It’s not hard to see why reality show star-turned-president elect Donald Trump has picked loyal campaign surrogate Kellyanne Conway to serve as White House Counsel. No matter how stark the reality, Conway can always spin any situation with a total lack of shame and doglike sincerity.
Take her appearance on ABC yesterday. Rather than admit that the inauguration committee has a difficult time locking in big-name talent for the festivities on January 20th, Conway told David Muir that headliners have been chosen, but refused to say who they are.
‘“Can you give us anyone on the list?” Muir asked.
“I won’t, but I can tell you that this is not the Academy Awards,” Conway replied. Then, invoking Trump’s precarious facade of populist appeal, she added: “it’s the Inauguration for the people, the way that it’s been the election for the people.”
News broke today that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will sing for the new president, but it’s not clear whether Conway was thinking of them when she spoke to ABC. The group has already performed at previous presidential inaugurations.
Renowned singer Andrea Bocelli withdrew from Trump’s inaugural lineup this week, leaving 16-year old Jackie Evancho, a former contestant on the show America’s Got Talent, as the only named performer left on the playbill. Evancho will be singing the national anthem.
Whereas planning for Inauguration Day had begun with gaudy, ambitious plans for a star-studded event costing $75 million, the air has run out of Trump’s celebratory balloon at a steady rate.
Alarmed by the lack of interest, the Presidential Inaugural Committee reportedly offered ambassadorships to talent bookers if they could sign on big names. “Never in a million years have I heard something so crazy,” one of them told The Wrap.
In a sign they had given up hope of landing any household names, Team Trump lowered expectations this week, telling TMZ to expect a “strictly traditional” affair because “parties just aren’t his thing.”
Inaugural events have all featured popular acts in the modern era. Virtuoso cello player Yo Yo Ma performed with violinist Itzhak Perlman and clarinetist Anthony McGill for Obama’s 2008 inauguration. Other A-list celebrities to appear for presidents-elect include Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Beyonce, Bob Dylan, and Stevie Wonder.
Booking woes extend to planning for the inaugural parties. Scheduled for the night before Trump takes the oath of office, the All American Ball will cost $350 a ticket to hear a lineup that music writer Alex Young calls “hot garbage.”
Nashville singer-songwriter Beau Davidson, who will be performing music from his latest album, The American Gentleman; The Reagan Years, “one of the HOTTEST ’80s cover bands” who only perform music released during Ronald Reagan’s presidency; and a wedding band called The Mixx; plus DJ sets by DJ Romin, DJ Young Rye, DJ Flow, and — my personal fav — DJ Freedom. The Star Spangled Singers will also take the stage to serenade party-goers with “uplifting, patriotic songs and instrumentals.
So when Kellyanne Conway says the inauguration is “for the people,” she’s actually admitting to her low opinion of average Americans. She apparently sees them as as uncultured barbarians — just like her boss.
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