Molly Ball
Molly Ball
Molly Ball is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where she covers U.S. politics.
  • Beck Deifenbach / Reuters

    The Republican Party in Exile

    The world of GOP intellectuals and policymakers has been upended by Donald Trump. What is there to do but carry on?

  • Scott Applewhite / AP

    Maybe Trumpism Doesn't Work Without Trump

    An insurgent candidate inspired by the Republican nominee fails to lay a finger on House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin.

  • John Hanna / AP

    How Farmers and Big Business Took Out a Tea Party Congressman

    Representative Tim Huelskamp’s loss shows that the business lobby is successfully fighting back against GOP conservatives.

  • The Democrats’ Message of Calm

    The Atlantic’s Molly Ball explores Hillary Clinton’s image of composure in the midst of a troubled country.

  • Adrees Latif / Reuters

    A Message of Calm in an Agitated Time

    Can Hillary Clinton’s projection of steadiness resonate with an unsettled country?

  • Brian Snyder / Reuters

    The Long Fall of Debbie Wasserman Schultz

    The Democratic chairwoman had few supporters—but clung to her post for years, abetted by the indifference of the White House.

  • Jim Urquhart / Reuters

    The Triumph of the Chaos Candidate

    Donald Trump took the freak show of American politics and made it the main event. But now he says he wants to be the candidate of calm.

  • Rick Wilking / Reuters

    Republicans' Last, Doomed Fight Against Donald Trump

    An eccentric band of conservatives thought they could make a last stand against the presumptive nominee, but wound up only strengthening Trump as he marches to the nomination next week.

  • John Sommers II / Reuters

    The Party of Donald Trump?

    Win or lose, the Republican candidate may be shaping the party in his image—and pulling it away from conservative principles.

  • Mike Segar / Reuters

    The Re-Re-Re-Re-Reboot of Trump

    For the first time, the Republican nominee’s operation shows real signs of changing course. But can changing the campaign change the candidate?

  • Congratulations, Elizabeth Drew

    On Tuesday night in Washington, my friend Elizabeth Drew was inducted into Hall of Fame of the Society of Professional Journalists D.C. Chapter. I introduced her at the awards ceremony, and here’s what I said:

    Elizabeth Drew is probably best known for her 19 years at the New Yorker and her 15 books about American politics. But as a writer for The Atlantic, I am a little bit biased toward the earlier period of her career.  

    I want to begin by reading the biographical note that ran with her byline in the September 1965 issue of The Atlantic:

    A Cincinnati-born, Wellesley-educated magazine writer and author of children's plays, Mrs. Drew lives in Washington with her lawyer husband and writes as a freelancer. A former staff member of the Congressional Quarterly, she has had ample opportunity to study that Americanized Byzantine process by which the United States Congress deals with issues before it.

    The article is titled “The Quiet Victory of the Cigarette Lobby: How It Found the Best Filter Yet—Congress.” In it, Elizabeth reported that while Congress was patting itself on the back and claiming to have acted on the Surgeon General's landmark report on the health effects of cigarettes, what it had actually done was protect the tobacco industry from tough regulation by preempting the Federal Trade Commission and the states with a window-dressing federal law. The industry was aided by the best lobbyists money could buy and a passel of complicit congressmen from tobacco-growing states. And, she wrote, "it was the industry's good fortune that President Johnson remained aloof from the battle."

    The piece is classic Elizabeth Drew: Tough and unsparing, crystal-clear, a vivid dissection of an essential topic based on encyclopedic understanding of the political process. It was her very first article for The Atlantic. She wrote it in a weekend. And it captures so many of the qualities that have made Elizabeth Drew a profound inspiration to me.

    Elizabeth wrote for The Atlantic for several years. She had her own interview show on PBS, which made a splash early on when Senator Edmund Muskie yelled at her for a question he didn't like. In 1973, she met with the New Yorker editor William Shawn and told him she had a strange hunch that within a year the president and vice-president would be replaced.  

  • Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

    Stop Blaming the Media for Trump

    Voters, not the press, decide elections.

  • Joshua Roberts / Reuters

    There's No Such Thing as Nice Trump

    As the general election gets under way, the Republican nominee is straining to rein in his outrageous persona. But is it too late to change?

  • John Locher / AP

    The Democratic Establishment Prevails

    Both political parties experienced populist uprisings this year. But while Republicans were consumed by theirs, Democrats have defeated their insurgent wing, even if they haven’t tamed it.

  • Mike Blake / Reuters

    The Trumpian Divide

    The 2016 campaign has revealed an America of stark division and mutual animosity.

  • Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

    This Is How a Revolution Ends

    The Democratic insurgent’s campaign is losing steam—but Bernie’s supporters are not ready to give up.

  • John Cuneo

    The Apprentice

    One way or another, there will be a Trump on Pennsylvania Avenue next year.

  • The Quintessential Trump Voter, Cont'd

    A reader emails hello@ to defend Don in Whetstone, Kentucky, a Trump voter who called into WBUR’s On Point to defend working-class support of the presumptive Republican nominee during a segment I highlighted in a note yesterday. (Don’s remarks begin at the 16:45 mark in the embed seen above.) Here’s our reader:

    I know that people, including me, feel very negatively towards Trump supporters because of the kind of stuff that has happened at his rallies, for which some of them bear responsibility. But I have to say, I thought the way Don from Kentucky was treated was disgraceful, and a perfect example of the worst element in today’s identity politics. [WBUR host Tom Ashbrook and guest Jamelle Bouie of Slate] pivoted immediately from Don’s sincere argument to a response which basically boils down to “let them eat white privilege.”

  • The Quintessential Trump Voter

    A coal train on a siding near the Kentucky state line Reuters

    One of the more remarkable features of this election season has been the way Donald Trump’s movement has taken the rest of the country by surprise. When I talk to both Republicans and Democrats about the Trump phenomenon, they ask me over and over, “Who are these people?” His success represents an uprising of a voting segment that was previously politically invisible, perhaps because a lot of educated people in cities and suburbs live in a self-segregated cultural bubble.

    I’ve met hundreds of Trump supporters, and they’re too various to generalize about. But in a segment on Republican divisions on WBUR’s On Point yesterday, a man called in who voiced, in particularly pointed and articulate fashion, a lot of the themes I commonly hear from Trump’s base. Don from Whetstone, Kentucky, identified himself as “a hillbilly misogynist racist from down here in Appalachia.” Here’s what he had to say:

  • Jim Urquhart / Reuters

    Is the Tea Party Responsible for Donald Trump?

    The Republican Party’s old divisions have been scrambled by its new presidential nominee.