Auto Load Responses: 
Font Size: 

September 30, 2011

12:08
P.M.

Dana Milbank Live

Total Responses: 35

About the hosts

About the host

Host: Dana Milbank

Dana Milbank

Dana Milbank reviews the political theater of the nation's capital in his editorial-page column. His most recent book is "Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America;" his other books are "Homo Politicus" (Doubleday, 2008) and "Smashmouth" (Basic Books, 2001). Milbank joined The Post as a political reporter in 2000 and wrote the "Washington Sketch" column for nearly six years. He lives in Washington with his wife and daughter. • Dana Milbank Bio & Archive
Milbank Q&As

About the topic

Dana Milbank chatted about why democrats should be nice to Mitt Romney. Other topics up for discussion included Rick Perry, a useless debt committee, how house Republicans are benefiting from job loss and more.

Dana Milbank Live is your weekly opportunity for a give and take with Dana centering on the latest political news in Washington and his recent columns.
Q.

Dana Milbank :

Good afternoon.

From the question queue, it appears we'll be discussing Chris Christie and other weighty issues.  So let us begin.

Q.

Chris Christie

Any comment on Eugene Robinson's cheap shot against Chris Christie today on his weight? He conveniently ignores Obama's smoking habit, which is arguably a worse health issue.
A.
Dana Milbank :

Did you see Michael Kinsley today?

As I wrote in the column just posted, I like Christie and hope he runs.  But certainly there's a reasonable question about whether he can handle the physical demands of a job that has, well, weighed so heavily even on a fitness fanatic like G.W. Bush. 

 

– September 30, 2011 12:02 PM
Q.

Yes, he Cain!

Do you think Mr. Cain has received wider popularity due to his trip to Israel, his association with Mr. Beck and the warmth of Fox? Is this popularity only with the Tea Party?
A.
Dana Milbank :

No, I believe this is a direct result of my shameless flacking for him.   I intend to keep this up through his entire 8 years in the White House.

– September 30, 2011 12:05 PM
Q.

Beck's indoctination: Starting 'em young!

Mr. Milbank, As somewhat as an authority on Glenn Beck, what do you think about Mr. Beck's plan to include children's programs on his online network? He has in the past condemned a different type of indoctrination of 'youth' in a different time and in a different country...Do you think he is attempting to do the same thing?
A.
Dana Milbank :

I don't think you're ever too young to start hoarding freeze-dried food and gold bullion in the basement.

– September 30, 2011 12:05 PM
Q.

Can Christie squeeze into the race?

Can he squeeze into anything? I do agree that he couldn't transform American politics. Too many politicians try to convince us that they are tough enough, and unyielding enough, to create a more productive government. Not even a pretense of bringing the country together. They will create change by conquering the opposition (those wimps). Reminds me of Iran.
A.
Dana Milbank :

There is a certain efficiency to the Iranian system, you have to admit.  They probably don't get any guff from the teachers unions, and people get off the beach when a hurricane approaches.

 

– September 30, 2011 12:07 PM
Q.

Your favprite Fox News Girl

I go with Maria Melina the weather girl. Why cant CNn and especially MSNBC have hot hews babes like Fox. CNn does have Brooke buts she cant compete with Fox chicks.
A.
Dana Milbank :

I don't think you can get any hotter than Chris Matthews.  (And this has nothing to do with his recent decision to have me on Hardball on Tuesdays and Thursdays.)

 

– September 30, 2011 12:09 PM
Q.

Christie and Obama

I can't buy into your column's point Dana. Obama did control the house and senate and pushed through policy he and Dems wanted, but unfortunately it wasn't necessarily what the country wanted and especially what the business community wanted. Since then, we've had to varying degrees a capital strike, with investors and job creators counting the hours, minutes and seconds until they can get a community organizer they've grown to despise out of office. With Christie in (or Romney for that matter), capital will flow like a tidal wave as everything the Dems shoved down the country's throat is reversed with help from a Republican house and undoubtedly Republican Senate due to the party disparity of senate seats in play. Republicans, as long as they stay away from the social issue lunacy craved by their base and stick to economic issues they have a clear majority support on, will have no problem creating positive outcomes.
A.
Dana Milbank :

As long as they stay away from the social issue lunacy craved by their base?

