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September 14, 2012

11:07
A.M.

The Fix Live

Total Responses: 55

About the hosts

About the host

Host: Chris Cillizza

Chris Cillizza

Chris Cillizza is the managing editor of PostPolitics and he writes "The Fix," a politics blog for The Washington Post. He also covers the White House for the newspaper and website. Chris has appeared as a guest on NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, Fox News Channel and CNN to talk politics. He lives in Virginia with his wife and sons.

About the topic

The Fix's Chris Cillizza discussed the latest in political news.

Follow @TheFix on Twitter.
Q.

Chris Cillizza :

Good morning everyone! 

The new Bob Dylan album is playing on Spotify and I am going to see Springsteen tonight at Nats Park. All is right with the world.

Let's chat.

Q.

Polls in OH, VA, FL...

So when is your "Why Obama is in trouble by leading in the biggest battleground states" post coming?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Let's start this on a partian note! I mean, why not.

I think Obama is clearly benefiting from a bit of a convention bounce both nationally and in some of the most critical swing states.

Ohio, to me, is the most interesting because no Republican has been elected president without winning the Buckeye State.

I am going to write more about the state later today on the Fix.

And, just so we are all clear, I write about what my reporting tells me.  Nothing more. Nothing less.

– September 14, 2012 11:08 AM
Q.

Overrated...

Arrested Development and Bruce Springsteen. Sorry, but it's true. You don't know comedy because you watch AD. You don't know good music (certainly not singing) and you're not connecting with blue collar workers just because you listen to Springsteen.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Is there a question in here?

– September 14, 2012 11:08 AM
Q.

Romney's week

How badly has Romney hurt himself this week? He really has seemed tone deaf to the world this week and seems like he is a person who can never bring himself to say I was wrong. Where is his outrage at the film?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I am not sure he did any catastrophic damage. Rather I would say he just wasted a week that he shouldn't have but issuing a too-quick statement on Libya.

Romney wins the election if he can make it a straight referendum on President Obama's handling of the economy. The more he talks about things not the economy, the harder it is to make that case.

Also, I did give Romney "Worst Week in Washington" this week: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/who-had-the-worst-week-in-washington-mitt-romney/2012/09/14/6cb39ada-fdca-11e1-b153-218509a954e1_story.html

– September 14, 2012 11:10 AM
Q.

Do you feel some guilt?

Don't you feel the slightest bit guilty for fixating on Romney's comment while completely ignoring the fact that Obama doesn't know the legal definition of an ally or that Egypt is actually the US's ally? The disproportionate amount of time spent on the former clearly shows me that the Post generally, and the Fix specifically, has its priorities wrong.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I think it's absolutely worthwhile to point that out. Thanks for doing it.

As for my priorities, I try my best to keep the right.

– September 14, 2012 11:11 AM
Q.

Needs to go positive

Romney is down in key states. GOTV probably won't cut it--he still needs to drag voters to his side. The problem is that undecideds are turned off by "politics as usual" and very well could stay home. I can't see how more negative ads inspires that sort of voter to go to the polls. Just something to keep an eye on down the stretch.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I think this is VERY unlikely. Remember that to this point, Romney has been outspent by Obama on TV. But the combination of Romney's fundraising of late -- 3 straight months of over $100 million raised -- and the money that conservative outside groups have to spend mean that GOPers will be throwing significantly more TV ad weight in the final 50+ days.

The question is whether that changes the governing dynamic of the race or not.

– September 14, 2012 11:14 AM
Q.

Male voters in OH

Romney up by only 2% there?! That might be the most underrated (to go with Fix Aaron's opposite post) stat I've seen. Romney needs OH to win. He needs to run up the score with men to win. He better fine-tune his answer on the auto bailout for the 1st debate.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Agree on all fronts. As I said, stay tuned for a longer explication of our thinking on Ohio later today.

– September 14, 2012 11:14 AM
Q.

Coffee

Pumpkin spice gets the attention, but don't sleep on the salted caramel (or whatever the exact name) one. It sounds weird but is worth it. And like Mitt Romney and foreign policy, I don't apologize for drinking candy-like coffee.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

NO APOLOGIES.

