Matthew Scully

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President George W. Bush prepares his State of the Union speech with Dan Bartlett, White House Communications Director, at left, Mike Gerson, director of Presidential Speechwriting, and speech writers Matthew Scully and John McConnell in the Oval Office Thursday, January 23, 2003.

Matthew Scully (born March 30, 1959)[1] is an American author, journalist, and speechwriter.

Early life[edit]

Scully was born and raised in Casper, Wyoming.[1][2] He attended Arizona State University in the 1980s. He married Emmanuelle Boers in 1998. They live in Phoenix.


Scully worked as a speechwriter in the 2000 presidential campaign, and served as a special assistant and senior speechwriter for President George W. Bush from January 2001 to August 2004. He also wrote speeches for vice-presidents Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney, Governor Robert P. Casey of Pennsylvania, and Bob Dole.[3]

In an article in The Atlantic, Scully accused former White House chief speechwriter Michael Gerson of wrongfully taking credit for speeches allegedly written by Scully and other members of President George W. Bush's speechwriting team.[3]

Palin acceptance speech[edit]

Prior to the 2008 Republican National Convention, Senator John McCain (the Republican Presidential nominee to-be) asked Scully to write the acceptance speech for his Vice Presidential nominee, whom McCain had not yet chosen. Scully wrote the speech two weeks before the convention. He wrote the speech for a man to deliver, not a woman.[4][5][6] Four days before the convention, Scully was surprised when he was informed that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was to be McCain's running mate. Scully then worked all night to tailor the speech to Palin and also to incorporate new campaign strategy shifts that were being rapidly formed in intensive discussions by McCain campaign staff.[7]

Palin delivered the 40-minute speech at the convention on September 3, 2008.[8]

Melania Trump 2016 Convention Speech[edit]

Scully was hired along with John McConnell to write "the biggest speech of Melania Trump’s life," to be delivered on July 18, 2016, at the 2016 Republican National Convention.[9] Scully and McConnell sent Ms. Trump a draft a month before the convention; however, Ms. Trump rewrote most of the speech herself, inserting "word-for-word repetition of phrases" from Michelle Obama's speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, leading to focused criticism of Ms. Trump.[9]

Literary career[edit]

Scully is the author of Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy (2002), described by Natalie Angier in a book review published in The New York Times (October 27, 2002) as a "horrible, wonderful, important book... because the author, an avowed conservative Republican and former speechwriter for George W. Bush, is an unexpected defender of the animals against the depredations of profit driven corporations, swaggering, gun-loving hunters, proponents of renewed 'harvesting' of whales and elephants and others who insist that all of nature is humanity's romper room, to play with, rearrange, and plunder at will."[10] Nichols Fox in a review published in The Washington Post wrote that Dominion is "destined to become a classic defense of mercy."[11]

Scully served as literary editor of National Review and has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic Monthly, and The American Conservative.


  • Scully, Matthew (2003-10-01). Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy (paperback and Kindle Edition). New York City: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 978-0-312-31973-1. Retrieved 2011-03-09. Lay summary (2002-10-27). ISBN0312319738.
  • Scully wrote a chapter ("Fear factories: the case for compassionate conservatism for animals") of the book "CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation): the tragedy of industrial animal factories" (Daniel Imhoff, editor). San Rafael, California : Earth Aware, c2010. ISBN 9781601090584
  • Scully, Matthew (2013-10-07). "Pro-Life, Pro-Animal: The conscience of a pro-life, vegan conservative". National Review Online. Retrieved 2014-07-18.


  1. ^ a b "Matthew Scully". HappyCow. Santa Monica, California. Archived from the original on 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2013-05-22. Birth place: Casper, Wyoming
  2. ^ Bollard, Lewis E. (2008-11-21). "Maverick for Mercy: Matthew Scully extends compassionate conservatism to animals". The Harvard Crimson. Archived from the original on 2013-08-07. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  3. ^ a b Baker, Peter (2007-08-11). "Bush's Muse Stands Accused: Speeches Weren't His, Colleague Says". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 2012-11-06. Retrieved 2011-04-05. Scully says it is an image puffed up by an unrelenting talent for self-promotion
  4. ^ Ferguson, Barbara (2008-09-06). "McCain speech breaks record". Arab News. Saudi Arabia. Archived from the original on 2012-06-16. Retrieved 2011-03-14. the speech had actually been written two weeks before the convention, and had to be tweaked, because it was originally written for a man, not a woman.
  5. ^ Zeese, Kevin (2008-09-06). "The Republican Masquerade Is Over, Time to Remove The Masks". American Chronicle. Beverly Hills, California. Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2011-03-14. The speech was reportedly written two weeks before Palin was chosen by former Bush speechwriter Matthew Scully.
  6. ^ Calabresi, Massimo (2008-09-04). "The Man Behind Palin's Speech". Time. New York City: Time Inc. Archived from the original on 2013-05-16. Retrieved 2013-05-17. before he or anyone else knew who the nominee would be
  7. ^ Draper, Robert (2008-10-22). "The Making (and Remaking) of McCain". The New York Times Magazine. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. Archived from the original on 2013-04-11. Retrieved 2013-05-17. introduced them to McCain's running mate. The two aides were surprised.
  8. ^ Bash, Dana; King, John; Steinhauser, Paul (2008-09-04). "Palin accepts nomination, slams Obama in speech". CNN. Atlanta, Georgia: Turner Broadcasting System. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-05-17. Sarah Palin accepted the Republican Party's nomination for vice president following a lengthy standing ovation as she took the stage at the Republican National Convention Wednesday.
  9. ^ a b Haberman, Maggie (19 July 2016). "How Melania Trump's Speech Veered Off Course and Caused an Uproar". New York Times. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  10. ^ Angier, Natalie (2002-10-27). "The Most Compassionate Conservative". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2014-01-08. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
  11. ^ "Book Reviews". Matthew Retrieved 2008-09-04.

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