Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, was tapped as one of a handful of people asked to read an inspirational book to children at the White House’s 141st annual Easter Egg Roll on Monday. After taking her seat at the “Reading Nook,” Conway enthusiastically began to tell a tale about a boy who is happy as long as he is playing with his like-minded friend. One day, a new kid who has watched from a distance musters up the courage to ask to be included in their fun. The boy’s friend welcomes the outsider, but the boy “feels strange.” He turns violent and starts to destroy things. He then gets sad and withdraws, imagining himself playing only with his friend and wishing he can make things great again.
The outsider decides to visit the boy and shower him with love. Feeling special and needed, the boy quickly changes his mind and decides he likes the outsider after all and even admires his kindness and bravery. “It’s new and it’s good,” the boy realizes, bringing the book to end on a warm, positive note.
“That’s a beautiful story about including a new friend in your life,” Conway remarked as she closed the book. She then took questions from the young audience, including from a child who asked if she is friends with the President. Conway replied that she is, “but most importantly the President is friends with you. He loves being President of the entire country.” It is true that in his acceptance speech after claiming victory in the November 2016 election, Trump proclaimed, “I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me.” But since that time, Trump has only aimed to please his base while making every effort to sow as much division as possible among everyone else.
The book that Kellyanne Conway selected for the White House can be interpreted as a hopeful allegory about Trump and asylum seekers or even more generally as a cautionary tale against xenophobia. But it was actually a real children’s book by Linda Sarah called Big Friends. Before Conway began reading, she told the crowd that she “loves the story in this book” and that the title refers to “being kind and generous.” If Conway truly believes in this book, then she should repeat her performance in the Oval Office for her infantile boss before he has the chance to pry any more innocent children away from their heartbroken parents.