I give that strategy about 10 minutes.

 

– September 30, 2011 12:11 PM
Q.

Perry knowing what he believes

If Perry is trying to deflect his debate performances by saying he's not a slick debater but he know what he believes than why is he backing away from his stated belief that people against his immigration/tuition stand don't have heart? Doesn't he know what he believes?
A.
Dana Milbank :

See, I think Perry should deflect this issue the way Perry deflects his weight issue.  Running against Corzine, he admitted, "I'm pretty fat."  What if Perry were simply to say, "I'm pretty dumb, but my heart is in the right place"?  

– September 30, 2011 12:12 PM
Q.

U.S. Senate on January 3, 2013

I was just curious, and maybe you're not following the U.S. Senate elections that closely yet, but is it likely there won't be any Black candidates who win? Correct on this, but there still aren't any Black U.S. Senator at-present, right?
A.
Dana Milbank :

You have no idea how I miss Roland Burris.  It will be hardest at Christmastime, because that's when he would have been on the Senate floor reading a poem.

– September 30, 2011 12:13 PM
Q.

Ask now and ye shall receive

Another big solar outfit (Mesa, Az) has hit the skids. You know, from skid row. Another one w. govt. loan guaranty, subsidy, bailout, whatever. Energy Sec. Machu Pichu has said he cheated on the Solyndra deal. So Obama's going to run on his sunshine govt. transparency record? After all, we don't know how many SECRET deals his administration has entered into in the name of OPEN GOVT. Thanks much. HLB (Mt. Lebanon, PA) p.s. Go Steelers.
A.
Dana Milbank :

Go Stillers.  When you make this big a bet on solar energy I think you pretty much have to run on your sunshine record.

– September 30, 2011 12:14 PM
Q.

Obama's smoking

Obama too is a fitness fanatic -- remember those swim-trunk photos in Hawaii? He doesn't smoke anywhere near as much as Christie eats. Obama's trying to kick the habit and reportedly has it down to just a couple of smokes a day.
A.
Dana Milbank :

2012 bumper sticker?

Obama: He smokes less than Christie eats.

– September 30, 2011 12:15 PM
Q.

It's a lot easier

to use the bully pulpit to argue government is the problem rather than government is the solution. I think that's where your left leaning column lost its bearings regarding Christie and Obama
A.
Dana Milbank :

Maybe so.  I got a lot of grief from the left when I raised doubts about the messianic Obama.   Even got me exiled from Keith Olbermann's show.    We'll have to check back in a few years and see if I'm correct that the messianic Christie was also overhyped.

 

– September 30, 2011 12:17 PM
Q.

Arlington, VA

The Fix didn't get to my comment so I'm hoping you might chime in. The big news out of Arlington is the GOP raised a whopping $ in September. And no, that's not an Onion link. It's from the Post.

A.
Dana Milbank :

Come on, be fair. They raised $4.

 

 

– September 30, 2011 12:17 PM
Q.

Live Fix

Don't let them change "Dana Milbank Live" too.
A.
Dana Milbank :

Getting a lot of these about my friend Mr. Fixit today.  I don't know what they did to him but I will attempt to make them stop. 

– September 30, 2011 12:18 PM
Q.

Robinson's "cheap shot?"

It's hard to call Robinson's column a cheap shot when he extensively quotes Christie as knowing that his weight is well beyond the norm and admitting how unhealthy it is. If he really does weigh in excess of 280 pounds at 5 feet 11 inches, the man has a serious chronic health problem. Herman Cain, on the other hand, seems to have beaten two types of cancer that had reached Stage Four. Best of all, Cain gave an interview to a reporter this week while drinking a glass of wine--in the morning. If that's when he starts in on the Bordeaux, I frankly can't wait for the first prime time news conference.
A.
Dana Milbank :

Now you're beginning to understand why I am beating the drum for Cain.

I didn't call that column or anything else Gene has ever done a cheap shot -- a questioner did.  Gene, for the record, is a marvelous physical specimen.

