The Politics and Faces of Angela Rye

Angela Rye, founder and director of Impact Strategies, in 2014
Larry French/Getty Images for SiriusXM

On the eve of the first presidential debate, Angela Rye, along with the rest of the world, was anticipating just how Donald Trump would shoot himself in the foot as he went one-on-one with Hillary Clinton. Of course, Trump seemed unprepared to match wits with Clinton, but when it comes to being one of CNN’s top political commentators, Rye has been preparing herself for this moment for a long time.

Since the start of election season, Rye, the founder and director of Impact Strategies, has made a name for herself discussing topics such as Trump and the racism that seems to have been brought to the forefront since Trump’s “Make America great again” political aspirations. But does Rye think the media has given Clinton fair coverage?


“Trump has received more free media coverage than Hillary Clinton. He’s received far more coverage. An earlier study indicated that he received $2.3 billion in free media coverage. It’s unprecedented. And it’s definitely not fair, if you look at it from a numbers standpoint,” Rye tells The Root.

"But if you look at it from ratings, it is fair,” she continues. “TV stations care about what’s going to get their earnings up, because they earn revenue from advertisers. It’s clear to understand why, but it’s also very frustrating. The type of attention he’s getting is unique, and crazy, until you find out that about 13 million people agree with his views.”

This year’s political climate has brought out all types of opinions when it comes to Trump vs. Clinton—especially when it comes to the type of people who will probably vote for Trump. And we’re talking white racists who also want to "make America great again."


“The reality of it is that he has definitely emboldened people who have been quietly racist to be racist and proud,"Rye says about the racist people who are standing in Trump’s corner. "I knew there were people who had implicit bias and prejudice, but to see them be kind of self-righteous about it now is now maddening.”


When Rye isn’t doling out political commentary, she's doling out some serious faces and eye rolls during her television appearances. And it's those faces that have turned Rye into a viral sensation.

And yes, she's been making faces since she was a kid.

"I can show photo proof of this; I've always made crazy faces, ever since I was a kid. I truly give Jim Carrey-face. Who doesn't have a crazy-ass facial expression during this election?" Rye says.


Earlier this year, Rye and her eye rolls became what memes are made of. But half the time, Rye says, she doesn't even realize she's on camera making them.


"This extended eye-roll situation? I've had no idea I was still on camera," Rye says.

And when Rye tilts her head? Prepare yourself.

"A Twitter user said, 'You always know when Angela is about to haul off on someone because her head tilts,' and the head tilt is serious," Rye continues.


Rye's parents are her biggest fans, and they don't expect anything different from her.

"They raised me to be authentically who I am," Rye says.

On the subject of the elections, Rye definitely has outcome hopes.

"I'm at a point now where we have no options but to oppose Donald Trump, but to do everything proactively to get a sane person in the White House. So now I'm at a point where I have to be proactive about my support for Hillary Clinton," Rye says.


Whereas Rye once thought Trump's presidential run was a joke, she says she wants people to know that it's no longer a laughing matter.

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