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February 28, 2014

11:03
A.M.

The Fix Live

Total Responses: 59

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 all. After last week's technical issues, I have hard-wired my brain directly into the Internet this week, a move, I hope, will prevent further problems.

Having deposited an omelette with turkey sausage (healthy, you know?) and sipping on a caramel macchiato, I am ready to rock.

Bring it.

Q.

What's Fair is Fair

Re you story on why Christie is not getting questions on Bridgegate. Your reasons were: 1) NJ people don't care; 2) he's swimming in friendly waters; and 3) luck. First of all, where's the kudos for the fact that Christie's actually going out and meeting with his constituents? Secondly, here's a test for your political objectivity as a journalist: could you see yourself writing the same* reasons for why President Obama doesn't get tough questions on his scandals when he makes his public appearances (never mind the fact that he rarely allows such interactions?) *In the case of Obama, with the first reason listed, swap out "NJ people" and put in "progressives."
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Hmm.

Well, I think President Obama gets pretty tough questions from reporters.  And, President Obama isn't holding town hall events all that often.  He is doing more speeches.

My piece wasn't designed to scold Christie. Far from it. I was simply surprised that in two+ hours of questions from New Jerseyans (-ites?) he hadn't been asked anything about the bridge closures.

Here's the piece in case you missed it: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/02/27/why-has-no-one-asked-chris-christie-about-bridgegate/

– February 28, 2014 11:06 AM
Q.

SS Marriage and 2016

Hi Chris -- thanks for taking questions today. With Republicans coming out (as it were) to condemn the law in Arizona, how will the issue of same sex marriage play out for them in 2016? In other words, is is possible that, given where the public is at (majority support for ss marriage), we will see some moderation in their opposition or even possible support from some candidates to attract younger voters? Or should we not read that much into what happened in Arizona because in the end the economic risks (loss of the Super Bowl, jobs, etc.) were what prevailed instead of changing views?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

A VERY interesting question.

Here's the conundrum for Republican presidential candidates: They know support for same sex marriage is rapidly rising among the general electorate but they also know that their base remains vehemently opposed to the idea.

Usually, primary concerns win out because, well, if you don't win the primary, you never get a chance about how you are positioned for the general election.

I would note though that the numbers among young Republicans on same sex marriage suggest that this is a generational thing as muh as it is a ideological one.

– February 28, 2014 11:08 AM
Q.

Jan Brewer

Does Gov Brewer run for any office in the future after this week's veto? She cheesed off the Tea Party but did she get some moderate/ind. votes?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I think she's done. I wrote a piece after the veto suggesting that if she did want to try to run for another term (there are major lergal questions about whther she could due to the state's term limit law) she would have signed the bill.

In not doing so, I think she gave a pretty clear indication that she is done. 

Here's the piece: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/02/26/what-jan-brewers-veto-of-sb1062-means/

– February 28, 2014 11:09 AM
Q.

2014 Senate and House Elections

It sounds like it almost certain that Republicans will maintain the House majority and win the Senate this year. Will they have much more than 50 votes? Will holding both the Senate and House be a help for the 2016 presidential elections?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I would say it is very likely Republicans hold the House.

I think their chances of winning the Senate got better when Rep. Cory Gardner decided to run in Colorado last week but it's still a jump ball.

Remember that 2016 is a very tough cycle for Republicans because it is the class that got elected in 2010. So, I would say Republicans probably need to hold 52-53 seats after 2014 to have a good shot at holding the Senate beyond the 2016 election.

– February 28, 2014 11:12 AM
Q.

BWIW?

Why not a Best week in Washington? I would be interested in your take on the winner each week as well as the loser.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

People propose this regularly. My belief? There's not a lot of readership for Best Week. 

If I might quote Tolstoy: All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.'

But, if you disagree, send me an email at chris.cillizza@washpost.com. If there's enough interest, I am happy to start doing Best Week too!

– February 28, 2014 11:14 AM
Q.

Question about Questions

I'm curious about how these live chats work. Does a WaPo staffer forward questions on to you. Do you see all questions and pick the ones most interesting to you? How does it work, dude?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

A wonderful woman named Jessica Stahl helps manage the questions. She lightly filters then and then puts a bunch in my queue where I can answer whichever ones I like.

– February 28, 2014 11:15 AM
Q.

The Senatester 6

I know prognostication is not your thing, but at this moment, what do you think the odds are that Republicans will gain at least six seats in the Senate?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

55%.