Speaking of (not quite) marvelous physical specimens,  I have lost four -- count 'em, four -- pounds, and will be going to the gym immediately after this chat.  Unfortunately I will be following that up with a Spanish feast this evening involving no fewer than five cheeses.

 

– September 30, 2011 12:21 PM
Q.

what exactly are we reporting

A bunch of uber-rich New Yorkers and a few ex-Bushies want Chris Christie to get into race, so therefore national political press must go nuts for Gov. Christie? Really? It's this more of a "Money in politics" or "Bushies, despite the hype, still have influence in Republican party" story rather then "Will Christie run" story?
A.
Dana Milbank :

In my case I think it's because, having grown up on the south shore of Long Island, Jersey guys are familiar and not frightening.

– September 30, 2011 12:22 PM
Q.

Smoking

Actually Barack Obama campaigned and got elected as an ex-smoker. It was only after the election that White House Press Corp proved their worth (not really) by asking a zillion and one question about it.
A.
Dana Milbank :

I am already preparing for all the questions at the first briefing of the Christie administration:  Atkins? South Beach?  Macrobiotic?

– September 30, 2011 12:24 PM
Q.

Save us, Obi Won Ton Chris!

Doesn't the fact that Chris Christie talks and looks more like Pizza the Hutt than a Jedi warrior sort of undercut his appeal as a miracle worker? Or will his Jedi mind control tricks win out? "These are not the candidates you are looking for."
A.
Dana Milbank :

Pizza Hut and Godfather's in the same primary -- tasty.

 

– September 30, 2011 12:25 PM
Q.

Countdown

Would you return if the ban was lifted? That orange crossing guard vest must be gathering dust.
A.
Dana Milbank :

Still got the orange hat.  But the question has become moot now that Keith is himself on Al Gore's Elba.  At any rate, the star of that operation was the executive producer, Izzy Povich, who now does her magic for Lawrence O'Donnell.

– September 30, 2011 12:27 PM
Q.

Jersey shore

Could you see Jersey from your porch in southern Long Island? You should have run for office.
A.
Dana Milbank :

It was put a short drive over the Verrazano Narrows.  Would take about 45 minutes to get to Jersey without traffic, but in practice it usually took about 2 hours.

 

– September 30, 2011 12:30 PM
Q.

Papa John for President

Won't those compromising pictures of Cain and The Noid make a Papa John candidacy more likely?
A.
Dana Milbank :

These questions are lining up like Domino's.

 

– September 30, 2011 12:31 PM
Q.

Target shopper

I was charmed that Michelle Obama snuck into Target mostly unobserved yesterday. Reportedly she purchased Lysol Wipes and Febreeze. Have you shared with her the excellent qualities of Purell?
A.
Dana Milbank :

Big development on that front: Just purchased a fishbowl with 30 of the 1/2 ounce bottles of Purell.   I'm thinking of handing them out for Halloween.

– September 30, 2011 12:32 PM
Q.

Stay thirsty my friend...

and have a few Dos Equis with your Spanish feast as the most interesting columnist in the world (just grow a beard and you'll be all set)
A.
Dana Milbank :

Mexican beer?  Hay carumba!  We are having Sherry, Cava, Albarino, Ribera del Duero and a sweet Jumilla I just picked up at Calvert-Woodley wines.

– September 30, 2011 12:34 PM
Q.

Herman Cain bigot?

First he said he wouldn't appoint any Muslims. Then he said he would have them take a loyalty test. Now he is saying blacks are brainwashed. Replace Muslim and black with white or Jew and wouldn't everyone conclude he has issues with bigotry?
A.
Dana Milbank :

You could conclude that, but then you would be muddying up my efforts to get him elected.

– September 30, 2011 12:36 PM
Q.

As a Democrat

Which Republican should I vote for in the primaries?
A.
Dana Milbank :

An embarrassment of riches for you that this point.  Maybe Santorum, out of pity.

– September 30, 2011 12:37 PM
Q.

