Election 2016: Ana Navarro, Corey Lewandowski and What Happens to the Pundits Now

6:30 AM 11/9/2016

by Marisa Guthrie

Tomi Lahren, Angela Rye and other top analysts, surrogates and ranters were in intense demand for the past 18 months — but for those who grabbed the lion's share of the spotlight (for good or ill), the post-Nov. 8 future still is unclear.

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  • Tomi Lahren


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    The 24-year-old conservative commentator, who has an eponymous show on Glenn Beck's multiplatform news network, has compared the Black Lives Matter movement to the KKK (which spurred an ultimately futile Change.org petition to get her fired) and kicked the Beyhive in February with a rant about Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime show (criticizing "Formation" as "unfair to little white girls" and asking of the star, "Why be a cultural leader when you can play the victim, right?").

    She's an expert at courting controversy — Beyonce's team asked if they could license a few seconds of said rant for the Formation tour; Lahren declined — which means she's likely to stick around post-election and could end up with a spot on a broader platform in the near future.

  • Corey Lewandowski


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    The onetime Trump campaign manager, 43, was forced out amid the controversy surrounding his rough treatment of Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields and promptly was picked up by CNN for a reported $500,000 salary, about twice the going rate for seasonal contributors.

    Observers inside the network and out complained that he added little in the way of insight and the revelation that he still was drawing severance from the campaign focused unwanted attention on CNN months before another squirmy reveal: that liberal contributor Donna Brazile apparently was leaking primary debate questions to the Clinton campaign. Brazile's Oct. 31 ouster may not bode well for her equally partisan and less-liked GOP counterpart.

  • Angela Rye


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    A lawyer and political strategist, Rye has infused CNN's political coverage with pop culture sass; she quoted the chorus of Beyonce's "Sorry" to shut down Corey Lewandowski's odd rant about President Obama not releasing his college transcripts. Her eye-roll has become her signature and even became an internet GIF during the Democratic National Convention when she reacted to Trump surrogate Kayleigh McEnany's assertion that Trump has done "great things — in his private time."

    Rye, 37, who has said she knows she needs to contain her expressiveness or risk being labeled an "angry black woman," also is a contributor at NPR and a favorite to stick around.

  • Ana Navarro


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    Arguably the breakout star of CNN's coverage, GOP strategist Navarro, 44, is part of the anti-Trump conservative army — she supported Jeb Bush during the primaries. But her talent for quick recall on stats and poll data and fearlessness in the face of adversaries make her perfectly suited for cable news' rollicking debates. (She called Trump a "vile bigot" and "crazy orange man with an unidentifiable furry object on his head ranting into the wind" and told campaign manager Kellyanne Conway that she "would gladly take credit for insulting" him.)

    Asked where she sees herself after the election, Navarro demurs: "I try to be very aware of opportunities as they arise. But I don't sit around staring at my navel and thinking about my brand development."