Daniel J. Balz is an American journalist at The Washington Post, where he has been a political correspondent since 1978. Balz has served as National Editor, Political Editor, White House correspondent and as the Washington Post's Texas-based Southwest correspondent. Balz sometimes appears on the news show Meet the Press and frequently appears on the PBS program Washington Week. In April 2011 the White House Correspondents' Association honored Balz with the prestigious Merriman Smith Award for excellence in presidential coverage under deadline pressure.
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Donald Trump, America’s first independent president (November 19, 2016)
- Donald Trump, America’s first independent president, The Washington Post (November 19, 2016)
- Viewed through any conventional lens, President-elect Donald Trump’s candidacy was improbable from start to finish. Today, two things about his victory seem to be in sharper focus: one, that Trump’s victory might best be understood as the success of the country’s first independent president, and second, that the Trump coalition may be even more uniquely his than President Obama’s has turned out to be.
- Trump owes his success in part to the fact that he ran for president in an environment that favored change over the status quo. But his luck or genius goes beyond that. It has long been noted that the conditions have existed for an independent candidate to run a serious campaign for president.
- What has stood in the way of people running as an independent is that winning the presidency in a system that so clearly favors the two major parties is something of a hopeless cause.
- Trump took the elements of an independent candidacy — the lack of clear ideology, the name recognition of a national celebrity and the personal fortune needed to fund a presidential campaign — and then did what no one seemed to have thought of before. He staged a hostile takeover of an existing major party. He had the best of both worlds, an outsider candidacy with crosscutting ideological appeal and the platform of a major party to wage the general election. By the time he had finished, he had taken down two political dynasties: the Bush dynasty in the primaries and the Clinton dynasty in the general election.