Nov 05, 2010

Get your Friday Live Fix as Chris Cillizza discusses the Friday Line, the Worst Week in Washington, Congress, the Obama administration, the recent elections and all the latest political news.

Good morning everyone!

We are three days removed from a truly historic midterm election and one day away from Catholic U field hockey's conference championship game against the Juniata Eagles.

So, it's been a busy week in the Fix household. Let's get to it.

Both sides are making the obligatory statements regarding bipartisanship and their willingness to work with the other party. But how is it possible when both of them seem to be defining bipartisanship "as our way or the high way"? Nobody is signaling any willingness to give-in on any of their cherished positions. Is this all just lip-service? Can anything be done in the next two years?

My guess is that on things like extending ear mark reform etc there will be some compromise.

On bigger issues though -- things like taxes and spending, healthcare etc -- it's hard for me to see any significant compromise being reached.

Republicans are, without doubt, emboldened by their gains on Tuesday and not likely to be willing to cut lots of deals with the White House.

President Obama, on the other hand, can't cut deals on major policy accomplishments like healthcare because he needs to run on those proposals in 2012.

So, my guess is gridlock. But I am willing to be surprised.

Chances of Pelosi resigning and Hoyer becoming the new Democratic House leader?

Somewhere less than 50-50

I think her interview with Huffington Post was a trial balloon to see whether her returning would be met with approval, disapproval or something in between by the caucus.

While Pelosi still has tons of support among the liberal end of the caucus and as a resuly can probably stay on in whatever position she wants, it is a fact that Republicans succeeded in lots and lots of districts of using Pelosi as a cudgel against moderate/conservative Democrats.

For those who survived the wave, they will be dedicated to doing anything and everything to get someone else other than Pelosi in.


You will miss me when I'm gone, true or false?

I think it's hard to argue against Pelosi's ability to keep her caucus in line behind President OBama's major legislative proposals.

And, she clearly has carved out a place in history as the first female Speaker of the House.

But, this election shaped up in many ways as a referendum on Pelosi -- and Obama -- and that may lead her to ultimately step aside for the greater good of the party.

Will you and your deputies be discussing and writing about the possible ramifications of redistricting in the weeks and months ahead?

FixAaron has you taken care of.

This post ran yesterday on the Fix.

Michael "Rocking the One T" Bennet has won. How did he do when just about every pundit was predicting his demise. Strength in the Denver suburbs? Strength among women & Hispanics? The flaws of his opponent?

Bennet's victory is a testament to the fact that candidates and the campaigns they run do matter.

Bennet and his team simply out-strategized Buck -- turning the race from a referendum on the Obama Administration and the economy into a choice between the incumbent and Buck.

Buck didn't help matters much with a series of impolitic statements particularly on social issues that allowed Democrats to cast him as too extreme for the (generally) socially moderate state.

If you are looking for the best campaign on the Democratic side, you need look no further than Colorado. The only competition? The brilliant race run by Harry Reid.

Are there some in the GOP who are extremely bitter at Jim Demint and Sarah Palin for costing them the majority in the Senate?

yes. Those Republicans are called the "party establishment".

Can you explain this area to me? It seems one of the true swing areas in the country, having put in a few Democrats in 2006, but voting them out in 2010.

It's a VERY swing area.

One thing that was fascinating to me in the Philly burbs: House Democrats -- Patrick Murphy, Bryan Lentz -- got drubbed but Joe Sestak did incredibly well.

Sestak deserves credit for finding way to overperform the House ticket; if you look at how downballot candidates did in the Philly area, it's amazing Sestak came as close to winning as he did.

Can you explain to me how Quinn pulled this thing off? Is it really so simple that he used social issues to keep suburban Cook County voters in line?

I genuinely can't. At least not yet.

It is stunning.  He did everything wrong from a campaign perspective.

The only thing that immediately jumps to mind if that Illinois is one of the more Democratic states in the country so Quinn benefited from that.

I am not sure if Lisa Murkowski won or lost, but if she did win, would she be closely aligned with the republicans or is there enough bad blood between them to turn her into an independent? Thanks for taking my question.

She has repeatedly said she would caucus with Republicans if she wins as a write-in.

Barring some evidence to the contrary, I take her at her word.

Is this the end of the road for Rossi or is a run for Governor or Senator in 2012 a possibility? 4th times a charm!

Four strikes and you're out. Wait, that's not how that saying goes...

Rossi is done.

Are you looking at a rematch in Virginia in 2012 of the 2006 race between Jim Webb and George Allen?


I think Allen is in for sure.  I am less certain about Webb does. He has raised next to no money but given his unorthodox approach to politics, I am not sure that's evidence of anything except that he doesn't like raising money (who does!)

Allen, assuming he doesn't get primaried by the likes of Ken Cuccinelli, should be relatively formidable in 2012 against Webb or whoever Democrats nominate.

Among the Democrats who lost, who do you think we'll be seeing again running for office down the line? Joe Sestak? Please say no more Alexi Giannoulias!

Giannoulias will absolutely run again. He's like 34 years old!

I could see Sestak running -- maybe for governor in 2014?

Maybe Kendrick Meek? I bet Cal Cunningham who lost a D primary for NC Senate will run again. Danny Tarkanian? Sue Lowden? I bet Bill White runs for the open Texas Senate seat in 2012.

Who else am I missing?

Do you think Herb Kohl retires and Russ Feingold runs for the seat against Paul Ryan in an all Janesville battle royale?

Could be.

Feingold clearly wants back in.  I think if Kohl does retire, Ryan is in the race the next day.

And a Feingold-Ryan race would be very interesting. Also think Ron Kind takes a look at running for Senate if it's open.

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin was considered a rising star for the Democrats. What happened? Do you see a political future for her?

She ran into a really bad year and a really good Republican candidate.

I always thought Herseth made a mistake by not running for governor this time around. She almost certainly would have lost given the nature of the cycle but she would have at least lost trying to move up.

Still, I assume she is back in the political mix sooner rather than later. Maybe a run for Senate if Tim Johnson doesn't seek reelection in 2014?  Or governor that same year.

Who will chair the DCCC? I think it will be Steve Israel or Debbie Wasserman Schultz. What about the DSCC? It seems to me that no one wants that job. Any chance of Schumer taking the helm again now that he won't be majority leader? 2012 is the first class of senate Democrats he helped elect after all.

I think either Israel or Wasserman Schultz is the next DCCC Chair. Van Hollen confirmed this am he's not going to do it for a third straight cycle.

On the Senate side, I always heard Mark Warner but he apparently doesn't want the gig -- understandable given the numbers (23 D seats are up to just 10 for R's).

Schumer would be everybody's preferred choice but I am not sure he wants to take that job on again after achieving unmitigated successes at the campaign committee in 2006 and 2008.

How did he win and Sexi Lexi lose?

See above. I genuinely don't know.

And, nice Sexy Lexi reference.

As Ric Flair would say......"to be the have to beat the man...."

It's so very true.

Are you missing not hearing any news from Christine O'Donnell? And will you have your one question per chat about her for the rest of the Fix chat sessions

And the mandatory Christine O'Donnell quota has been met.

Also, Lady Gaga.

Some pundits have speculated about a possible primary challenge to Olympia Snowe in 2012, but do you have any ideas about who would be the candidate?

Well, the victory by Paul lePage -- a tea party candidate -- in the Maine GOP gov primary has to be worrisome to Snowe.

And, with LePage now the governor of the state, he could be in position to recruit someone more in line with him ideologically to run against Snowe.

She clearly has reason to worry.

What are you doing here ? I though you were going to be off playing with mrs Fix and little Fix ? What gives ?

It's Friday!

Election was only three days ago.

I will disappear soon enough.  Like a thief in the night.

Will you miss me?

How do I make this happen?

Send me an email to

Make it:

1. Witty

2. Overly sycophantic

3. Larded with praise for Mrs. Fix who notched her 100th win as coach of the Catholic University field hockey program on Wednesday.

Isn't her candidate losing in Alaska a massive rejection of Palin by her home state? Some things are easy to predict, like South Carolina will lean conservative, Vermont will probably be liberal and Georgetown Basketball will probably lose a early game to a mid major school. Was her success in getting candidates on the ballot really more about how the mainstream candidates didn't take the primary serious until it was too late.

Man, great Hoya hoops reference. As long as we lose a game in the beginning of the season to a mid major rather than than in the last game of the year (damn you Ohio U -- alma mater of AP's Phil Elliott!) I will be fine.

As for Palin, I was a little bit surprised at some of the coverage portraying her as a big winner in Tuesdfay's election.

She was clearly a winner in the GOP primary season but the losses of Ken Buck, Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell and Joe Miller (probably) would seem to affirm concerns within the GOP establishment about nominating Palin in 2012.

What are the chances that Michele Bachman will replace Mike Pence as Conference Chair in the Leadership?

Not high. Remember this is an internal GOP conference vote. And Boehner, Cantor and Kevin McCarthy are all behind Jeb Hensarling

Chris, As far as competitive US Senate races go, who do you think ran the best campaign and still lost, and who do you think ran the worst campaign yet still managed to win? For the first part, I'd say Joe Sestak. He ran a strong campaign towards the end in a race he'd been trailing in for months and nearly managed to upset Pat Toomey in a terrible year for Democrats in PA. For the second part, I'd say Mark Kirk. Though he fundraised well and provided a moderate image to an otherwise conservative tidal wave, his statements regarding his war experience (or lack thereof) made him beatable. And though he did end up winning, he nearly lost to a guy who also had an ethical cloud over his head. Thanks, Adam, Concord, NH

I am still tabulating my Fix awards for best and worst campaigns.

But, I do think Bennet and Reid ran VERY good campaigns. And, Portman and Toomey were also outstanding.

Best campaign in a lose? I thought Ted Strickland did everything he could to win and came up short. I also thought Chris Dudley out in Oregon ran a good campaign in defeat.

What's next for Joe Sestak? Will he receive an Obama Administration appointment? Will Darrell Issa launch an investigation into whether Sestak was pressured to quit the Pennsylvania Democratic primary vs. Specter?

Not sure. Sestak's career in politics has been pretty unorthodox. I could see an Administration job. But also could see him running for governor in 2014. Or disappearing -- Fix style -- forever.

Republican, independent, or retire? It feels like the Connecticut GOP actually has a bench to draw on -- Rob Simmons, for example -- so what does Joe do?

A GREAT question.

Seems to me Chris Murphy (D) is in. Susan Bysiewicz (D) is a maybe.

I am not sure Simmons does it. His "I'm in, I'm out, I'm in again" routine in this cycle's Senate race was odd and raises some questions about how serious he is.

If there are credible R and D candidates, it's virtually impossible for Lieberman to win. Not sure what he does but I am anxiously awaiting finding out.

He won because Brady was too right-wing, and Illinois has never gone for right-wingers in bigger offices.

Fair enough.

Is she running in 2012?

Gaga ooh la la!

It was good to chat with Kane on Wednesday. We've missed him. You should let him out of the basement more often to do chats on Congress, the Boss and the Phillies. You should . . . Release the KANE!!!!!!!

Kane is a secret chat weapon.

He is like Brian Wilson -- the Giant not the Beach Boy. I am trying to get him to grow a jet black beard for the start of the 112th Congress.

And, in an update, I have begun to weigh whether it makes sense to grow another primary beard for the 2012 Republican nomination fight.

Seeing Rick Perry this week, do you think he could be potential VP pick for any of the main contenders in 2012?

Rick Perry doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who wants to be second fiddle to anyone.

I think he loves being governor of Texas.

What would be the appopriate number of wrestling references you want included?

+/- 5.


Why do you think that was the case? Most of the anti-Pelosi invective I heard from commentators and voters had the same sexist tone that was directed at Hillary Clinton in the 1990s.

Hundreds of Republican television ads featured Pelosi.

And, toeward the end of the campaign, Democrats in conservative districts were running from her like crazy.

Gene Taylor not only said he wouldn't support Pelosi but added that he had voted for McCain in 2008.

It still didn't work. He lost.

Although Scott McAdams came in 3rd in the Alaska Senate race, I'm guessing that in a 2-man contest he might've won, but many of his potential voters wrote in Murkowski in order to prevent Joe Miller from winning. My question: Apparently Scott McAdams, despite his vote-count, made himself quite popular and better-known with Alaskans during the fall campaign. What do you foresee as his political future in Alaska?

Eh.  I am not so sure I agree with your analysis that he wins a two way race.

I think his showing proved that there just aren't that many Democrats in Alaska.

If this is a referendum on Pelosi's leadership, isn't it also a referendum on the #2 leader?

Well, no one in the country knows who Hoyer is. Pelosi on the other hand became VERY high profile over the last two years -- and not in a good way for Democrats.


How does Giannoulias overcome the honesty/trust issues because of his family's bank if he does run for things in the future?

People have very short memories in politics. 

You said that Bill White could run for the open Senate seat in Texas in 2012. Are you saying you think Kay Bailey won't be running for re-election? What makes you think Kay Bailey won't run for re-election? She keeps saying she won run, but keeps breaking those promises to us folk down here in Texas.

KBH has already said publicly and repeatedly that she won't be running for reelection in 2012.

She had said previously she would resign no matter what happened in the March 2010 gubernatorial primary but went back on that pledge after Perry beat her.

Could she reconsider again? Anything's possible but I doubt it.

Music sidenote: listening to Old 97's new one. GOOD stuff. Love that Rhett Miller.

How vulnerable is Sherrod Brown in Ohio in 2012?

Very. No, wait. VERY.

We will have our prelimary 2012 Line out on the Fix later today. Brown is on there...stay tuned to see where.

And the award for Most Ambitious Pol goes to.... Nebraska AG Jon Bruning for already setting up an exploratory committee for 2012!

LOVE it.

Bruning is in!

We miss already, you knucklehead.

And I am not even gone yet!

Possible Fix 2011 occupations:

*roady for Elvis Perkins

* unofficial Catholic U field hockey assistant coach

* barista

* one of those snobby guys who works in a music store in NYC and refuses to speak to you when you ask where the "Justin Bieber" section is.

Are you available to perform at Bachelorette Parties?

Right up to the inauguration of Chris Christie & Marco Rubio on 1/20/13...featuring Secretary of State Dick Cheney.

Is this some sort of anti-Ned Flanders rhetoric? The Leftorium could have and should have succeeded dang it!

Maybe like Brian Wilson, you could get Paul Kane to get a mohawk

That would be worth seeing.

Also, if you haven't watched Brian Wilson on Jim Rome, you must do so now.

it's the best 7 minutes you will spend all day.

Yeah, why would he take a demotion?

"I wasn't born in Texas but I got here as soon as I could."

How'd he do?

Kansas 4th district

Mike Pompeo (R) 59%

Raj Goyle (D) 36%

There was no Fix bump.

Is it straight up Tester v. Rehberg in 2012? Or does Rehberg enjoy the House majority too much to leave?

I think Republicans would like it to be Rehberg. But even if it's not him, Montana's political composition is too good for the GOP for Tester not to get a serious challenge.

He made the Fix 2012 Senate Line....

Homer saved the Leftorium

Bless him for it.


I know it's not a top of the ticket state race, but we're all super nerdy political junkies here, so don't tell me you haven't been following... Who pulls out the recount Cooley or Harris?

GOOD question that I don't know the answer to.

How about the special election to replace Gavin Newsom as mayor of San Francisco?

How's this for a float: Nancy Pelosi.


How about serving as a barista at a bachelorette party wearing Aubrey Huff's red bejeweled Championship Thong?

Wow. I mean that is one way to quickly clear a room.

So now Tom Perriello, somebody who voted for the Stupak-Pitts amendment, is a liberal's liberal while Tom Coburn is an elder statemen rather then an Evangelical loon that he was in 2004 (I live in Oklahoma). I have admit that center has moved... Thanks a lot Beltway press!

Ah yes! The press did it!

C'mon Mr. Cillizza, you could at least wrote that Raj Goyle lost. It wasn't that close but it wasn't a blowout especially factoring in how Republican leaning Kansas' 4th congressional district has been recently as well as historically. State Sen. Goyle has made no mention publicly yet of his future plans to either continue or leave politics. See, was that so hard?

"Mr" Cillizza!

And, Raj, good to see you on the chat.

If Barbara Mikulski stays in the Senate until March 14, 2012, she will become the longest serving female Senator in the history of the United States. Relevant to anything? Not really. But I wanted to share it anyway.

I like it!

Also, "Politics and Pints" -- our monthly trivia contest -- is next Monday at the Capitol Lounge on Capitol Hill. 7 pm.

We are looking for a big post election turnout. Be there!

A sports-reporter friend told me Sparky was simply one of the most wonderful guys in baseball, ever. Did you ever meet Sparky (or do you have colleagues who did)?

Never had the chance. But, a hero of mine -- Dan Patrick -- spoke eloquently about Sparky on the radio this am.


What does Dana Milbank think of your medioric success?

Is this a play on mediocre and meteoric?

As super-producer Andrea points out, is "medioric" a combination of "meteoric" and "mediocre"? If so, that is a very fitting way to describe my career ;)

I always thought we were suppose to say the Chris Cillizza

Call me whatever you like.  Just don't call me during a Catholic U field hockey game. Or when the Hoyas are playing. Or anytime between now and mid 2011.

That's a wrap!

Thanks for joining me. And make sure to check out the Fix later today for our first handicapping of the 2012 Senate playing field!

It's. Never. Too. Early.

In This Chat
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 son.

The Fix
The Live Fix -- Q&A
Worst Week in Washington Live Video
Recent Chats
  • Next: