iOS app Android app

Matthew Dowd
During the past twenty-five years, Matthew Dowd has helped shape strategies and campaigns for CEOs, corporations, foundations, governments, candidates, and presidents. He is a founding partner of ViaNovo, an international brand positioning firm.

Matthew’s recent political work includes serving as the Chief Strategist on two winning reelection efforts – for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 and for President George W. Bush in 2004. His innovative approach on the 2004 and 2000 campaigns led the bi-partisan American Association of Political Consultants to name him Strategist of the Year.

In the 1990s, Matthew was President and founding partner of Public Strategies, Inc, an international public affairs firm. While at PSI, Matthew advised a wide variety of corporate clients and helped former Democrat Texas Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock win election and re-election. He began his career as a member of Democrat U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen's staff.

A contributor to many news outlets, Matthew teaches at the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs.

He is co-author of the New York Times bestseller Applebee’s America: How Successful Political, Business and Religious Leaders Connect with the New American Community.

Entries by Matthew Dowd

Our Founding Fathers: The Original Entrepreneurs

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2015 | 1:28 PM

As we approach the celebration of the Fourth of July, I have been thinking a lot about the history of the United States and where we are today and what might help us move forward.

Our country is struggling -- in many different ways...

Read Post

Microwaves Aren't Always Best in Life and Politics

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 1:26 PM

Vinnie Johnson, a crucial sixth man player on the Detroit Pistons' championship teams of 1989 and 1990, was known for his ability to "heat up" in a hurry off the bench and quickly score. Because of this Johnson, a graduate of

Read Post

5 Father's Day Lessons: Pop and Politics

(1) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 12:20 PM

As we approach Father's Day, I can't help but think of the presence (or lack of presence) dad's play in the formation of men and women in the world. As with mother's, it is profound and effects just regular folks to athletes to presidents and potential presidents. Understanding the dynamic...

Read Post

Don't Let the Past Block You From Seeing the Future

(1) Comments | Posted June 6, 2015 | 10:46 AM

So often in life we neglect to look backward to put our present in context and our future in sight. Much of the stories that get repeated, whether in our own mind or by others, arise from myths believed long ago, or a truth forgotten because of either fear or...

Read Post

From Evolution to Revolution: A New Campaign

(0) Comments | Posted May 25, 2015 | 8:43 PM

The 2016 presidential campaign has already begun in earnest, and I have been thinking there are three strategic approaches that the campaigns have a choice in making. And while each one has its benefits and risks, only one has the chance of really moving us forward as a country to...

Read Post

An All New Moral Majority

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2015 | 4:42 PM

In the late 1970's Jerry Falwell, an evangelical pastor, founded the Moral Majority as a voice for conservative Christians in politics and public policy. Their platform represented the Christian right and their message was that they represented the "majority" of the country on morals and policy. Their success waned after...

Read Post

Honor the Troops, Question the War

(37) Comments | Posted May 14, 2015 | 10:25 AM

In the fall of 2004, as I was in the intensity of the re-election campaign of President Bush as chief strategist, I had to take a drive that was one of the hardest drives I have ever taken. About a week before Election Day, my oldest son jumped in the...

Read Post

Accountability: Learning From the Links

(0) Comments | Posted May 11, 2015 | 7:13 PM

Observing the expanse of current events and politics today, it is sometimes confusing as to what it is that we are supposed to understand or learn from it all. In this great age of communications and media with access to so much activity, we have a plethora of information and...

Read Post

A First for a President: Putting Politics Second

(0) Comments | Posted April 27, 2015 | 3:03 PM

For more than fifty years, we have noted history making Presidential elections surrounding the "first" of certain demographic categories.

In 1960, America elected the first Catholic President in John F. Kennedy; in 1980 we elected the first divorced (as well as the oldest) President in

Read Post

Be Careful of the Hillary Clinton Label 'Most Qualified'

(36) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 1:24 PM

Over the course of the past year, I have heard many folks describe Hillary Clinton as the "most qualified" person running for president, and because of that Americans should support and elect her. For now, let's not argue the point of her being the most qualified...

Read Post

Leading Our Leaders: Finding a New Way in Politics

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 3:53 PM

As we look at the landscape of America and ponder what leader might emerge, let's set the table of where the country stands today.

  • Sixty-seven percent of the country is dissatisfied with where we are or believes we are off on the wrong track, according to Gallup.
  • A majority of...
Read Post

Americans Must Confront the Wolf of Main Street

(7) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 8:20 AM

As I sat in the sand on the Gulf Coast with family watching a beautiful sunset on Easter Sunday in the midst of the political turmoil gripping our country, the old Cherokee parable of the two wolves kept bouncing around in my head.

At another sunset long ago, an elder...

Read Post

Indiana Religious Freedom Law: A Frightening and Fascinating Insight Into America

(14) Comments | Posted April 1, 2015 | 4:27 PM

The Indiana political eruption is simultaneously fascinating, disturbing, sad and causes me to pause and reflect on its broader meaning. I think the events of the last week related to the "religious freedom" law Gov. Mike Pence signed in Indiana that some say...

Read Post

Presidential Truth Serum Leads to 5 Insights Into the Campaign Ahead

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 9:59 AM

At an imaginary breakfast gathering of key Republican and Democratic operatives at one of the awesome Coney Island-style restaurants in the Detroit area (still a lovely place despite what ex-pat Madonna says), instead of coffee and orange juice being served, truth serum was consumed by all the participants. And some...

Read Post

Turning the Heat Down After Ferguson

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 2:46 PM

I was born in Detroit the third of eleven children in an Irish Catholic family to a father who worked in the auto industry and to a mom who was a public school teacher, and both of whom graduated from the University of Detroit.

Not long before the riots...

Read Post

Voters Look for Community Not Self Interest

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 1:59 PM

After every election there is a discussion from analysts concerning their confusion of why voters would vote against their self-interest. Democrats and liberals lament the fact that white working-class voters, especially males, vote overwhelmingly Republican, which they perceive as a vote against their own self-interests. The...

Read Post

How to Fix America's Still-Existing Sexism Dynamic

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 8:14 PM

For how far men and women have come through the years, we are still a culture where many are trapped in old models and ways. The tragic circumstances surrounding cultural icon Bill Cosby and those who have come forward to accuse Cosby of sexual abuse puts such a highlight on...

Read Post

Did Bush, Obama Squander Their Presidencies?

(17) Comments | Posted November 22, 2014 | 9:34 AM

A few weeks ago I wrote in a column that "Election Day once again showed that our political system is broken -- voters went to the polls, sent a message, and then leaders will in the days and months ahead ignore what the public was trying...

Read Post

From Jonathan Gruber to Kim Kardashian: Why American Leadership Is Broken

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 2:24 PM

Kim Kardashian's break-the-Internet nude photos, Jonathan Gruber's outrageous statements on getting Obamacare passed and Sen. Mary Landrieu's speech on the Senate floor on the Keystone XL pipeline made for an interesting week in America, with the seemingly mixed events all clearly pointing to...

Read Post

Can You Hear Us Now? Yeah, It's America Calling.

(4) Comments | Posted November 12, 2014 | 8:22 AM

Unlike the crystal-clear mobile connection in the famous Verizon ad, it seems the phone line between politicians and the American public is broken. As Election Day exit polls showed, voters are more frustrated, more disappointed, and more discouraged than ever. And it's easy to see why. Most contests were heavy...

Read Post