torque: 450Nm

Price: JCW Clubman, Dh220,500; JCW Countryman, Dh225,500

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

The Greatest Royal Rumble card as it stands

50-man Royal Rumble

Universal Championship Brock Lesnar (champion) v Roman Reigns in a steel cage match

Intercontinental Championship Seth Rollins (champion) v The Miz v Finn Balor v Samoa Joe

SmackDown Tag Team Championship The Bludgeon Brothers (champions) v The Usos

Casket match The Undertaker v Chris Jericho

John Cena v Triple H

Matches to be announced

WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Raw Tag Team Championship, United States Championship and the Cruiserweight Championship are all due to be defended

Salah in numbers

€39 million: Liverpool agreed a fee, including add-ons, in the region of 39m (nearly Dh176m) to sign Salah from Roma last year. The exchange rate at the time meant that cost the Reds £34.3m - a bargain given his performances since.

13: The 25-year-old player was not a complete stranger to the Premier League when he arrived at Liverpool this summer. However, during his previous stint at Chelsea, he made just 13 Premier League appearances, seven of which were off the bench, and scored only twice.

57: It was in the 57th minute of his Liverpool bow when Salah opened his account for the Reds in the 3-3 draw with Watford back in August. The Egyptian prodded the ball over the line from close range after latching onto Roberto Firmino's attempted lob.

7: Salah's best scoring streak of the season occurred between an FA Cup tie against West Brom on January 27 and a Premier League win over Newcastle on March 3. He scored for seven games running in all competitions and struck twice against Tottenham.

3: This season Salah became the first player in Premier League history to win the player of the month award three times during a term. He was voted as the division's best player in November, February and March.

40: Salah joined Roger Hunt and Ian Rush as the only players in Liverpool's history to have scored 40 times in a single season when he headed home against Bournemouth at Anfield earlier this month.

30: The goal against Bournemouth ensured the Egyptian achieved another milestone in becoming the first African player to score 30 times across one Premier League campaign.

8: As well as his fine form in England, Salah has also scored eight times in the tournament phase of this season's Champions League. Only Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, with 15 to his credit, has found the net more often in the group stages and knockout rounds of Europe's premier club competition.

Specs

Power train: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and synchronous electric motor
Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 3.4sec
0-200km/h: 11.4sec
Top speed: 312km/h
Max electric-only range: 60km (claimed)
On sale: Q3
Price: From Dh1.2m (estimate)

LA LIGA FIXTURES

Saturday (All UAE kick-off times)

Valencia v Atletico Madrid (midnight)

Mallorca v Alaves (4pm)

Barcelona v Getafe (7pm)

Villarreal v Levante (9.30pm)

Sunday

Granada v Real Volladolid (midnight)

Sevilla v Espanyol (3pm)

Leganes v Real Betis (5pm)

Eibar v Real Sociedad (7pm)

Athletic Bilbao v Osasuna (9.30pm)

Monday

Real Madrid v Celta Vigo (midnight)

How to watch Ireland v Pakistan in UAE

When: The one-off Test starts on Friday, May 11
What time: Each day’s play is scheduled to start at 2pm UAE time.
TV: The match will be broadcast on OSN Sports Cricket HD. Subscribers to the channel can also stream the action live on OSN Play.


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