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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

Embracing the Paradox of Muhammad Ali: Gratitude to the Greatest

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2016 | 12:36 PM

When famous people pass away, it gives us all pause to examine their life and with that our own lives. We wonder what was the meaning about who they were and why does it matter. As many reflect on Muhammad Ali and the iconic figure he...

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Taking Out Donald Trump: 5 Moments the Establishment Missed

(85) Comments | Posted March 2, 2016 | 10:44 AM

Donald Trump won overwhelmingly in last night's Super Tuesday contests, and is now the presumptive GOP nominee. An amazing situation very few people anticipated though, if eyes were wide open, it shouldn't have been shocking.

Trump isn't inevitable, but he certainly...

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Sick Building Syndrome: Time to End the Political Party Duopoly

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2016 | 2:51 PM

I have worked in campaigns on both sides of the aisle over the past 30 years, helping elect governors, senators and presidents, as well as local officials from both incumbent political parties.

My desire all along has been to get good people in office who can speak for the quiet...

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The Ebb and Flow of the Road to the Nomination

(1) Comments | Posted February 8, 2016 | 11:11 AM

The brilliant author Joseph Campbell once said, "You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you. If the path before you is clear, you're probably on someone else's." This is as true in our politics as it is in our...

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The Rise of Independents and the Weakening of the Two-Party System

(24) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 7:50 PM

The two candidates for their party nominations who are drawing the biggest crowds, drawing fervent enthusiasm from their supporters, and seem to be driving the political conversation are running against the establishment. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are both basically independents seeking a nod from the incumbent parties. Add...

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5 Reasons Why It's a Great Time to Be in America

(27) Comments | Posted January 11, 2016 | 7:13 PM

It is a great time to be in America.

Yes, I just said that. And I am not trying to signal some campaign slogan like "Make America Great Again" or "America Is Great."

I am saying we are at a moment in our history that is an awesome time to...

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What the Gun Debate Reveals About America

(324) Comments | Posted January 6, 2016 | 10:48 AM

The current gun debate is an incredibly revealing moment about us as individuals and as a country.

The existence and functioning of democracies or constitutional republics in the world require the ability to reach consensus rooted in some important common values and to hold a common fact set among...

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The Search for True Leaders at Christmas

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2015 | 1:44 PM

"Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day. And then the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!" And thus the redemption story of "How the...

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Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders: The Two Big Phenomena of This Election

(33) Comments | Posted December 17, 2015 | 11:33 AM

It is the week of debates. And the beginning of the celebration of the holidays. To give homage to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, let's look at the ghosts of the Debate Past, pause for the Present, and look ahead to the ghosts of the Debate yet to come (ABC...

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Do Dems Have Much More to Lose in This Election Than the GOP?

(73) Comments | Posted November 21, 2015 | 10:07 AM

The storyline by many in the media goes as follows: The GOP is in dire straits, they are in midst of tearing themselves apart by a civil war, they have a disorganized field of candidates, they are about to lose badly for president and are on the verge of disintegrating...

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Why 2016 Candidates Better Off Spending on the Homeless Than TV Ads

(5) Comments | Posted November 19, 2015 | 1:26 PM

There is a marketing slogan that says "nothing kills a bad product faster than lots of advertising." Let's apply that to the GOP presidential primary campaign.

I have asserted many times that advertising in a presidential campaign is at best minimally effective. In fact, more money is wasted on...

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Campaign 2016 Just Getting Started: 5 Myths Already

(0) Comments | Posted September 14, 2015 | 8:14 AM

Over the years many myths have developed in politics, and I have written in the past how they get repeated and promulgated as if they are the unvarnished truth. These aren't the deep myths that Joseph Campbell has written and talked about that signal some universal truth about humanity. These...

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2016: We Need More Healing, Not More Division

(12) Comments | Posted August 26, 2015 | 7:33 PM

There is an old Cherokee Native American legend about the two wolves that feels once again apropos for today's conversation in our country (I have cited this before in a previous column), and the emergence of the Summer of Trump. The parable is that a young boy comes...

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Donald Trump: The Floyd Mayweather of Politics

(0) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 5:16 PM

After having spent the whole weekend in Iowa in and around the State Fair, as well as talking to folks in Texas, where I live, and with voters in Detroit area, where I was born, I have come to at least one insight about Donald Trump. Donald Trump is the...

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Canary in Coal Mine: Trouble Ahead for Poll Leaders Trump and Clinton

(2) Comments | Posted July 30, 2015 | 2:11 PM

The two presidential candidates rated as least favorable, most untrustworthy, and least likely to care about the needs and problems of regular folks are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and they are leading their respective party primaries.

This is just one...

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Uses for Anger in Making a Better World

(21) Comments | Posted July 26, 2015 | 6:37 PM

Is anger a bad thing? What should we do if a person is angry or a large group of voters is angry and frustrated? Call that person names, tell them they shouldn't be angry, ignore it?

Observing the last few weeks, especially the rise of Donald Trump, and to some...

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The Ultimate Job Interview: Who Is Doing the Hiring

(10) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 8:37 AM

In the 2016 Presidential general election which voters will ultimately determine victory?

So often in life we have to communicate to a group of folks by giving a speech or talk or we need to interview with someone we have never met before for a job we are seeking....

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Fundamental Question for Presidents and Ourselves

(2) Comments | Posted July 8, 2015 | 4:10 PM

Does good conquer evil? This is a fundamental question all of us -- individually and as a society -- struggle with and ultimately must answer. Does good win? Not just as an existential deliberation or concept or something to be achieved in the afterlife, but here and now on Earth....

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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...

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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

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