Kellyanne Conway was highly critical of Donald Trump during the primary season, but by mid-June she was ready to accept him as the inevitable Republican presidential nominee.

Two months later, the well-known Republican pollster is leading his campaign and giving conservatives and abortion foes renewed hope that Trump will uphold their values if he's elected president.

Conway was among the former Cruz supporters who attended a June 15 dinner at the home of conservative activist Brent Bozell. Some attendees were in the "Never Trump" camp, expressing wishful thinking that the Republican Party would somehow nominate a different candidate at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

But others, Conway included, felt they had to support the controversial nominee if only to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House.

"She wasn't looking for a miracle in Cleveland," said Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state and a long-time conservative activist, who was at that dinner and has known Conway for decades. "I think she was enough of a veteran to know that was a pipe dream."

The Trump campaign announced Wednesday that it had named Conway campaign manager, after weeks of major missteps and blunders that have led to widespread if not misplaced speculation over whether Trump would continue his presidential bid.

It's the best news abortion foes and other conservatives have heard in weeks, after they reluctantly started to back Trump but had ongoing reservations.

For years, Conway has advocated against abortion and advised candidates on how to discuss the issue effectively. She has faced off against Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, telling Richards at the 2012 New Yorker Festival that abortion rights advocates have "hijacked" the term "women's health" to apply it only to abortion.

"It's kind of insulting to women who also look at health as cancer and access to healthcare," Conway said at the time. "Your group is called 'Planned Parenthood.' It's not called 'Planning to be an octogenarian.'"

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, said Conway excels at effectively communicating the message of abortion opponents.

"I have known and trusted Kellyanne Conway my entire professional life," Dannenfelser said. "No one is better at understanding what real people are thinking and how to connect with them than Kellyanne."

"She's brilliant, she's beautiful and she's articulate," said Diana Banister, president of Shirley and Banister Public Affairs.

Not so long ago, Conway used those articulation skills against Trump.

She was deeply critical after Trump suggested women getting an abortion should face "some sort of punishment" if the procedure becomes illegal. With those comments, he was undermining years of work by abortion foes to cast the woman as the victim of an abortion, not the perpetrator, Conway told PBS host Charlie Rose in March.

"Voters have a reasonable expectation that their candidates have thought about policy at least as deeply as they have," Conway said.

"I think for Mr. Trump, the reason his numbers are sliding overall — but particularly among women — is because suburban women, Republican married women, they see him as not willing to put in the work on these issues," she said.

But once it became clear Trump would become the Republican nominee, Conway worked to influence him, urging him to appoint Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as the vice presidential nominee and joining his campaign as a senior adviser.

"Kellyanne Conway is a seasoned veteran and a steady hand at the helm," said Concerned Women for America Penny Nance. "She will be a great asset to the Trump campaign if he listens."

That's what conservatives are hoping for — that Trump, who is known for giving bungled answers to policy questions and later walking back his comments, listens and learns from his new campaign manager.

"She will be welcome for many of us who don't see Donald Trump as a constitutional conservative," Blackwell said. "She can actually frame what's at stake here and the binary choice between Trump and Hillary Clinton better than most people."