Jan 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

  • "Power should be used sparingly yet strategically," Conway said. "A reluctance to exert power is also a necessary requisite for possessing it. Our Constitution reserves many powers to the individual and to the states. Washington often forgets that. Leaders are wise to respect, not rob, people of their power."
  • "In the '80s, Washington was known for the 'power lunch' and the 'power suit.' Cute. Increasingly, women in Washington have real power. Sometimes, the expectations for powerful women are different, but so, too, are the motivators and outcomes."
  • "The late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher offered words to live by: 'Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.' This is true. Show it; don’t say it. Use it wisely; don’t underline it obnoxiously."
  • "If you have a choice between power and influence, go for influence. Power is conferred by one's birth, position, promotion or election. Influence is how things get things done, preferring negotiation, persuasion and elevating cooperation and collaboration."
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