Conway has always gleefully inhabited this position. Katie Baker, a Republican strategist who worked on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, once said of Conway, “She has created a niche where candidates can check a box and say, well, they’ve got a woman advising them.”
Indeed, before Conway became Trump’s righthand woman, she made a business out of helping Republican candidates—like Mike Pence and Ted Cruz—spin their ideas to women voters. This is crucial, and lucrative, position in right-wing politics: These politicians know how dismal their polices are for women, and finding a spokesperson who can assure the public otherwise is a valuable asset.
In Conway’s specific case, she has helped politicians avoid examining, or changing, their positions that are harmful to women by aggressively framing those issues as somehow pro-woman. Fittingly, she has a seat on the board of the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF). (She is currently on a leave of absence.) The IWF is a right-wing think-tank with ties to the Koch brothers that aims to “[increase] the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty”; despite its focus on women, it publicly opposes many mainstream feminist ideas.