Matt Mackowiak

Third, Gov. Perry requested 1,000 National Guard troops to be temporarily deployed to the southern border to send a strong message to Central American countries and help the border patrol with the influx of illegal immigrants pouring into the country. President Obama has not explicitly agreed to this request. He appears to want to trade this for his supplemental appropriations request, which Congress is currently considering.

Gov. Perry got tired of waiting and on Monday he order up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the southern border, to serve as a force multiplier and help ease pressure on the border patrol, who are scrambling to deal with the unaccompanied children.

Good policy makes good politics, and Gov. Perry is not letting this opportunity go to waste. He is using this national story to collect data and engage the grassroots - an online petition on border security that he created now has over 100,000 signatures in the first week. The political benefit to Gov. Perry will likely last.

He has successfully re-positioned himself as the leading GOP voice on border security - valuable political real estate in the Republican Party. Border security issues will remain on the front burner through the 2014 election and likely through the 2016 election. Gov. Perry has aligned his national leadership on an issue for which he has expertise and knowledge, with his own executive record that he can reference. While Senators may talk about votes on immigration and border security, Gov. Perry can detail what he has actually done.

He is on the front lines in this crisis, at a time when few Republicans in Washington have stepped up to propose their own solution.

Perhaps most importantly, Gov. Perry re-positioned himself on an issue where he had been crosswise with the Republican base in the 2012 primary. Now, instead of focusing on thorny issues like in-state tuition, Gov. Perry can redirect the focus to border security.

Gov. Perry continues to prepare for a potential presidential bid, with more international travel planned, public policy issue briefings and political travel. In fact, Gov. Perry made his fourth trip ton Iowa this past weekend. He was received in Iowa far bigger star in Republican politics this week than he was three weeks ago, with a burst of new momentum, a national platform and a second look from the national media.


Matt Mackowiak

Matt Mackowiak is a Washington, DC and Austin, TX based political and communications consultant and the founder and President of Potomac Strategy Group, LLC, providing political consulting, media relations and crisis communications assistance to campaigns, companies, groups and individuals. Since he arrived in Washington, DC, he has served in senior roles for two U.S. Senators, a Governor, in the executive branch, in winning political campaigns, and in the private sector. Over his career Matt has developed deep relationships with national, state and local media and political figures.

Most recently Matt worked with PSG client Gov. Sean Parnell (R-AK) as a senior communications adviser, providing counsel on strategy, speechwriting and media relations during the 2011 legislative session in Juneau.

In 2010 Matt served as Campaign Manager for Bill Flores, the Republican nominee in Texas’ 17th Congressional District. After winning a 5-way primary, Flores defeated 10-term incumbent Rep. Chet Edwards (D-TX) by 25% in November, the largest margin of victory for a GOP challenger in 2010.

In addition to offering counsel to individuals and corporations, Matt provides political analysis for the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, ABC News, CBS News, BBC News, and radio stations throughout the country. Matt’s on-therecord 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, and on ABCNews.com. He is a syndicated columnist and has had opinion columns published in the New York Post, New York Daily News, FoxNews.com, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Politico, Roll Call, Austin American-Statesman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Des Moines Register, National Review online, Congressional Quarterly and on the popular blog sites The Daily Beast and The Huffington Post. Matt has lectured and given speeches at the University of Illinois, the University of Texas, Texas Christian University, Georgetown University, Catholic University, the University of Denver, American University and the University of North Texas.

From 2005-2009 Matt served as Press Secretary to U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (RTX), the fourth ranking member of the Republican Leadership, and three-term former U.S. Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT). Earlier in his career he was a political appointee at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for Under Secretary Asa Hutchinson and Assistant Secretary Stewart Verdery, managed the second largest county in Iowa on the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign, counseled corporate clients at international PR firm Burson-Marsteller, and performed White House Presidential and Vice Presidential advance nationwide.

Matt is a Director of the Center for Public Policy and Political Studies at Austin Community College, and is a sustaining member of MaverickPAC. He serves as a member of the Board of Advisors for the non-profit Luke’s Wings and enjoys helping Becky’s Fund and USA CARES.

A native of Austin, Texas, Matt graduated with a B.S. in Communications Studies (Political Communication track) from the University of Texas in 2003. Aside from his professional work, he owns and manages the popular blog site www.potomacflacks.com, which the Washingtonian has called “one of the best political blogs.” In his free time, Matt enjoys sports, live music, reading biographies, and is an avid supporter of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the University of Texas.