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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

Authenticity Amid Anxiety: 5 Wedding Guideposts

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 8:17 PM

I asked my son, Daniel Dowd, and my daughter-in-law, Rebecca Carton, on their first anniversary to give a reflection on weddings and what they learned along the way. They came up with five pillars in protecting their union.

Rebecca: Marriage was never something I thought about when I was growing...

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Invisible Fences of Our Lives and Politics

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 12:42 PM

Sitting on a rocker on the front porch of my older brother's house in Michigan, smoking a cigar, watching his dogs play (the size of which might cause you to confuse them with small horses) as the summer sun set over the tall pines, I was struck by something.


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Invisible Fences of Our Lives and Politics

(0) Comments | Posted September 1, 2014 | 12:35 PM

Sitting on a rocker on the front porch of my older brother's house in Michigan, smoking a cigar, watching his dogs play (the size of which might cause you to confuse them with small horses) as the summer sun set over the tall pines, I was struck by something.


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Searching for a Hero/Villain to Unite America

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 12:37 PM

"Two kingdoms. ... Only a great hero or a terrible villain might bring them together."

This weekend, I took my daughter to the wonderful Disney movie "Maleficent," produced by ABC News' parent company, and enjoyed it thoroughly, but the line above struck me and it made me think about America...

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Principles in the Paradox: United States Foreign Policy

(1) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 4:01 PM

"Don't do stupid s***." I have said this to my three boys when they were going out for the weekend in high school, but there is a different context for this slogan.

This supposedly is a premise upon which the Obama administration bases much of its foreign policy. And...

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When Government Gets Bogged Down in Vitriol

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 4:44 PM

Driving this week along the winding coast of Maine, and taking time to walk the rocky shore as the sun set over the hills and pines, I was struck by the contrast of the beauty of our country and its people, and the ugly and divisive politics that confront us...

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The Confusing Case of Bowe Bergdahl

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 7:09 PM

I am very confused by the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap deal just brokered by the White House.

Let me see if I can get this straight with what I know: We send soldiers into battle (my oldest son served in the Army for five years and was deployed in Iraq...

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A Crisis of Faith in America

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 1:09 PM

"The opposite of faith is not doubt, it is certainty."

Though the origin of this quote is uncertain, there is no doubt in its application to today's political interactions and conversations. The reason we have such incredible dysfunction in Washington, DC and around America is not because we are confused...

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In Politics Today, Orphans Searching for Community Have Too Few Choices

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 9:01 AM

A few years ago there was a private study done of the American public which utilized Carl Jung's archetypes to see where people placed themselves. The majority of voters identified themselves as "orphans." Citizens view their lives as a bit lost, anxious, without trusted institutions, disconnected, and with a great...

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A Renewed Model of Connection and Leadership

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2014 | 10:09 AM

Today, it is the call of the small, the local is the focal.

In a just-released ABC news poll, we see the American public trusts smaller and locally based institutions and governments way more those that are larger and more distant from where voters live and work. The...

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Government Ignores the 'Pings' at Its Own Peril

(19) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 9:03 AM

In my most recent column, I talked about listening for the "ping," or voice in our personal lives. Looking past what we think is on the surface, and trying to find the truth deep down.

The same could be said for our political leadership. Letting go of our...

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Politics Listening for Our Pinger in Pursuit of Personal Truth

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 12:29 PM

Watching the search for Malaysian Flight 300, with its tragic loss of 239 passengers and crew, got me thinking about a broader dynamic that exists in all of us around the world.

Each day has come and gone by in the search for the wreckage of the lost flight and,...

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Big Waves Trump Big Data

(4) Comments | Posted March 13, 2014 | 3:41 PM

"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." This saying is attributed to Freud (though we don't really know if he said it) and it expresses the idea that oftentimes we overanalyze some simple things. Though at times some event or moment has pointed significance, and this, I think, is true...

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Are There Objective Truths in Life and the World?

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 11:02 AM

Today, it seems folks fall into two categories: on one side are people that believe in an objective truth and that it is knowable, and on the other side are true skeptics that question everything and assert there is no objective truth.

The objective truth side, no matter their political...

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Politics Sinkholes and Corvettes: What The World Is Telling Us

(0) Comments | Posted February 15, 2014 | 9:36 AM

Eight classic Corvettes fall into a sink hole this week in a museum in Bowling Green, Ky. Wow. Many times events happen in the news that tell a broader and deeper story.

I feel bad for the museum which lost these fancy cars and the owners who donated, but it...

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Biggest Impediment for Hillary Clinton: Her Former Boss

(16) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 2:56 PM

Will President Obama again block Hillary Clinton from becoming president?

In 2008, the odds of a Democrat winning the White House were very good. The political environment in the aftermath of eight years of President George W. Bush was set for a change to an opposing political party. President Bush's...

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Power of Message: Starts With a Mirror

(1) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 8:29 PM

Gandhi once said, "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." I would add that real success and integrity could be defined in this way whether it be personally, in business or in politics. It is when what we think, say and...

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Nelson Mandela: Maybe Not a Saint, But He Kept on Trying and Gave Us All He Had

(7) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 5:59 PM

"My head is bloody, but unbowed. I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul."

These are a few lines from the poem "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley, which Nelson Mandela kept on his bare wall in prison. And the lines above, and the poem as a whole are...

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United States and Iran: Two-way Street on Trust

(13) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 7:47 PM

I love this country. And I know I won the world lottery by being born in the United States of America. It is the big reason why I've been involved in politics ever since I was a teenager watching the Watergate hearings on summer vacation.

I also have tremendous pride...

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A Path From Travesty to Truth in Congressional Hearings

(2) Comments | Posted October 31, 2013 | 3:08 PM

Watching the Congressional hearing yesterday where Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified about the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, I was struck by the reality of how far Congress (and Washington, D.C., in general) has moved from the search for the truth, and a goal to really...

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