Mary Matalin: Voter Anger 'Rational Anger'

Monday, 15 Nov 2010 01:26 PM

By Ronald Kessler

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In the past two years voters have learned lessons that will influence elections for years to come, Republican strategist Mary Matalin tells Newsmax.

Matalin sees the November election as confirming what President Ronald Reagan said: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

In other words, “Freedom is not self-executing,” Matalin says. “You have to work hard at it, and the discussion that took place in this cycle was over the very fundamentals of the role of government. That’s just so inspiring to me, because it’s what Reagan said we had to do, and we’ll have consequences way beyond the phenomenal numbers that were obtained in Congress.”

People “now look at the government and its functions the way they look at their own families, and they are applying a common-sense test to it,” Matalin says. “If my kid is not successful at this school and not successful with this strategy, then I’m going to try something else. People are getting in a very big way that government does not create jobs.”

Voter anger toward incumbents was not “some sort of petulant anger,” Matalin says. “It was rational anger. It was anger because there was such dismissal of voter sentiment. It will be rationally applied to Republicans if they get up there and do a version of what they did previously.”

Obama was a big factor, Matalin says. “It’s become clear that in the case of Obama, the emperor has no clothes, and that contributed to the shift in the recent election."

As a “garden variety liberal politician,” Obama “demeans the opposition instead of debating, has an elitist detachment from the very people he professes to represent, is hyperpartisan, and is for knee-jerk big government,” Matalin says.

The press has not yet caught on to the fact that Republican advances on the state level mean that Republicans will be able to stop Obama’s healthcare plan “because none of it can get executed without the imprimatur of the governors.”

Looking to the 2012 presidential election, Matalin says it’s too early to pick favorites. “It’s so heartening that so many people from so many different fields want to step up and want to serve.”

Because of the way Obama’s presidency has turned out, “We now want experience and a record and some longevity,” Matalin says. “If you want a brain surgeon, you don’t go to somebody who has never done it before.”

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.

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