Famed GOP Strategist Mary Matalin Officially Leaves Republican Party

Mary Matalin, a longtime Republican strategist, has announced she is officially leaving the party and changing her affiliation to Libertarian. In an interview earlier this week, Mary Matalin made it clear she was not changing parties because of the presumptive nomination of Donald Trump. In an interview she did on Thursday, Matalin said this was a change that was a long time coming, and the timing was merely a coincidence.

In order to underline the fact Donald Trump wasn’t pushing Matalin out of the party, she declared herself a “provisional” Donald Trump voter during a segment with Bloomberg. She also said she was a member of the #NeverHillary movement. The New York Times reports when she was pressed on just why Matalin was changing to Libertarian, she said was more of a Republican in the “Jeffersonian, Madisonian sense.”

Mary Matalin went on to say she feels as though the Libertarians embody that spirit of the Republican party more these days than what the GOP is doing. The political strategist added she didn’t call herself a Republican all of these years because she was picking a party. She has always been someone who went with the principles of the organization she identified with, and being a Libertarian is continuing that direction.

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Talking about Donald Trump, she said she very much liked the way he carried himself. What she knows about his economic policies she supports but added she doesn’t think she knows him well enough to speak at length about why she supports him. This is the reason why she has jumped on board the anti-Hillary Clinton train.

“I just don’t know enough. I think not only could he win, I think he could win in a landslide if he would stop his high school boy antics with women; otherwise he’s going to force suburban women to Hillary.”

Matalin believes a large part of the Republican party is angry after two straight presidential elections where their candidates have lost. The GOP strategist said the same thing many other political insiders have said. Donald Trump tapped into that anger. The effect of Trump stepping into the breach was exacerbated by the fact it appeared as though no one from Washington’s Republican elite was paying any attention or doing enough to solve the problems.

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While her star has faded a bit in recent years, there was a time when Matalin was one of the preeminent political strategists in the business. One of the reasons she drew so much attention was because she was married to James Carville, who was her Democratic counterpart. His work helped get Bill Clinton elected, and this could be the reason Mary Matalin has such a dim view of Hillary Clinton. Over the last few years, Matalin has been relegated to the background, as the Democrats have occupied the White House and the Republicans haven’t been able to find a candidate who can capture the hearts and minds of the American public the way someone like Barack Obama was able to do.

One has to wonder just what a switch to Libertarian is going to do for Mary Matalin considering some of her clients aren’t going to like she’s no longer a member of the party they’re a part of. Matalin has never been one to take the same approach as other GOP strategists. Her marriage to Carville bears that out. Still, Matalin’s decision to officially leave the Republican field is likely meant as a message for those she’s left behind. Considering Mary Matalin is still looking to support Donald Trump, the message might be a bit unclear.

[Photo by Patrick Semany/AP Images]