Ana Navarro’s face is ubiquitous on national TV. She is a political analyst and Republican strategist who doesn’t mince her words.
Navarro is a Nicaraguan-born American whose family moved to the United States in 1980. But her father remained behind and joined the Contras, who were fighting the Communist-linked Sandinista revolution movement.
She later said President Ronald Reagan’s support of the Contras made her a lifelong Republican.
Navarro is in town to give a public talk at the College of William and Mary as the spring 2019 Hunter B. Andrews Fellow in American Politics. Her talk is titled, “Ana Navarro: GOP Strategist, Commentator, Provocateur.”
I asked her, what message does she intend to convey to her audience at William and Mary?
“I’ll speak about current politics, which changes daily, so it’s hard to predict from one day to another,” she said in an interview with the Gazette.
Navarro is known as a principled Republican strategic thinker. I asked her how she reconciles her principles with the current politics practiced by the Republican Party.
“On most days, I can’t reconcile the Republican principles I grew-up embracing with those represented by Trump and the Republican Party, which has now molded itself in his image. That’s why I am not a Trump supporter. Because I cannot reconcile the two.”
To the question of what made her -- an immigrant to the United States -- a Republican in the first place, she said: “We are all a result of who we are plus our circumstances. I came to the U.S. in 1980, in the midst of Reagan-palooza. I was fleeing communism, Ronald Reagan was confronting it. He was a quasi-deity in my household. Also I settled in Miami, a diverse city with Republican leaders who looked and sounded like me and represented my priorities.”
I was curious to learn how she, a principled Republican strategist, sees the political constellation developing in the United States during the next decade.
“I don’t know what ‘political constellation’ means, but I like the phrase,” Navarro said. “I think a lot is to be determined and depends on what Muller concludes. If Trump runs again, who the Democrats nominate — there are a lot of unknowns that will shape the political future.”
Navarro, has served in a number of Republican administrations, including the transition team for Florida governor Jeb Bush in 1998. She served as the national co-chair of the Hispanic Advisory Council for John McCain in 2008 and John Huntsman Jr. in 2012. She supported Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign.
According to press reports, Navarro made headlines in October 2016 when she strongly criticized Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on CNN. She called for the Republican Party leaders to disown Trump for his comments about immigrants, and she labeled him a racist.
Navarro’s long involvement with the Republican Party left her with some interesting memories.
“Well, I traveled extensively with Sarah Palin during the McCain 2008 campaign, but after a lot of therapy, I try not to remember it.” she said.
Shatz is a Williamsburg resident. He is the author of “Reports from a Distant Place,” the compilation of his selected columns. The book is available at Bruton Parish Shop and Amazon. com.
Want to go?
Navarro’s talk will take place at 7:45 p.m. Monday in the Sadler Center’s Commonwealth Auditorium. Those who would like to attend should register at bit.ly/2BMPfL2.