– February 28, 2014 11:15 AM
Q.

2016

Don't you think all the speculation about Republican candidates in 2016 is about who wins the nomination only? I heard recently that states totaling 251 electoral votes have voted Democratic for six straight elections. Barring a 2008-style collapse of the economy, isn't a Republican win in 2 years time a long shot?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

There's no question that the electoral map favors Democrats right now.  But, things change. Remember how Democrats had an insurmountable electoral college disadvantage during the 1980s?  Since then they have two two-term presidents.

– February 28, 2014 11:16 AM
Q.

Rand-I-Am

You've written before that you feel Rand Paul trumps his father in the charisma department, but I just don't see it. Ron had a whacky grandfatherly charm and Rand comes off as kind of cold. Defend yourself, sir!

A.
Chris Cillizza :

Oh, I think Rand is just a more savvy politician over all.  He knows how to pivot off of issues he doesn't want to talk about and how to shade positions where he knows most Republicans won't agree with him.

Also, I don't even think Ron Paul would say he was charismatic!

– February 28, 2014 11:17 AM
Q.

Colo.

how nervous should sen udall be, 0 = not at all, 10 = ordering boxes for his move?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

7.

Read this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/who-had-the-worst-week-in-washington-sen-mark-udall-d-colo/2014/02/28/8ce2ae18-9fef-11e3-b8d8-94577ff66b28_story.html

– February 28, 2014 11:17 AM
Q.

Romney Money Article

When Ted Cruz was brought up - was the dismissal of his name with disgust, a general belief he can't win, or both?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I didn't write the piece Wes Lowery (a terrific young reporter working on our digital politics strike force) did.

But, I believe it was disgust with his tactics and how he approaches politics.

– February 28, 2014 11:18 AM
Q.

Flavored Mayo

You and me, Cillizza. Let's start a business. Caramel, Raspberry, Mocha-almond fudge mayo. Sounds delish. And we could make a mint!

A.
Chris Cillizza :

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. No, a lot bit.

– February 28, 2014 11:18 AM
Q.

Is it true?

That thing you said the other day?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Was it this?

"To realize that all your life - all your love, all your hate, all your memory, all your pain, it was all the same thing. It was all the same dream, a dream that you had inside a locked room. A dream about bein' a person.... And like a lot of dreams, there's a monster at the end of it"

– February 28, 2014 11:20 AM
Q.

Rick Perry

Is in Iowa this weekend and there's a whole lotta gushing goin' on between him and IA Gov Terry Branstad. Is Perry running for something? Seriously?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

OH yeah. He wants to run for president again. He's been pretty explicit about it.

Perry's belief is that he knows what he did wrong in 2012 and can fix it. I am a believer in the you never get a second chance to make a first impression theory of politics though. And that makes it really tough for Perry.

– February 28, 2014 11:21 AM
Q.

Christie Luck

He's luckier that modern political media has such a short attention span. If nothing major happens right away, well, then, it's not a "scandal" and it's time to move on. Of course, it's silly to expect this vs. drip, drip, drip when documents are not released.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Luck is a remarkably underrated key to political success. I am going to write a Fix post on that. Just decided it.

– February 28, 2014 11:21 AM
Q.

NC Sen

How does the race stand as of today?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Americans for Prosperity has hurt Kay Hagan.  They have basically been spending $500K every week for quite some time with ads that hammer her.

I am still not overly impressed with the Republican field but Thom Tillis seems to have overcome a bit of a rocky start and is now the likely nominee.

I think Hagan is in less trouble than Mark Pryor but more trouble than, say, the Iowa open seat.

– February 28, 2014 11:23 AM
Q.

2016 cycle

Who else besides Kirk is as good as done in 2016?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Tough races for: Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), Rob Portman (R-Oh.), Michael Bennet (D-Co.) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

– February 28, 2014 11:24 AM
Q.

Having deposited an omelette with turkey sausage

"Having deposited an omelette with turkey sausage" I've never heard a bowel movement described like that.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I ate it! Gross.

– February 28, 2014 11:25 AM
Q.

Questions for Christie

Do we actually know that the questioners aren't being pre-screened?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I don't have personal knowledge of that fact. But I would say that if Christie's team is pre-screening questions they are VERY dumb.

If it comes out that he handpicked the questions, it will be a big story and make him look foolish not to mention his whole I face down my problems persona.

