Opinion

Terry takes a tumble

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Matt Mackowiak
Founder, Potomac Strategy Group
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      Matt Mackowiak

      Matt Mackowiak is a Washington, DC and Austin, TX based political and communications professional and founder of Potomac Strategy Group, LLC, providing political consulting, public and media relations and crisis communications assistance to campaigns, companies, organizations and individuals. In nearly a decade in Washington, DC, he has served in high-level Senate, executive branch, campaign, and private sector environments and has developed a wide range of deep relationships with national, state and local media.

      In addition to offering counsel to political figures and corporations, Matt provides political analysis for the Fox News Channel, ABC News, MSNBC, radio stations throughout the country. Matt’s political analysis has appeared in Politico, the Washington Times, the Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg News, The Hill, Congressional Quarterly, the Washington Examiner, the Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle, Texas Weekly, and on ABCNews.com and he has had columns published in the Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Politico, Roll Call, Austin American-Statesman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Des Moines Register, National Review online, Congressional Quarterly and The Daily Beast. Matt has guest lectured at the University of Illinois, the University of Denver, and American University. He has addressed student organizations at Georgetown University, Catholic University, the University of Illinois, Texas Christian University, and American University.

      From 2005-2009 Matt served as Press Secretary to U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and former U.S. Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT). From 2003-2005 he worked in press at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Tom Ridge and Under Secretary Asa Hutchinson, managed the second largest county in Iowa for the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign, counseled corporate clients at the international PR firm Burson-Marsteller, and performed White House Presidential and Vice Presidential advance representation all over the country.

      Matt is from Austin, Texas and graduated in 2003 with a B.S. in Communications Studies (Political Communication track) from the University of Texas (UT). Aside from his professional work, he owns and manages the popular blog site www.potomacflacks.com, recently cited by the Washingtonian as one of the best political blogs. In his free time, Matt enjoys sports, live music, UT Athletics and reading biographies.

Aren’t you tired of conservatives not fighting back?

We are too. And we’re doing something about it.

Liberal Northern Virginian and Clinton mouthpiece Terry McAuliffe just had one of the worst ten day periods in recent memory.

On Thursday, Sept. 12 our national Super PAC, Fight For Tomorrow began airing a new TV ad, “Don’t Let Them Detroit Virginia,” in northern Virginia and Richmond.  At the time, liberal Terry McAuliffe led by an average of seven points, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls.

Our ad immediately won major coverage on Breitbart.comRedState.comNewsmax or Real Clear Politics.

Four days later McAuliffe’s campaign had an epic meltdown as the influential Northern Virginia Technology Council endorsed Ken Cuccinelli, after, what The Washington Post called an “aggressive behind-the-scenes attempt by supporters of his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe.”

The next day Quinnipiac University released its respected independent poll which showed the race in a “virtual tie,” according to The Washington Post.

On Friday, Wall Street Journal columnist Kim Strassel highlighted the effectiveness of our latest ad in her influential national column. Here’s an excerpt:

Enter a new conservative Super PAC, Fight For Tomorrow, which last week began running a creative TV ad against Mr. McAuliffe in the Washington and Richmond areas … the organization’s primary focus is to directly take on the Democratic bare-knuckle strategy — and not just neutralize it, but throw it back at the attackers.

The concept behind FFT’s ad is to give Virginia voters a context in which to view the McAuliffe attacks. The group’s TV spot notes that there is a “gang” supporting Mr. McAuliffe: the leaders of the Democratic Party; an elitist media; Wall Street liberals; outside partisan groups; Hollywood.

Having specified who is doing the smearing on Mr. McAuliffe’s behalf, the spot goes on to explain why the groups want Mr. McAuliffe to win: To impose an agenda that Virginians truly would view as nuts. Employing a potent list of “geography verbs,” the ad finishes: “Tell these McAuliffe puppeteers, this is Virginia. We won’t let you Detroit us with taxes and debt. You will not California Virginia with regulations that kill jobs, or Hollywood our families and schools. You will not bring District of Columbia tax and spend to our state. Tell them: You can’t have Virginia.”

One merit of the ad is that, while it directly addresses the left’s scorched-earth campaign, it doesn’t stoop to responding to the accusations against Mr. Cuccinelli. (The ad doesn’t even mention the candidate.) Another attribute is that it switches voter attention away from the wild Cuccinelli caricature and onto all the failed Democratic policies—like the ones that produced soaring energy prices, health-care rationing and huge deficits—that Mr. McAuliffe seems desperate to avoid discussing.

Indeed, the whole idea here is to turn the tables, to get the GOP back on offense, rather than offering cringing defenses of positions that are in fact widely shared by a center-right country.

But this past weekend was when the McAuliffe campaign wheels came off.

After the mainstream media disgracefully failed to hold McAuliffe accountable for his record of false statements, failed endeavors, empty rhetoric, and hyper-liberal agenda, we believe our ads made them take notice.