Nov 12, 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.

Sorry for the semi-late start...LOTS going on this am...Michael Steele got his first challenger for the RNC Chairmanship in former MI GOP Chair Saul Anuzis...more people will get in that race, I think.

Anywho, let's get to the questions....and you are looking LIVE at Northside Social in Arlington where, despite its balky wifi, I continue to return to for its good pastry.

A recent article at Politico called John Thune, who is considering a run for President, "The Establishment Candidate." That got me to thinking about what roles that usually crop up in Republican presidential primary contests will be filled by which potential candidates, and I came up with the following: Mike Huckabee- The Social Conservative; Mitt Romney - Next In Line; Gary Johnson - The Quixotic Libertarian. The Republican presidential pool always seems to include a National Security candidate, but we haven't yet seen a challenger angling for this slot, and there's usually a Moderate candidate, which hasn't yet been filled and may not be this time around. Any thoughts about if you agree with this, if there are other roles I missed, and where Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, and Haley Barbour may fit?

Right. Good question.


I think if you look at recent nomination fight there are basically three slots in the "finals" that all of the candidates are fighting for.

The first slot is the moderate one: This was what Rudy Giuliani and, to an extent, McCain were going for in 2008.  Reasonable problem solving over partisanship.

The second slot is the establishment one: The slot that usually produces the nominee since it combines fiscal and social conservatism without too much of either to alienate the other. Romney, Pawlenty, Barbour and Daniels are all in this space.

Third slot is the social conservative one: A candidate viewed as pure by the social conservatives who have outsized influence on the identity of the nominee -- particularly in Iowa and S.C.  Huckabee, Palin, Rick Perry, Santorum would all fit there.

How soon do you see a resolution to the Senate count in Alaska? It looks like Joe Miller will be contesting lots of the write in ballots

I think everything for Miller depends on the ruling expected next week on whether ballots where Murkowski's name is mispelled should count to her total.

If Miller loses that case, it's hard to imagine him winning.

Saw your FastFix. What are your thoughts on Rob Portman for 2012 (or later)?

I think Portman will be on a VP short list in 2012 -- particularly if the nominee is a governor or former governor looking for a little ticket balance.

Portman proved himself as a VERY able campaigner over the last two years. He ran one of the best -- if not the best -- Senate campaign in the country and cruised to a victory in Ohio, one of the swingiest states in the country.

He has a very bright future in national office, i think.

Why are pundits wasting so much ink and electrons on the futile speculation of the 2012 Presidential election? The current occupant of the White House hasn't served half his term yet. At this point it's like trying to pick the winner of next year's Kentucky Derby--or what coffee shop you're in today. Smart, snarky answer please.

Well, picking the coffee shop I am in isn't tough since I told you it was Northside Social right at the top of the chat.

(Sidebar: While I dig Northside Social for the bohemian coolness and the good muffins, the wifi is as undependable as my jump shot -- meaning I may have to look elsewhere for an official Live Fix chat sponsor.)

As for 2012 speculation, it's not unique to politics. I read sports websites every day speculating on high school basketball recruits, possible coaching changes at the end of the year etc.

We are a forward looking people.  Also, it's just fun to speculate.

We all know that Steele is running for a 2nd term (DUH!) but give us the odds on his winning.

One in three (33 percent).

I think Steele has 50-60 votes but he needs 85 and I think the only way he gets there is if the anti-Steele vote fractures in a number of different directions.

Anuzis' candidacy will, I bet, open the floodgates for other people to put their intentions out in public. Remember that the race doesn't happen until January so there is still some time.

And, I am not 100% sure Steele runs for a second term. I think it's more likely than not but not a sure thing.

So what happens next for Tom Perriello?

If Jim Webb decides not to run for reelection and Tim Kaine takes a pass on the open seat race, my guess would be Perriello would be next in line.

Short of that, maybe a job in the Administration?

What is in Christine O'Donnell's future for political office, and does this question fulfill your quota?

On the latter question, yes.

On the former, she is a three time loser who has never gotten more than 40 percent of the vote. So, I really don't see much of a political future for her.

That said, I am taking bets on whether she winds up on next season's "Dancing with the Stars".

Your analysis of the three categories of presidential candidates is the best I have seen in under one hundred words, way to go. Sherrod Brown has begun to hit lists of endangered Dems in the next Senate cycle. I am still surprised he was even elected because he had been beaten for SecSt in the previous cycle rather handily. Do you have him on your list too? Did Mrs. Fix's team win last weekend?

Yes.  Fix goal: smart analysis in 100 words or less!

And, on Sherrod Brown, we absolutely have him on our 2012 Senate Line.  He won overwhelmingly in a VERY good year for Democrats nationally but if 2010 is any indication won't enjoy that same sort of national wind at his back in 2012.

Brown is a good candidate -- he lives and breathes populism -- but is probably too liberal for the state. (National Journal vote ratings put him in a five way tie for most liberal Senator last year.)

Not sure who Republians will field -- Rep. Jim Jordan said no this am -- but they will find someone.

Can you believe the Simpsons will be on for a 23rd season?

Haven't watched it regularly since Conan stopped writing for it.

But, I will always have the leftorium, "be like the boy" and Homer as the chief labor negotatior to keep me warm at night.

Is it me or is the public not really interested in George W. Bush? Moreso then hate on him, people want to forget him. He's reopening debates that we're sick of and made up our minds on. That isn't to be confused with forgiven or nostalgia. But we've got bigger fish to fry then worrying about his legacy.

Kind of love "Notorius GWB".

And, I do tend to think that the public adopts an out of sight, out of mind approach to former politicians.

I have said before that i think we treat former presidents like ex girlfriends or boyfriends: we remember the good times and gloss over the bad.

It's why ex presidents always see their approval ratings soar the longer they are away from the office.

Chris: As the buzzword of the aughts has it, the "optics" just aren't right. A huge, mush mouthed Mississippian who struck it rich as a lobbyist being elected President. I would sooner believe Barbour being cast in the role of the Sheriff in a remake of Deliverance. On the other hand, pairing Barbour and Chris Christie on the ticket might get the overweight vote--and in America, that vote grows every day.

"Vote grows!"

I agree that Barbour's biggest impediment to the nomination is how he looks and sounds as well as the "lobbyist" line on his resume.

But, I also think it's too early to make hard and fast predictions about anyone being a sure fire loser or winner.

Barbour is incredibly well liked by the Republican activist crowd and is as good on his feet as any politician in either party.

I tend to think his resume issues may be too high a hill for him but the field on the GOP side is SO wide open I bet he thinks to himself "Why not me?"

Hoyer or Clyburn? I think it extremely important to retain Hoyer in the top leadership to counterbalance Pelosi's hard line liberal tactics. As we just saw in the recent election, the independents and moderates fled the Democratic cause. Putting Clyburn along-side Pelosi is a good way to ensure that they increase their minority standing in the next election. They need to win back moderates and independents, not alienate them. And much as I admire the work that Clyburn has done and the group that he represents (the CBC), I think that is asking for political erosion to weaken the party.

I think Hoyer wins.  But, I am no Paul Kane when it comes to these sort of leadership races. (Who is?)

A favorite in that race? Would Allen face a serious opponent for the GOP nomination?

I think Allen is likely to be the favorite in a primary against any other than state AG Ken Cuccinelli who I think wants to be governor not in the Senate.

In an Allen-Kaine matchup, I think I would give Allen a slight edge just because VA appears to be moving back to a Republican leaning state and Allen is a mainstream conservative they could vote for.

Do you think George W. Bush will one day enter The Fix Political Hall of Fame? On one hand, it's very hard to deny admission to a two-term President, though it has been done before (Eisenhower). On the other hand, W. doesn't seem to have had quite the generational influence as his ideological predecessors: Nixon and Reagan. Both of those guys were a force for decades. I don't recall Bush doing much before his presidential run in 99-00, and he hasn't been too involved since. Thoughts?

Mostly it reminds me I need to get focused back on the Fix political Hall of Fame.

The campaign took over and distracted me but I absolutely love that idea. Need to get back on the nominating and inducting process.

Most likely House GOP freshman to lose next time (considering personality, nature of district, effect of redistricting)? I say Allen West. Runners-up: Anne Marie Buerkle (if she wins), Chip Cravaack, Joe Walsh & Bobby Schilling (Democrats control IL redistricting), Blake Farenthold.

I say Cravaack since that district is very likely to want to elect a Democrat again in 2012.

Allen West is off to a pretty controversial start...if that keeps up he could struggle.

I know so little about Walsh, Buerkle and Schilling -- and I have that in common with most national GOP strategists -- that it's hard for me to make an assessment on their vulnerability just yet.

It seems possible that Obama winning the nomination in2008 has inspired a bunch of mostly unknowns( the the general public) like Thune, Pence Barbour, etc.. to consider running in 2012. I can imagine them thinking" if Obama came from nowhere and won, why not me". But it seems that Obama has a unique set of circumstances. Hillary was the presumed candidate but many in the party felt she was a liability and some would vote against her just because she was a Clinton. abh-- Anybody but Hillary. I just dont see anybody but Romney getting it--even though he has his own issues with health care and his flip flopping on social issues. Palin seems like a media pipe dream. It would be like O' Connell all over again, while serious GOP pundits like Noonan and Will tear her to shreds. What are anybody's real chances against Romney?

I also think that the gains Republicans made last Tuesday coupled with Obama's faltering approval numbers will embolden lots of GOPers to think about running.

The field is so undefined that I think a lot of GOP statewide office holders look around and wonder why they couldn't be the nominee.

That attitude could lead to a large field -- one of the biggest in modern memory.

Do you think Kay Bailey Hutchison actually retires? Given that she's nominally pro-choice, do you foresee a primary challenge if she opts for another term?

Deputy Fix Aaron Blake is working on a piece on KBH as we speak. Don't want to get ahead of his reporting but I do expect her to actually retire in 2012.

Assuming she does, there will be a very competitive primary on the GOP side to replace her. For Democrats, 2010 gov nominee Bill White is probably their best choice but I'm not sure a Democrat can win a major statewide office these days in Texas.

Mr. Chris Cillizza....was that a Brent Musberger shout out to start with the "you are looking LIVE at..." Is it me or does every college football game he does just feel more important when you hear that introductory boom...we digress! Two questions this week: 1.) Why does Boehner remind me of the million dollar man Ted DiBiasi? Can't quite put my finger on it. 2.) Other than Orrin Hatch and Olympia Snowe, who will the Tea Party be bloodily purging from the ranks of the GOP, ala John Brown at Harper's Ferry?

This is my favorite question of the day. Let's break it down piece by piece.

1. Of course it was a Musburger reference. He is the king.

2. It's the tan.

3. Keep an eye on Dick Lugar. He's been in office for a very long time but is not the firebrand conservative type that the tea party prefers.

4. Every read "Cloudsplitter" by Russell Banks? Fictionalized account of John/Owen Brown. Good stuff.

Of course Ric Flair would be inducted into the Fix Hall of Fame

He is the greeter at the door for the FIx HOF.

"WOOOOOOO! Welcome to the Hall of Fame. I make more money in a day than your family makes in a week. You see this Rolex watch? You see this Ferragamo shoes! WOOOOOO!"

And, yes, I spent a fair amount of my childhood doing Flair impersonations in front of the mirror. I was, um, not very popular.

What would you do if you suddenly started to buy Yoko Ono and Lady Gaga cds?

Wow.  I mean, I do have a serious case of Bieber fever at the moment.

Speaking of music, we are less than a month away from a slew of Best of 2010 lists. I CANNOT WAIT. If you have suggestions, send them to me at wind up doing an end of the year Fix post on them.

Personally I'm not buying that Sexy Lexi is going to run for Mayor of Chicago. He's tight with Team Obama and they're horse in the race is Rahmbo and he won't go against that. I do wonder what's next for our Sexy Lexi though. They aired out all his dirty laundry and he didn't do too badly. Maybe he'll go back to the private sector? Build up his reputation and some cash. Then he can run for Governor which is always what he's really wanted plus personally I think his abilities and personality is better suited for Governor.

Agree. I think there are a handful of Aldermen and some labor types pushing him and he is going to hear them out before ultimately saying no.

He's very young -- younger than the Fix! -- and so has plenty of time to pick the next, best race for himself.

I can't see how going up against Rahm is the right fit.

I didn't know Joe Walsh ran for public office, I presume, from Cleveland. Did Don Henley hold any benefits for him?



Fix - I think everyone is getting a little ahead of themselves in thinking the Tea Party can take out Snowe. LaPage only won the nomination because there was 5 or 6 running and the 'normal' Maine moderate republicans split the vote. One on one against a Tea Party nominee and Snowe wipes him/her out, just like she will in the general to whoever the Dems put against her. The hard core right wing in the Maine Republican Party is no more than 30% and even in the primary that won't be enough to knock off Snowe.

Fair point.

And, you are totally right about the dynamic in that governors primary this year.

I think Snowe is a VERY good politician and not to be understimated. Plus, any Republican Senator who isn't gettiung ready for a serious challenge in the primary after what happened in 2010 probably deserves to lose.

Chris, can you use your influence to eradicate the phrase "(candidate) looks like a President"? What does it even mean? Nothing!


Looks matter in EVERY other facet of our lives. So why wouldn't they matter in politics?

I think an essential part of running for president is having the sort of presence that when you walk into a room, people take notice.

That doesn't win you the presidency but it's a factor.

"We remember the good times and gloss over the bad." So when George W. says to Matt Lauer, "O.K., let's talk about waterboarding.", it's kind of like the ex-girlfriend saying, "O.K., let's talk about the night I slashed your tires"?


Am no help with the official coffeeshop sponsor, but does The Fix need an official holiday card sponsor? I started an online card store (it sells real cards, not e-cards) AND am a big Fix fan. You could be our first celebrity endorsement! ps. We're like the homeless man's Hallmark!

This intrigues me.....

What's more likely for Crist -- 1) his political career is over and he heads to cable, 2) he remakes himself as a Democrat and runs for something?

Well, #1 is more likely than #2 but I don't think either arer going to happen.

What an amazing fall. Four years ago he was seen as VP material and the VERy popular governor of a swing state.

Now, not so much.

Millbank moved his chat back a half hour. I guess this means that you were crushing him in the chat ratings.

In an unrelated move, my chat is moving to TBS.

But, I will not get a promo blimp.

Also, side goal: to one day make it onto Conan's show. I think he and I would be friends.

Either that or I would be like Chris Farley interviewing McCartney...."Remember that episode where Homer says..."

Wait. Why am I posting in this chat?

VERY well done.

Who am I? Why am I here?

Fix- would you start posting the questions to your trivia night for those of us who don't live in DC? Sounds like a lot of fun!

Good call. Yes. Our December "Politics and Pints" will be our 12th one!

Rather than run the risk of the Northside Social wifi cutting out again -- the hamster has to take a break from running on the wheel occasionally, I guess -- I am signing off.

Make sure to check out the Fix RIGHT NOW for our first take on the 2012 presidential field.

And, see you next Friday! Spread. The. Word.

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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.

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