– September 14, 2012 11:14 AM
Q.

Where are you Ferris?

Hi Chris, Now that your attendance at these chats resembles that of Ferris Bueller's in high school I was wondering if you save the prior weeks questions when you can't make it. Do we need to resubmit our important questions about CU women's field hockey and The Gospel According to Fix or will you get around to them eventually?

A.
Chris Cillizza :

Sorry sorry! I missed last week because I was trapped on a delayed flight back from the Democratic convention.

I pledge I will be here come heck or high water for the remainder of the election.

Speaking of the "Gospel", if you haven't bought your copy do it now! Here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Gospel-According-Fix-Insiders/dp/0307987094

– September 14, 2012 11:16 AM
Q.

East of Eden

Fix this, I know you were a geography major at Georgetown so it must come as no surprise to you that South Bend, Indiana is still in the East, but now it seems to be on the Atlantic Coast. Should I invest in a new map?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

English major!

And, yes, ND going to the ACC is troubling. I think it's time for Gtown to get out of the Big East. But without a real football program, who is going to take us?

I am officially depressed about it.

– September 14, 2012 11:17 AM
Q.

Virginia

What breaks the deadlock in this Senate race?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Turnout driven by the presidential race.

– September 14, 2012 11:18 AM
Q.

Democratic Enthusiasm

Since the convention my Democratic friends have been on Cloud 9. They think Romney's done for, and Obama will be reelected. I'm on the fence. I think there's a lot that can happen between now and election day, and that given the not great economy, things could still go south for Obama. Why do you think his poll numbers have generally held up despite a prolonged, weak recovery (that many don't seem to think is much of a recovery)?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

People like him.  His personal favorable numbers have stayed strong even as his job approval numbers have sunk.

The question is whether people will vote for a guy who they like but whose policies they don't like.

– September 14, 2012 11:19 AM
Q.

Senate Line

Update the Senate rankings, please! Is the McMahon surge in Connecticut for real? Does Akin doom Republicans in Missouri? Is Indiana or Arizona going to be a major surprise on election night? Can Heidi Heitkamp out-hussle Rick Berg in North Dakota? Can Harry Reid deliver another surprise victory in Nevada for Democrats and Shelley Berkley? Can Bill Nelson and Sherrod Brown survive the onslaught of Super PAC money? Can Scott Brown get enough Obama voters to return him to the Senate? The Senate, to me, is far more interesting than this presidential race!!!
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Ask and you shall receive.  Latest Senate rankings coming today!

– September 14, 2012 11:19 AM
Q.

BRUUUUUUUUUUUUCE!

If you could ask Bruce Springsteen to play one song tonight in concert, what would it be and why?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Darkness.

I just love that song more than anything.

– September 14, 2012 11:19 AM
Q.

Bruuuuuce

Are you going to be at Nationals Park tonight?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

See above. Answer: Hell yes.

– September 14, 2012 11:20 AM
Q.

Paul Ryan

If Romney-Ryan fails to win in November, how much blame is put on Paul Ryan? He seems to have disappeared since the convention, and the press seems to harp on either the lack of detail in his budget plans and alleged occasional stretching of the truth. Are his 2016 prospects damaged?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I doubt it. Unless he pulls a Palin and goes rogue (overused term) between now and the election I think he will come out of 2012 -- even if the ticket loses -- at the top of the 2016/2020 GOP race (or close to it).

– September 14, 2012 11:20 AM
Q.

2016

If Obama wins reelection and Secretary Clinton stays truth to her word that she's done with politics, who are the frontrunners for each party in 2016? Cuomo and Rubio? How far down the list are Joe Biden and Rand Paul?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Cuomo for Dems.  O'Malley also in the mix. Darkhorses not to be underestimated: Kirstin Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar

Rubio for GOP unless Jeb runs.  Jindal also top tier.  Ryan as well.  I think Rand Paul is top tier or damn close.

– September 14, 2012 11:22 AM
Q.

Sports Analogy - not involving Tebow...

To use a golf analogy - Romney's is running like Phil Mickelson plays on Sunday when he's behind - he and the campaign are taking risks, even before the MidEast crisis this week (e.g,. veiled attacks about Obama removing God from coins, keeping the stuff people like about Obamacare on MTP, etc). To me this doesn't strike me as moves a camapign you'd make when you're ahead.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Probably not.

But, I would also say two things:

1. The election isn't for another 50+ days and even if you take the ;atest swing state polls, Romney is still well within striking distance.

2. When you are the challenger running against an incumbent, you have to take a few chances. Otherwise people might well just default to the person they know.

– September 14, 2012 11:26 AM
Q.

Coffee

Did you find a decent latte in Charlotte? I'm so happy it's Pumpkin Spice Latte season at Starbucks again.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Did NOT.

And, yes the PSL is the drink to which all other drinks must be compared.

– September 14, 2012 11:27 AM
Q.

Springsteen

hasn't had a decent album since Born to Run. Dylan has never covered a Bruce Springsteen song either in concert or on an album. Dylan has covered several Jimmy Buffett songs at his concerts. Maybe one day Bruce will be in the same class as Dylan, Berry, Guy, and Springsteen.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Whoever you are, I admire your consistency. Every chat at least 1 question praising Buffett.

– September 14, 2012 11:27 AM
Q.

The Romney Campaign

Are we witnessing a very early implosion of his campaign?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I don't think so.

I don't think this has been a good week for Romney. Only the most partisan folks would dispute that contention methinks.

But the economy is still struggling. President Obama is sitll under 50 percent among likely voters in national polling. There's still plenty of reason to think that this race is going to be very close.

 

– September 14, 2012 11:28 AM
Q.

When does North Dakota move down the senate list?

The polls I have seen show Heidi Heitkamp (D) ahead of Rick Berg in NoDak, a state that has had Dems in the Senate for most of my lifetime. The most moderate Republican in the state, John Hoeven, won an open seat last election, true, but the state is less Republican for federal offices than one would assume. When will Heitkamp, who has run five times statewide and won four of them (losing only when she was diagnosed with breast cancer during a campaign get her due? [and, when will you give her her due by moving her down the list of likely seat changes?]
A.
Chris Cillizza :

She is running better than anyone -- myself included -- would have thought. But I think the state's Republican bent asserts itself in a presidentil year which makes it a major uphill climb for her.

– September 14, 2012 11:29 AM
Q.

Ind. and N.D.

good morning chris. how worried should republicans be about the prospects of mourdock and berg? which one is more likely to lose to the democrat? both candidates have been under-whelming, to put it mildly
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I think both are in closer races than they thought they would be. And I think both remain favorites -- albeit it slight ones.

– September 14, 2012 11:31 AM
Q.

Campaign 2012 (Duh!)

Where do both the campaigns see the race both nationally and in the states? It seems Obama has a small lead in both, but what is private view of both campaigns?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

That. And neither side thinks a blowout is likely.  And they are right.

– September 14, 2012 11:32 AM
Q.

Presidential Poll #s

Seems like the media consensus is that Romney's toast based on polls and polling trends. Is that story coming out now likely to deter or encourage R voters in November?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I am not sure that is the consensus.

I think personally that Obama has opened up a slight margin nationally and in swing states. Given the overall political atmospherics, I can't imagine Obama pulling away an my guess is the race will again tighten some as the decision day nears.

– September 14, 2012 11:33 AM
Q.

Caption Contest

I've been waiting on pins and needles - who won the Joe Biden caption contest?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Putting together winners hopefully today! Been a busy week.

– September 14, 2012 11:35 AM
Q.

Foreign policy

I am actually starting to think Obama has lost control over Embassies' crisis, what do you think?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I think that these sort of stories are fast moving and constanltly changing, realities that require us reporters to always be aware of the shifting landscape.

Which is what me and my colleagues at the Post are always trying to do.

– September 14, 2012 11:36 AM
Q.

Mitch McConnell

Sen. McConnell announced yesterday he has hired Jesse Benton to manage his campaign. What are your thoughts on that?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

My deputy Aaron said it all here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/09/13/mitch-mcconnell-the-pauls-a-political-marriage-made-in-heaven/

– September 14, 2012 11:37 AM
Q.

amateur

Has Mitt shown that he is only an opportunist, not a President?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

All politicians are opportunists. If they are good at least.

– September 14, 2012 11:37 AM
Q.

SOMETHING MISSING

In the election cycles of '04 and '08 the Post had daily chats with a virtual revolving chair of hosts. This year there are only weekly ones ( when they don't get cancelled ) with just you and I'm very curious why. Is this privillaged information or will you answer ?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

It's part of my world domination plot. And it is proceeding nicely I must say....

– September 14, 2012 11:37 AM
Q.

Debate

I read some of the debate discussion on The Atlantic and others and wondering how you would game the debates. The sense I get is that Pres. Obama is in a tough space because he hasn't debated in a while and that Romney is instantly debated. Also read that debates are overblown to some pundits who say that are super important. Your thoughts?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I think the debates are more important for Romney than Obama.

I think both men will start off a bit cautious -- given the stakes -- but by the 2nd or 3rd debate will warm to the task.

I think Romney is being underrated as a debater. He was regularly the best debater on stage during the GOP primaryu debates.

I think the debates WILL matter.

– September 14, 2012 11:40 AM
Q.

Sadness

Perhaps, Chris, your listeners ave come to expect:, He's not there, he's got a cold, he's got a meeting, he's on the Diane Riems show.......
A.
Chris Cillizza :

HA!

I will make good on my pledge!

– September 14, 2012 11:42 AM
Q.

Mitt Romney

Chris, how bad did Romney look in the Libya "scenario" and how much do you think it hurts him?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

As I said above, it wasn't a great moment for him but neither was it catastrophic.

This election will still be won or lost on the economy. A majority of people still disapprove of how Obama has handled the economy. That means that writing Romney off over Libya is a BIG mistake.

– September 14, 2012 11:43 AM
Q.

Rosie

You can only hope that Rosie comes out tonight! No question- just a statement of jealousy!
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I would kill for that to happen.

– September 14, 2012 11:43 AM
Q.

So you answered my first question in your intro

you're going to the Boss, as am I. :-) Have you had a chance to check out the 1974 review in your paper of when he played at the Shady Grove Fair? Awesome stuff. Also a plug: I follow you on Twitter and at your advice now follow Mark Leibovich (he is hilarious.) And I always look forward to your "call your office" tweets.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Leibo rules. Funniest political person on Twitter -- bar none.

– September 14, 2012 11:44 AM
Q.

First Questions

Where are you? What are you Drinking? What are you listening to?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Mocha from Greenberry's Coffee.  "Tempest" by Dylan.

Love both.

– September 14, 2012 11:45 AM
Q.

Required Field Hockey Question

Who is Mrs. Fix playing against this week?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Yes thanks for asking.

Mrs. Fix' Catholic U field hockey team currently ranked #7 in the country -- the highest ranking in the HISTORY of the program.

Playing Rowan on Saturday then a road tilt next week against perennial powerhouse Salisbury.

– September 14, 2012 11:46 AM
Q.

Undecided voters

Chuck Todd said this morning that at this point an "undecided voter" is someone who is saying, "I'm sitting this one out." I tend to agree? You?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I think most though not all undecideds at this point are people who pay almost ZERO attention to politics.  That means that reaching the, and figuring out what makes them vote for you or the other guy is a tough deal.

– September 14, 2012 11:47 AM
Q.

I'm seeing Springsteen, too!!

I'll look for you among the other 39,000 people. :)
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I'll be the guy with the American flag bandanna on.

– September 14, 2012 11:51 AM
Q.

Silence on the political discussion page

Time was when several Post correspondents would host chats on this page. Recently only you and the estimable Eugene Robinson have deigned to participate in chats. Why is that? No disrespect to you two, but I used to enjoy the diversity of opinion.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

World. Domination.

– September 14, 2012 11:51 AM
Q.

Storrs, CT

Yes, it is "time for Gtown to get out of the Big East." You could probably compete better in the Atlantic 10, or maybe the Horizon.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I was so sad to see your convicted cheating coach retire.  Wait, no I wasn't.

– September 14, 2012 11:53 AM
Q.

I don't apologize for drinking candy-like coffee.

Fine, just call it what it is: coffee-flavored candy, not candy-flavored coffee.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I am not into labels.

– September 14, 2012 11:53 AM
Q.

no Republican has been elected president without winning the Buckeye State

And no president has won without winning the electoral college. And no president named Mitt has become President. Some of these "statistics" are just meaningless. If you don't win in Ohio, win somewhere else. All you need is 270 electoral college votes. They don't care where they come from when they add them up.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Fair enough.

 

– September 14, 2012 11:53 AM
Q.

Secretary Clinton stays truth to her word that she's done with politics,

Do you see her sticking to that, or going for the Senate again? Or joining in some international philanthropy, like Bill, and Jimmy Carter?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

If she runs again, it's for president in 2016.

– September 14, 2012 11:54 AM
Q.

Amy Klobuchar

The Minnesota senator's name popping up in the presidential mix in 2016 really surprised me. Yet, according to the Post, she was meeting with Iowa delegates at the convention. Does this smell like someone without much national recognition or national fundraising base hoping to parlay a presidential run into a shot at the VP shortlist?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

She's underrated as a politician.  Not sure she could make the leap to the presidential race but she is talented.

– September 14, 2012 11:54 AM
Q.

Underrating "Thunder Road"

I never really appreciated the poetry until I heard Greg Kihn's cover, in which you can actually tell what the hell he's saying. If Springsteen spit the marbles out of his mouth, he might be recognized as a great songwriter instead of an athlete.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Thunder Road is AMAZING.

Screen door slams...

– September 14, 2012 11:56 AM
Q.

Not Winning Ohio

I have to quibble. All presidents elected before 1803 have won without winning Ohio (you can go ahead and smack me)
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Well played.

– September 14, 2012 11:56 AM
Q.

North Dakota, Indiana and...

What about Arizona on that list?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I think Flake is the favorite. Carmona is an intriguing candidate but I am not sure he can win in a state where Romney should win relatively easily.

– September 14, 2012 11:57 AM
Q.

The Economy

You always assert that this election will hinge on the economy, but why are you so certain that's the case? The economy is very important, certainly, but if the economy were all that mattered, wouldn't Romney be ahead by now? Even Romney now seems to realize there's more to the election that expecting voters to blame Obama for economic conditions.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Because in every poll I have seen for the last 2 years, the economy is named by a majority of people as the single most important issue of the campaign.

– September 14, 2012 11:58 AM
Q.

Presidential Debate

If the Fix hosted a Presidential Debate, what would be your first Question, and to whom?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

"If you could be a bird, what kind of bird would you be -- and why?"

– September 14, 2012 11:58 AM
Q.

World Domination Plot

Does that plot also involve lots of Ric Flair "Woooooooos"
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Natch.

– September 14, 2012 11:58 AM
Q.

WORLD DOMINATION

wow your ego is way out of control -- remember back in the day Chris Matthews was also bigtime but now he's really just a joke and he's got people like Al Sharpton breathing down his neck in the ratings rat race.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Um, I was joking?  Apparently conveying sarcasm is not my strong suit.

– September 14, 2012 11:59 AM
Q.

Who's running for president this year?

Do you think Barack Obama is going to go for a second term? Will Palin try to run?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

All great questions.

– September 14, 2012 11:59 AM
Q.

Morning Miracle: Inside the Washington Post

Anyone who read this 2010 book about the Washington Post knows that Chris is "the future of journalism." His quest for world (or at least WP) domination has been hurtling along for several years already.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Obvi.

– September 14, 2012 12:00 PM
Q.

What it Takes

Finally reading this, after your - and many others' - recommendations. About 150 pages to go. SO AWESOME.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

JUST AMAZING.

– September 14, 2012 12:00 PM
Q.

CHAT GROUPIES

oh I see -- you're answering all the questions in the order they were received -- does this mean I need to get up at 4 AM to submit my question and get an answer ?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Yes.

– September 14, 2012 12:00 PM
Q.

Chris Cillizza :

Ok folks. We got halfway through Dylan's tribute song to the Titanic during that hour long chat -- which isn't bad.

Have a great weekend. And I will see you NEXT Friday for this chat. Same time, same place.

Q.

 

A.
Host: