Mary Kate Cary

Fast Facts

  • Former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush
  • Provides political commentary for NPR, CNN, Fox News Channel, and CTV (Canada)
  • Executive producer of 41ON41, a documentary about President George H.W. Bush
  • Expertise on presidential communications, speechwriting

Areas Of Expertise

  • Domestic Affairs
  • Media and the Press
  • Governance
  • Elections
  • Leadership
  • Politics
  • The Presidency

Mary Kate Cary served as a White House speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to early 1992, authoring more than 100 of his presidential addresses. She also has ghostwritten several books related to President Bush’s life and career and served as senior writer for communications for the 1988 Bush-Quayle presidential campaign.

Today, Cary is asked to write speeches, presentations, and reports for a variety of national political, corporate, and nonprofit leaders. Her assignments have included State of the Union responses, Republican National Convention addresses, and TED talks. She served as founding managing editor of the daily political news service The Hotline, as a staffer at ABC News’ This Week with David Brinkley, and as a columnist at U.S. News & World Report.

Following her tenure at the White House, Cary served as spokesman and deputy director of policy and communications for U.S. Attorney General William Barr and deputy director of communications at the Republican National Committee under Chairman Haley Barbour. She has been a member of the Judson Welliver Society, which is comprised of former White House speechwriters from both parties. She is also a member of the Jeane Kirkpatrick Society, a group of female writers and columnists in Washington, D.C.

Cary is the executive producer of 41ON41, a documentary film about President George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States. 

Mary Kate Cary News Feed

“We were having a hard time finding podcasts that featured both sides actually talking to each other,” said Mary Kate Cary, a senior fellow at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush. That’s how she and fellow presidential speechwriter Paul Orzulak – a Democrat who worked for President Bill Clinton – ended up sitting opposite each other every Thursday at Chatter Bar and Grill, a Washington watering hole and part-time recording studio owned by ESPN talk show host Tony Kornheiser.
Mary Kate Cary UVA Today
Hear left and right discuss the hottest news — Justice Kennedy’s retirement, the travel ban, the Janus decision, the Red Hen Incident, and Maxine Waters’ heated rhetoric — all without yelling, screaming, slapping or punching? Bipodisan is the ONLY place to get a civil conversation on this week’s issues. Plus Mary Kate reports on the newest member of President Bush 41’s team, Jean talks about her fave new comedienne, and Paul relays a surprising story about a CNN reporter amidst a Trump rally.
Mary Kate Cary Bipodisan
And joining us from Portland, Maine, is Mary Kate Cary. She's a senior fellow at the University of Virginia's Miller Center for Public Affairs. She's a former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush. We thought her perspective as someone who worked with and through the media on the other side, if you will, would be helpful. Mary Kate, good to have you back as well.
Mary Kate Cary NPR "All Things Considered"
On this week’s episode of Bipodisan, Paul, Jean, and Moe stay in the dugout at Chatter Bar and Grill and talk about the outrage machine’s reaction on both sides to the Trump-Kim handshake in Singapore, the argument for being hopeful on North Korea, and the scene from the baseball flick Bull Durham that best captures Donald Trump’s style (hint: it involves a bull). Meanwhile, Mary Kate heads to Nationals Stadium and steps up to the plate as a roving reporter, interviewing Members of Congress at the annual Congressional Baseball Game about how to have more civil conversations and build bipartisanship. Plus, why singing Capitol Hill cops, local political engagement, the World Cup, and a gracious moment from a high school pitcher are making us hopeful.
Mary Kate Cary Bipodisan
This week on Bipodisan, Moe is back, Paul is away and Mary Kate and Jean are crunchy. The gang of three finds bipartisan agreement on letting small-business owners bake cake, and on allowing the power of the marketplace – not the government – to send messages to merchants on culture or morality. Mary Kate then boldly leads the group to the “third rail” of politics: Social Security (and its insolvency). When it comes to entitlements, the hosts are worried – about the public purse and the leaders who control it. They wonder whether retiring Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz will run for president on a fiscally conservative platform of entitlement reform, and then discuss the pros and cons of non-traditional political candidates.
Mary Kate Cary Bipodisan
After an opening icebreaker of remembering the first films they saw in a movie theater — you’ll learn which co-host was shouting out Latin translations of “The Exorcist” during its second run and which one rode his bike nine miles to see Star Wars — Paul, Mary Kate and Jean dive into the immigration debate after getting reports from high school and college campuses from the interns. Then Jean poses a great question: is corporate America leading or reflecting public opinion? Between this week’s news on the NFL, Starbucks, and ABC’s “Roseanne” the three co-hosts – minus Moe for another week – agree to disagree on whether Corporate America is reaffirming or reacting to pop culture. But not before opining on whether Lebron or M.J. is the best ever, whether conservative kids should go to liberal colleges, and which of them should open a tea shop, a bar, and a bait and tackle operation. You might be surprised.
Mary Kate Cary Bipodisan