Trump Watch: Thank You Mary Matalin!

On 22 April, out of a clear blue sky, Trump suddenly fawned over Mary Matalin:

Who’s Mary?

Mary Matalin, a political consultant, is the wife of another political consultant and they have a (stormy?) partisan “mixed marriage”: He is “rabid Dem” James Carville, she is a loyal Republican. Until she became a Libertarian in 2016. But she made that sound like she was really a proto-Republican (ref. the line in the Eagles song “California Hotel”: “you can check out but you can never leave”).

At the time, she said she was a “provisional Trumpster”, making it clear she would vote for him. Most notably she correctly predicted Trump’s electoral victory (September 2016) when everyone was convinced Hillary Clinton would win and win by a big margin:

But why mention her in a tweet now? Her gushing statement about Trump was reported by PJ Media six weeks ago, on 9 March 2018.

Is Trump thinking of asking her to work for the White House? After all, she has done a lot of good work for the Republican party, serving first under Reagan, then as campaign director for President George H.W. Bush, assistant to President George W. Bush and counsellor to Vice President Dick Cheney until 2003.

Yet to tweet out a “thank you” as an opener for an eventual WH job sounds far-fetched, even for Trump. What is more likely is that Trump felt vulnerable and needed to share with his Twitter fans her astounding compliment (“I can die happy now with Trump Job Performance”).

A way of lifting his spirits, like someone else might drink a glass of wine. But why would he need this boost?

The mystery is cleared up if you consider the couple of tweets that preceded it, about  “sleepy-eyes” Chuck Todd who is NBC News political director. Here is the first one:

According to Time, Trump must have watched the Today Show in which Chuck Todd points out that, while one should welcome the news out of North Korea (about Kim Jong-un mothballing his nuclear test site and allegedly supporting global denuclearization), so far Trump has not obtained any preconditions to the talks. Notably, the release of the three American prisoners.

Fair enough, that was an observation of facts as they now stand. And there’s still plenty of time to work out “preconditions” before the talks start (sometime in late May or early June).

No need for Trump to react, but he clearly has it in for the press and this is not the first time he attacks Chuck Todd:

Bottom line, Trump feels deeply insecure.  He must have looked around frantically for what he sees as a friendly voice and landed on Mary Matalin’s statement (it took one hour to do so, that’s the time that separates it from the rant against Chuck Todd).

The fact that it was a month old didn’t matter. Just like he always retweets the only polls (Rasmussen’s) that show him ahead in approval ratings (higher than O’s #’s!”). No matter that Rasmussen’s polls are unreliable and known for their pro-Republican bias.

That’s where Mary Matalin comes in, like Linus security blanket.

It looks like he’ll need it. Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to vote on Mike Pompeo’s nomination to State Secretary and rumors are that they are about to “snub him“. So Trump is back to tweeting his support of Mike Pompeo, complaining Dems are “maxing out the time of approval for all, never happened before” and concluding, in campaign mode: “Need more Republicans!”

It’s likely Mike Pompeo will get the job anyway, so why tweet?

UPDATE (24 April): The Senate Committee, with a last-minute switch from Senator Rand Paul (Ky.) voted to give a favorable recommendation. Expect Pompeo to be confirmed as Secretary of State.


Featured Image Credit: Vice President Cheney talks with I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Mary Matalin (9 September 2001) US National Archives

About the Author /

Claude Forthomme is a writer and an economist. A graduate of Columbia University, Claude held a variety of jobs before starting a 25-year career at the United Nations (Food and Agriculture), ending as Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia. She authored many fiction books under various pen names in both English and Italian; she is considered a prime exponent of Boomer literature and has founded the Boomer Lit Group on Goodreads. Her poetry has been included in "Freeze Frame", an international poetry anthology curated by British poet Oscar Sparrow (Gallo Romano Media, 2012).

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