– February 28, 2014 11:26 AM
Q.

Asking Christie about the Bridge

If I'm a Jersey constituent, why bother? The press is doing that job for me. I'd care more about bread and butter issues. And if I recall correctly, those town halls were in "friendly" areas. Bet you take him to the inner city and you get schools and services questions, not softballs.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Right. Made that point in the piece. The two counties the townhalls were held in went for Christie with 70% and 76% in 2013.

– February 28, 2014 11:26 AM
Q.

RE: COLO

You're normally quick to point out that X or Y won't move the needle in the end, so your eagerness to throw dirt on Udall is baffling.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I am not throwing dirt on him at all.

But, he went from an easy reelection to a tough one in a single day. His numbers aren't great in CO and Gardner is a serious candidate.

Udall still has a huge cash edge and will bash Gardner's record in the House. And incumbents don't lose easy.

– February 28, 2014 11:28 AM
Q.

2016 Electoral College

Can you think of one state that will be in play or possibly switch that nobody sees coming?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Georgia? Maybe Minnesota.

– February 28, 2014 11:28 AM
Q.

Mayo, the other white food

Mayo! Traumatized as a child? Someone told you it was mayo and it really was something else entirely?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

No no. it's just disgusting.

I also have a crazed fear of baloons being popped that I do think traces back to someone popping one in my ear as a kid. When some is pressing on a full-inflated balloon, I have to leave the room. Not kidding.

– February 28, 2014 11:29 AM
Q.

Harry Reid

Harry Reid, to me, acts like he doesn't care anymore. Do you think that he will retire at the end of his current term, especially if the GOP gains both houses of Congress and can exact revenge on him? I can really see lots of Republicans wanting to make life as miserable as possible for Reid. Thanks.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

If you think Harry Reid is acting like he doesn't care lately, how would you describe John Boehner of late?

See this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/02/27/the-verbal-styling-of-john-boehner/

– February 28, 2014 11:30 AM
Q.

2016 True Detective bumper sticker

Would you be more inclined to support Hilary or Jeb in 2016 if their campaign slogan was Time is a Flat Circle?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

How about this as a campaign slogan: A man's game charges a man's price.

– February 28, 2014 11:31 AM
Q.

BWIW

I'm too lazy to e-mail you, but I think the BWIW is a great idea.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I love the laziness.

– February 28, 2014 11:31 AM
Q.

Viktor F. Yanukovych

WWIUU (Worst Week in Upper Ukraine)?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Thanks for the nomination!

– February 28, 2014 11:32 AM
Q.

"Further On"

It's the song by Bronze Radio Return that's MSNBC is using in its ads. It's an awesome song. What music are you currently groovin' to?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Right now I am listening to the Josh Ritter radio station on Spotify. Josh, who I am a MASSSIVE fan of, is playing tonight in DC and me and the Mrs. are going.

SO PSYCHED. And if you don't know Josh's music, you need to.

– February 28, 2014 11:32 AM
Q.

Cruz

Reading Jamie Fuller's post today about 2016 buzz in Romney donor world , I was struck by the lack of interest in Ted Cruz. Do you think that lack of interest, and his tendency to burn bridges with his colleagues, make him a weaker candidate than most people think? Or do you think he can replicate his 2012 primary strategy of a strong grassroots push with lots of outside money on a national level?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I don't think that a Romney donor and a Cruz backer/donor were ever going to be the same crowd. Cruz is drinking from an entirely different pool of donors/activists/voters than everyone else in the field other than Rand Paul.

– February 28, 2014 11:33 AM
Q.

Christie Q's

I guess I'm not surprised because the type of people that go to midday town halls tend to be older, retiree types that are probably more apt to support the Gov. Plus they were in more republican leaning areas of the state. Now if he wasn't asked a question in a northern NJ town hall close to Fort Lee, that would certainly give validation to the "don't care" theory.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Right. And his team ain't setting that one up anytime soon.

Also, here's Christie on answering Bridgetgate questions: You folks are the only people at the moment who are asking me about this

– February 28, 2014 11:34 AM
Q.

QUESTIONS FOR CHRIS C. (the non-gov kind)

Do we actually know that your questioners aren't being pre-screened?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

HA!

– February 28, 2014 11:35 AM
Q.

Michael Bennet

I realize that Colorado is a swing purple state but there seem to be a lot of factors that are working in his favor in 2016. Starting with it's a Presidential year and the Colorado Republican don't seem to have much of a bench. He seems relatively safe on paper
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Fair enough.

I would suggest that what happens in the Udall-Gardner race could be telling. If Gardner wins, Republicans will be amped up to go after Bennet. If not, then not.

– February 28, 2014 11:36 AM
Q.

Pakcing it in

Wouldn't you love to read the hypothetical letters of resignation that Boehner and Reid could write to their colleagues? Wherein they speak with all honesty about their experiences in the last five years. That would be well worth reading.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I always think a politician's last speech is his/her best one. They are honest and emotional.  Remember Gore's last speech when he conceded the 2000 election?

– February 28, 2014 11:36 AM
Q.

Academy Award predictions

Best Picture: Will American Hustle (the dark horse) surprise us with a best picture win? I thought Jeremy Renner was terrific as the NJ pol with a big heart and good intentions who gets mired in the scam.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I loved American Hustle. Tghe movie I was most moved by this year was Philomena. Beautiful.

– February 28, 2014 11:37 AM
Q.

Mayo

I'm with you. I'd be honored to be your running mate on the anti-mayo ticket.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

And our campaign slogan? "Time is a flat circle"

– February 28, 2014 11:38 AM
Q.

Kansas apocalypse?

A recent poll has Gov. Sam Brownback trailing his Democratic challenger. Is this just early, or is this a sign of the apocalypse?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Early. I know Democrats see Kansas as their sleeper race but it is just going to be very hard to win in a state as Republican as Kansas in a midterm election where the national dynamic seems titled against Democrats.

And, if Brownback wins, I wouldn't be stunned if he ran for president again in 2016.

– February 28, 2014 11:40 AM
Q.

Michigan

Between Dingell and Levin Michigan is going to lose 94 years of congressional experience after 2014. Is there a recent example of a state losing so much seniority in one swoop?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Massachusetts lost Kennedy and Kerry in pretty short order. And if you open the timeline a little wider they lost Joe Moakley and Barmey Frank too.

– February 28, 2014 11:41 AM
Q.

Howard Dean

Do he and the president get along? I've always wondered why the administration never found anything for him to do (I know he and Rahm Emanuel didn't get along).

A.
Chris Cillizza :

Because Dean is an independent operator looking out for himself and his beliefs. He's not really a team player.

– February 28, 2014 11:42 AM
Q.

Artur Davis

What's he up to now? I always thought he would have made a good Attorney General if he hadn't burned so many bridges. And what's his relationship to Arthur Vining Davis?

A.
Chris Cillizza :

Waiting to run for something in Virginia. 

– February 28, 2014 11:42 AM
Q.

CPAC bound?

Hi Chris- will you be making the trip out to National Harbor for CPAC next week? I'll be covering it for a flamingly liberal publication and would appreciate any tips on navigating the deep end of the pool, so to speak. Also, if you could ask Ted Cruz one question, what would it be?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I will be out there. So will various members of the Fix posse.

– February 28, 2014 11:43 AM
Q.

Dingell

Is Debbie Dingell going to face any real competition?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Nope.

And when she wins, it will mean someone with the last name Dingell will ahve held that seat from 1932-2016.

– February 28, 2014 11:43 AM
Q.

Rick Perry

Proof that glasses don't always make you look smarter.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

So why do i have glasses then?

– February 28, 2014 11:44 AM
Q.

Hillary's age

I don't think it's particularly sexist (or I hope I'm not being sexist) to wonder about Hillary's age in 2016 and beyond, if she'd be a two-term president. Have we had many presidents who were older than she'll be? Reagan...?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

She's 66 right now. Would be 68 if elected in 2012.

And remember that Joe Biden is 71!

Also, read this Biden profile. It's outstanding.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/02/joe-biden-profile-103667.html?ml=m_a1_1#.UxC9OvRdVeY

– February 28, 2014 11:45 AM
Q.

Time is a Flat Circle

Only 2 episodes left, and I have no idea who is the perp.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Me neither. But I love me some Rust Cohle.

– February 28, 2014 11:46 AM
Q.

CA governor

Who runs when Jerry Brown retires? Or if they split into six states, would that mean six governors?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Going to be an AMAZING Democratic primary. AG Kamala Harris vs LG Gavin Newsom.

Of course, it's possible that if Dianne Feinstein decides not to run in 2016, Newsom and Harris will figure out which one wants to run fot the Senater and which one wants to be governor.

I think both want to be governor though.

– February 28, 2014 11:47 AM
Q.

RE: Seniority losses

Check out the TX House delegation in the 1978 election. A lot of old conservative Democrats retired that year, and TX lost something like 132 years of seniority as a result. (One of the retirees was George Mahon, the chair of Appropriations, and the Republican candidate for his seat was...wait for it...George W. Bush).
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Good one

– February 28, 2014 11:47 AM
Q.

NC Senate

Tillis is an NC congressman from a neighboring district. He has a very crowded primary field, multiple tea partiers, and has so far ducked any and all debates. Hagan is a lackluster politician at best but the Democratic version of AFP (can't remember the name) has pounded Tillis for playing with Medicare and intruding on women's health issues (no mention of "Obamacare" though).
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Tillis is the Speaker of the state House. 

– February 28, 2014 11:48 AM
Q.

You don't get a second chance to make a first impression in politics

Perry has got to be seriously deluded if he thinks he can suddenly get much smarter than he appeared to be in 2012. Oh wait.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Politicians who believe something that the public doesn't think is possible isn't exactly a new phenomenon.

– February 28, 2014 11:48 AM
Q.

Hillary timing

When does she go from being coy to strongly indicating her intent to run? And when does she officially get in?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I say march 2015.

– February 28, 2014 11:48 AM
Q.

Reid

It doesn't seem like the Republicans could make his life any more miserable if they took back the Senate - if anything he would be a position to create headaches
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Oh, they could. Being in the majority is still WAY better than being in the minority.

– February 28, 2014 11:49 AM
Q.

Scott Walker

Is the fact that Scott Walker did not graduate from college a real liability or do only beltway/acela types think it matters?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I don't think it matters one bit.

– February 28, 2014 11:49 AM
Q.

Time is a flat circle: confirmed

Hulk Hogan is hosting Wrestlemania XXX.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Exactly.

[crushes beer can and then turns it around and around in hand]

– February 28, 2014 11:50 AM
Q.

Perry's glasses

Supposedly they are not a fashion statement. He was injured as a teenager when a rock was thrown at his eye and while it healed initially, he is losing vision in that eye now.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Noted.

– February 28, 2014 11:50 AM
Q.

Duke

I think Duke haters are in for a long March-early April. I was a skeptic at first but Duke's bigs (including the 8th Plumlee) are helping Parker so much. And they'll play the first weekend in Raleigh.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I think Florida is going to be tough to beat.

Also, mark it down: G'town will win the tournament. The College Basketball Invitational tournament I mean.

– February 28, 2014 11:51 AM
Q.

Just the Ten of Us

Do you remember this '80s sitcom? The Lubbock girls were the bomb, yo.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Nope. My 80s sitcomes were all about Three's Company. I always imagined I would grow up to be Larry. 

– February 28, 2014 11:52 AM
Q.

Saving face

Reasons why Romney is out there other than the insane idea he'd run again: 1) Nobody wants to be remembered as a loser 2) Repair image for potential business partners of Romneys 3) Repair image in case son(s) run for political office
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Also, a documentary about his campaign came out.

– February 28, 2014 11:52 AM
Q.

Senate effect on 2016

While the Democrats obviously want to keep the Senate in 2014, do you think it helps or hurts in 2016 if they lose it. I think it helps being able to run against Congress, even if it hurts when it comes to governing.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Might help. People would know then that Republicans were controlling one big lever of government. Still, how Obama's legacy plays out will matter more in 2016.

– February 28, 2014 11:53 AM
Q.

Re: 2016 Nomination Only

I know you don't want to antagonize GOP sources and your bosses but you know that comment's true. Republicans aren't winning the WH in 2016. Still, the primary matters because Ted Cruz would drag down the ticket throughout the country.
A.
Chris Cillizza :

I think making predictions like that is a fool's errand.

Would anyone have said Bill Clinton (or any D) would have won the White House in 1991?

– February 28, 2014 11:54 AM
Q.

What does Obama do ...

... after he leaves office?
A.
Chris Cillizza :

Works on his library. Writes a memoir.  Starts a foundation. Plays hoops. The usual stuff.

– February 28, 2014 11:54 AM
Q.

Chris Cillizza :

Alright folks. I have to run. Make sure to go listen to Josh Ritter. You won't regret it.

Remember that we do this every Friday at 11 am.  Spread the word.

Chris

Q.

 

A.
Host: