South Carolina has a long history
of interesting politics that leaves journalists, like Washington
Post political correspondent Dan Balz, intrigued and yearning
for more drama from this southern state’s political arena. “South
Carolina politics never cease to be interesting,” said
Balz, “I think I can say they never seem to cease!” After
logging more than a few hours in this state over the course of
his impressive career, Balz came back to speak at the Buchheit
Family Lecture Series on January 23. His lecture, “The
Political Landscape after 2012,” revolved around the evolution
of politics during the 2012 election.
Balz has been covering politics for the Washington Post since
the 1970s. He spent much of his time over the past year personally
following and researching both presidential campaigns, as well
as assessing the 2012 electorate.
|As Balz presented his findings,
we learned how President Obama was able to claim office for
a second term even though his victory margin was smaller in
2012 than in 2008. Obama’s campaign
was able to avoid talking about his record, or “report
card.” It focused on changing the shape of the electorate
and put the party’s demographic advantages to use for
voter turnout. Obama’s campaign also used social media
to reach out to the American people to make them feel more
involved on a personal level, which made Obama seem more relatable
than Mitt Romney. According to Balz, the skillful use of these
tactics may have made the 2012 election the turning point in
how campaigns are run in the future.
The 2013 Buchheit Family Lecture
Balz’s findings also allowed
him to predict where we are heading as a nation and what this
means for President Obama and the Republicans. Balz says we
will see a different Barack Obama in his second term. He will
be tougher and less willing to “deal with” Republicans.
speech set out a vision that cheered a progressive mission
for the country, which greatly alarmed Republicans, as well
as the remaining 49.4% of the country that did not vote for
President Obama. Balz will analyze this nation’s interesting
politics further as he finishes his book, Collision 2012:
Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America.