On the Horizon: David Chalian

Jul 20, 2008  •  Post A Comment

David Chalian’s infectious and abundant energy are as essential to his job as ABC News political director as his knowledge of the political scene.
For him, the marathon of a 2007-08 presidential primary season began in July 2005 with a trip to Iowa with eventual Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who was test-drilling for support.
After a brief post-primaries breather, Mr. Chalian and his colleagues are in for a long march to the November election.
The Washington, D.C.,-based Mr. Chalian, 34, defines multiplatform. In addition to overseeing the political content of all ABC broadcasts and platforms, he co-anchors “Politics Live” on digital service ABC News Now and provides political commentary and analysis for “World News With Charles Gibson,” “Good Morning America,” ABC News Radio and ABC’s affiliate news service NewsOne.
Another unofficial but never-ending role is fending off questions about what is going to happen next in the race for the White House. “I always try very hard to stay out of the prediction business, although there’s a lot of pressure internally and externally. Our job is to report on what is happening and apply some reporting and analysis to that reporting to point to options of what may happen. We don’t have crystal balls.”
Mr. Chalian majored in theater and political science at Northwestern University, wrote his poli-sci thesis on the relationship of the press and the presidency and ended up working for Anna Deavere Smith, who was developing a play on that subject.
“I got to dabble in both worlds, and it was great,” he recalled. But after doing “the whole struggling actor and director bit for a couple of years, and meeting with some success, I was realizing it was not the lifestyle if you want to be challenged and engaged on a daily basis. There are too many gaps between gigs. I want to wake every day and be fully engaged.”
That he is.


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