MARY MATALIN Biography - People in the News and Media


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Name: Mary Matalin                                                                   
Birth name:  Mary Joe Matalin                                                         
Born: 19 August 1953 Calumet City, Illinois, United States                           
Mary Joe Matalin (born August 19, 1953) is an American political strategist and       
consultant. She is known for her work with the Republican Party. She was an           
assistant to President George W. Bush and counselor to Vice President Dick           
Cheney until 2003. In April 2004, she published the book Letters to My Daughters.     
In March 2005, Matalin was chosen to run a new conservative publishing imprint       
at Simon & Schuster.                                                                 
Matalin grew up in Calumet City, Illinois. She attended Thornton Fractional           
North High School and attended Western Illinois University. She was homecoming       
queen her junior year of high school.                                                 
Her first campaign was Illinois Lieutenant Governor Dave O'Neal's bid for the U.S.   
Senate in 1980, a race O'Neal lost to Alan Dixon. After O'Neal's loss, Matalin       
began her career with the Republican National Committee, where she would remain       
for nearly two decades as a key Republican strategist. Leaving briefly to attend     
Hofstra University School of Law, Matalin dropped out after just one year, and       
in 1984 returned to the RNC. She rose quickly, as an aide to Rich Bond and Chief     
of Staff to RNC co-Chairperson Betty Heitman in 1985. A year later Matalin           
gained national notoriety when she joined the George H. W. Bush for President         
Campaign, working as both Deputy Political Director and Midwest Regional             
Political Director in the primaries. After the election, Matalin was appointed       
Chief of Staff to then RNC Chairman Lee Atwater. In that capacity, she would in       
effect run the RNC for nearly a year, as Atwater -- his health declining due to       
an inoperable brain tumor -- spent 170 days in the hospital between his               
diagnosis in early March 1990 and eventual death on March 29, 1991                   
Matalin was a host of CNN's Crossfire political debate show, and in 1993, she         
hosted Equal Time, which aired on the CNBC business television channel. Matalin       
was also the host of her own talk radio show in the 1990s, "The Mary Matalin         
Show," which was carried on the CBS Radio Network.                                   
Matalin, a colleague of Karl Rove, worked for Vice President Dick Cheney in the       
White House. She attended meetings of the White House Iraq Group, an internal         
White House task force convened in August 2002 (seven months before the 2003         
Invasion of Iraq). WHIG was charged with the task of convincing the US public of     
the potential threat of Saddam Hussein's alleged violations of international law     
in his refusal to cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors.                   
Matalin resigned her responsibilities as of December 31, 2002. Although               
Matalin left the White House more than six months before the leak that triggered     
the Valerie Plame scandal, she is reported to have testified before the grand         
jury of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald[citation needed]. (Notes and records       
of WHIG meetings were subpoenaed by Fitzgerald in January 2004.)                     
Matalin also appeared alongside her husband James Carville in HBO's 2003             
television show K Street where she and her husband played versions of themselves     
as they lobbied real and fictional politicians. The show was directed by Academy     
Award winner Steven Soderbergh and featured a cast of fictional and real             
characters working in the political sphere.                                           
In April 2006, she was appointed Treasurer of Virginia Republican Senator George     
Allen's re-election committee. She worked on the presidential campaign of Fred       
Thompson until January 2008, when Thompson dropped out of the race.