I HAVE LOST FOUR POUNDS

I think you should pledge to lose a pound for every dollar the Arlington GOP raises. Or alternatively, have a glass of wine for every dollar raised. Your choice, Sir.
A.
Dana Milbank :

I like the wine suggestion because it has more upside.  If the Arlington Republicans were to raise $150 in the next quarter, I'd have to do a whole lot of swimming.

– September 30, 2011 12:39 PM
Q.

Raising expectations, so what?

You correctly identified that Obama was raising expectations well beyond anything he could deliver in terms of changing DC politics. So what? Would we be in any different spot objectively if Obama had been much more prudent in laying out expectations? Would the Republicans have been any less confrontational in blocking reasonable compromises? Would the economy be different? Beyond having his voters feel a little let down and Republicans feeling vindicated, so what?
A.
Dana Milbank :

I think we would be in a different spot objectively, because Hillary would be president.  Republicans would not have been any less confrontational but she would have been right back in their faces.

– September 30, 2011 12:40 PM
Q.

Herman Cain

What if he said Jewish voters are brainwashed for voting heavily democratic?
A.
Dana Milbank :

I would be surprised if he has not said this already.

– September 30, 2011 12:41 PM
Q.

Chat ratings

how do your chat ratings compare to other commentators? Are you ahead of the Fix? I guess Hax must have an insurmountable lead, right?
A.
Dana Milbank :

I am more concerned with quality than quantity.  (How's that for flattering my audience?   I'd like a response from both of you on that.)

 

– September 30, 2011 12:44 PM
Q.

Cask of Amontillado

I hope, along with Fino, Manzanilla, Oloroso, and that Jumilla, you are finding marcona almonds to munch along with those cheeses. Please tell me one of the cheeses is Manchego.
A.
Dana Milbank :

Yep, got the almonds.  We're having manchego, of course, and Cabrales with membrillo.  My favorite is the San Simeon, which they call "titilla" because of shape.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.

– September 30, 2011 12:47 PM
Q.

Christie's weight

Given that the GOP has such a cow about "nanny state"-ism and want government out of everyone's business, shouldn't Christie's weight be a non-issue for them? I mean, they only want the government intruding in your sex life, right?
A.
Dana Milbank :

I am including this question because the mention of "cow" relates to our discussion about Spanish cheeses.

– September 30, 2011 12:48 PM
Q.

Palin

How much longer can she really milk this? What does she gain by teasing the right wing for another month? Didn't Joe Mcginnis just end her career?
A.
Dana Milbank :

"Milk" this?  I get it!

You guys are the absolute cream.

 

– September 30, 2011 12:49 PM
Q.

Wondering

I have occasionally read your columns and conservations. Why do you find it so necessary to constantly belittle people that you disagree with and oftentimes insult them - examples are Sarah Palin, Glen Beck, Herman Cain, etc.?  Can't you disagree with others views without being nasty? I fear the internet is to the point where people feel that athey can try and destroy people without having to face them with their meanness, you included.

A.
Dana Milbank :

Possibly you skipped right to the comments section?

I'm certainly guilty as regards Beck, and possibly Palin, but you will not find a greater Cainiac. 

And I certainly am not about to, uh, belittle Chris Christie.

– September 30, 2011 12:52 PM
Q.

Both of me.

We approve of qualitative quantity.
A.
Dana Milbank :

Thank you.

You may now return to Hax.

– September 30, 2011 12:53 PM
Q.

Chubby Chief Executives

Was William Howard Taft the last truly rotund President? Teddy Roosevelt looks less than svelte in some photos, but the Rough Rider uniform makes up for a lot of figure flaws.
A.
Dana Milbank :

I think the Rough Rider uniform is exactly what Christie needs.

– September 30, 2011 12:54 PM
Q.

Spanish feast

The trick to weight control is to take smaller servings.
A.
Dana Milbank :

I know. Problem is I tend to forget this after the first couple of servings of sherry.

Anyway, thank you for the culinary, health and political questions and advice this afternoon.   Let nobody accuse us of avoiding the Big questions. 

Until next week, Salud!

– September 30, 2011 12:57 PM
Q.

 

A.
Host: