Nov 19, 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.

We've made it to the end of another week!

And what a week it was: royal wedding, Michael Steele, and Charlie Rangel...not to mention "don't touch my junk"!

So, there are already lots of questions in the queue. In honor of the Mission Accomplished banner possibly being hung in the Bush library, I have but three words: Bring. It. On.

Can we pretty much agree that, from now until the end of things (whenver that will be)- the only time that the Left and Right will ever truly be cooperate/civil with each other is when the Nation has been attacked, or when somebody wants to pass a bill for something of no significance, a bill of recognition. If not, what will it take for civility to return to Congressional leadership?

It's hard for me to see a situation -- barring those you've outlined -- where the politicians in the country would voluntarily come together and make significant compromise.

The reality is that the two parties -- now more than ever -- deeply disagree on the best way forward for the country. There just isn't all that much common ground.

Man, that sounds depressing...

How bad a blow is Murkowski's victory?

It's not helpful to her "bucking the establishment" narrative but I also don't think it changes things in any meaningful way.

As I wrote earlier this week, Palin is really leaning into the possibility of a 2012 bid. The fact that she spent an hour on the phone with a reporter from the New York Times tells you everything you need to know about whether she is serious or not.

Whether Palin ultimately runs is unknowable since she has shown a penchant for making unpredictable decisions as it relates to her political career.

But, she is clearly working to give every impression that she's taking a hard look. And, I am not sure Murkowski's win or, frankly, much of anything else, will change that calculus.

Given that Patty Murray won reelection in a very tough year, does that discourage people like Dave Reichert from challenging Cantwell?

Not sure.

The reality of Reichert's seat is that he will almost certainly lose it in the next few elections because all of the growth is in Democratic areas.

So, I wouldn't be stunned if he made an "up or out" decision and took on Cantwell in 2012.  My guess is former state Sen. Dino Rossi is done after his third loss to Murray earlier this month.

And, Murray's win did prove that Washington is very tough sledding for Republicans even in a good year nationally for their party.

Politico noted Jeff Bingaman is considering retirement. How serious is Bingaman about that? I know he's been there since like 1982, but he's not particularly old for the Senate. What are you hearing? Who's on the bench for Democrats in New Mexico?

I hadn't heard Bingaman's name as a potential retirement myself...

That said, if he does go, I would guess Rep. Martin Heinrich would be in the mix to run as would soon to be former Lt. Gov. Diane Denish.

Rep; Steve Pearce who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2008 and won his old House seat back in 2010 might take another shot on the Republican side.

Gosh I love the early days of an election cycle. It's like preseason for Catholic U. field hockey -- it's all potential.

Will there ever be a time when you drop a Ric Flair reference on Hardball?


I am not sure when or where but I will make this happen.

I feel like I have a responsibility to Fixistas the world (?) over to do this.

Also, this:

Music sidebar: Just bought the latest Justin Townes Earle album. Wow. Really good.

Other best of 2010 suggestions?

What would a Lieberman-Murphy-Simmons race look like and who would come out on top?

It would be a good one.

My guess is if there is a serious D candidate (like Chris Murphy or Susan Bysiewicz) and a serious R candidate (like Rob Simmons or Linda McMahon), it's hard for Lieberman to win.

Remember that the key to his 2006 win was that Republicans didn't field a real candidate and basically blessed Lieberman's bid.

Without a significant chunk of GOP vote, Lieberman comes up short.

And, we've seen the problem of being a man without a political country in the cycle that just ended. Charlie Crist was distrusted by Democrats and Republicans and there simply weren't enough independents to give him a chance to win.

Lieberman could be headed down that same path in 2012 ifr -- and it's a big IF -- he decides to run again.

How did she pull it off when no write in candidate has won since 1954? Was it name recognition? Miller's flaws? A Palin backlash?

In no particular order:

1. Small population state where a write-in/education effort can work

2. A well known last name thanks to her father's servive as governor and senator

3. A really, really bad general election campaign by Joe Miller. Really bad.

4. Alaska. It's different there.

Does the fact that Deval Patrick and all 10 congressional seats stayed Democratic simply underscore the challenge he will face in 2012?


Scott Brown is a vry gifted candidate -- I think we tend to forget that since his special election victory was almost a year ago -- but Massachusetts is a very Democratic state.

And, Democrats aren't likely to make the mistake they made last time -- ceding the nomination to a relatively untested candidate under the national spotlight.

My guess is that you will have a crowded primary race on the Democratic side as all the people kicking themselves for not running in the special seek to make up for lost time.

It is from January, but we love July Flame - Laura Veirs

Good. Keep them coming!

Do we know yet who will chair the DCCC or the DSCC yet?

We do not.

Both are appointments by the Majority/Minority Leader not votes of the entire caucus.

I reported this morning that Sen. Harry Reid and the White House are urging Patty Murray to take the DSCC job.  Not sure if she will.

I think Steve Israel is the favorite for the DCCC job but, again, it's up to one person -- nancy Pelosi -- so it's hard to predict.

If you had to guess like a complete DVD collection of "Friday Night Lights" depended on it, do you think Thune runs for president in 2012 or doesn't?

Oh man.  That's high stakes.

With clear eyes and a full heart, I would GUESS he does run.

Why? Because any reasonable analysis of the 2012 field suggests that the GOP race is as wide open as it has ever been.

And that means that anyone can and probably will win.  Thune could wait until 2016 but waiting is a dangerous game in politics...there could a first term GOP president in office by then.

Would Republicans actually primary challenge Dick Lugar? The guy is like the best senator in the whole Senate, and I'm a Democrat!

Right. The problem is that Republicans in the state are less keen on Lugar than are independents and Republicans.

And, Republicans are the ones who vote in Republican primaries.

Lugar already has several potential opponents...from his perspective it's the more the merrier since multiple opponents would splinter the anti-Lugar vote.

But, to answer your question, yes, he is going to have a primary challenge. How serious it will be and whether he can win remains to be seen.

Where are you taking your talents this weekend?

My talents will be headed to Christopher Newport University to check out the Division III field hockey final four and national championship game.

If there is any talent left, I may rake the Fix yard.

I think the best album to come out in 2010 was High Violet by The National

Have heard good things...

Partisanship has taken a back seat to ONE issue, at least: the new TSA security methods. BOTH Republicans and Democrats do NOT like them and already, a bi-partisan bill has been introduced to restrict the methods. But there is one drawback: although these methods were planned during the Bush Admin., Obama supports them so that may prove a setback for him since both parties in Congress are coming out against him on this issue. Okay, so it may not be a FULL cheer-up, but I tried...


For pure pop music, there is no better CD out this year than Scouting For Girls' 'Everybody Wants to be on TV'.

I love that name. "Scouting for Girls".

Other album I have loved this year: Tallest Man on Earth EP

What is the Beltway viewpoint on Bean-Walsh? Is it another example of a tough cycle for a Democrat in a conservative district? Or, is it a prime example of how Tea Party folks will vote against somebody no matter how terrible their own candidate is?

Illinois was an absolute disaster for Democrats at the federal level.

They lost the Senate race as well as IL-10, IL-11, IL-14 and IL-17...Bean was just a casualty in a state wave. Her seat was always in danger because of its Republican underpinnings but she is/was a very able politician and held it relatively easily.

In a cycle like 2010 though, those sorts of people lose. And Bean did.

Any coffee recommendations today?

I have been on a gingerbread latte run lately.

I am setting myself up to be sick of them in the next month or so but I can't help myself.

it's kind of like Jimmy Fallon's channeling of Neil Young doing "Whip My Hair". I know I am going to get sick of it but I can't stop listening to it.

why is yours the last political / policy chat standing? I got a lot value from the multiple perspectives from multiple beats. And I really miss policy perspective. I'm really not into the "horserace" -- in fact I think it's kind of undermining the serious needs of the country....Sorry.

We had a king of the ring competition inside the Post and, well, I won.

My secret: I play dirty.

Are you already trying to get invites to the Royal Wedding next year?


More like making my flight plans. I figure it's only a matter of time until my invite comes.


With New Jersey losing a seat to redistricting, do you foresee Menendez facing a primary challenge from one of the Democratic House members? Since it's New Jersey, I'll assume there's no love lost between its delegation.

new Jersey poilitics is SO hard to predict because so many of the decision are driven by local party bosses.

(Remember how Rep. Rob Andrews ran against Sen. Frank Lautenberg in the primary)

So, the answer is I don't know. Andrews and Rep. Frank Pallone badly want to be in the Senate. But, challenging Menendez seems like an entirely different animal.

Any word about his future plans? If Kohl does retire, who do Democratic strategists prefer to jump into the race -- Feingold, Ron Kind, or someone else?

I would bet that Kind would have right of first refusal in that race...but Feingold has never been the sort of guy to take orders from the party establishment so he could well run too

On the Republicans side, everyone would want Rep. Paul Ryan to run and my guess is that even with the GOP back in the majority in the House, he would do it.

Palin will give you the impression that it never rains on her parade, but judging from her record in the Governor's office, the McCain campaign and her Magical Mystery endorsement tour this past year, she seems to take her politics personally. Like when we all ran for student council.

I never ran for the student council. I was uniquely aware of the depths of my unpopularity in junior high/high school.

Blake Farenthold leads Solomon Ortiz by fewer than 800 votes. Cameron County (Brownsville) begins its recount today. Is Ortiz toast, or can he catch Farenthold?

General sentiment I hear is that Ortiz comes up short...but who really knows when the margin is that close?

You know, if PK was still doing chats, we'd have comments about the Boss's new amazing CD/DVD release and his appearance on Jimmy Fallon. So Fix, try to unleash your inner PK and give us your thoughts.

I need to buy The Promise this weekend.

As for Springsteen on Fallon, I LOVED IT. The Wild, The Innocent-look was so awesome...

I was just telling Fix Aaron (aka Fix deputy Aaron Blake) that I never thought Fallon was all that great (he was just the guy who laughed through skits on SNL) but of late I am really coming around.

Between "Whip My hair" and his history of rap with Justin Timberlake I am REALLY impressed.

I saw PPP (a Democratic-leaning firm, of course) released some numbers for a potential Webb-Allen rematch (among other possible match-ups). Under 50%, but ahead in a registered voter pool -- how concerning is that for Democrats? And when does Webb need to decide to allow Kaine or someone else enough time to fundraise if Webb opts against a second term?

Webb does not -- and never has -- operate on traditional political timetables.

He has been open about the fact that he may not run again but has given no timetable for a decision.

My guess is that if George Allen gets in -- and I think that is coming in the not-to-distant future -- there will be lots of pressure on Webb to make a decision.

But, Webb being Webb I am not sure that pressure impacts him...

Well... They got so much attention that they probably lost any last shreds of their hipness, but Brothers by the Black Keys dominated.

Absolutely. terrific stuff.

My best this year is Roky Erickson with Okkervil River's 'True Love Cast Out All Evil'; Grinderman's a close second. Maybe because I just went to his show at the 9:30 Club and it's still ringing in my head. Literally.

TY. Keep them coming.

Is Haley Barbour going to have enough time to run for president? He hasn't gotten the deed to Uncle Jesse's farm and those Bo and Luke Duke are still on the loose!


Hard to pin it down out of so many good ones, so I'll go genre on you....If you're in the mood for some great throwback, organic psych rock, new albums from both The Black Angels and Black Mountain are both top notch....and I'm seein' them both tonight. Fridays can't get better than this one.

Good stuff.

These two bands made me remember one thing I don't like about "best of" music lists: the Pitchfork list.

The top 1o are always bands with names that either a) contain at least one swear word b) I have NEVER heard of and c) are either way too short ("The XX") or way too long ("Walking sideways with an angel in my pocket")


Another senate race in 2012. I assume Nelson runs again, correct? Who are the challengers? Will be insteresting again- Rubio and Scott won state wide elections as Repubs.

I do believe Bill nelson goes for another term.

Soon to be former Sen. George LeMieux is all but in on the Republican side. Lots of other names in the mix but he may be first among equals -- assuming he can shed the reputation of being Charlie Crist's political consigliere.

Best musical event of 2010 was the Pavement reunion tour and their greatest hits compilation, Quarantine the Past. I will not debate this!

Done and Done.

But what about "The Suburbs" by Arcade Fire?

Sarah Palin has stated that she's confident she could beat the president if the 2012 race came down to the two of them. I personally don't agree with this assessment simply because, in spite of how controversial and polarizing BOTH of them are, the president seems to be the lesser controversial figure. Your thoughts?

I thought it was odd that Sarah Palin made news by saying she thought she could beat the President if she ran.

What was she supposed to say? "I'd probably lose"?

We can't forget about Christine O'Donnell that soon--so what's she up to? And see, this satisfies the one-question O'Donnell rule!

I have made my prediction before: "Dancing with the Stars". I want credit with this chat crowd if I am right.

Also, Bristol the Pistol!

Do you think that since Giffords managed to get reelected while Mitchell and Kirkpatrick lost that she will run against Kyl. She has a moderate profile, comes from a well-known swing district, and can raise a ton of money. Your thoughts?

I think she does run. And, depending on what the national political environment looks like, it could be a very good race.

The immigration fight in Arizona turned the state VERY red in 2010 -- Jan Brewer and John McCain won and they picked up two House seats -- but in a presidential year Hispanic turnout will be far larger and that would work in Giffords' favor.

...Sprawl II?

Without question. Golly, I love that song.

That's the crux of the whole problem right there. Fewer and fewer people are considering themselves R or D. So who would want to run as one? But running as an independent is not easy (hasn't been done in GA with the toughest ballot access laws, since 1964 or so). *sigh* So what you're saying is we'll get more and more partisan candidates?


People like to say they are independents but, usually, when the rubber meets the road (CLICHE ALERT!) they wind up always siding with one side -- and it's almost always the same side.

For every Linc Chafee then, there are thousands of Charlie Crists and Elliot Cutlers.

I read the post and still don't get why North Carolina's race 2012 in #1. Did I miss something?

Bev Perdue has terrible numbers and Pat mcCrory (former CHarlotte Mayor) is likely to run again.

That's a dangerous combo.

Chris - one humbly suggested addition to your list - The rules in Alaska were more hospitable to write-ins - voters had to show "intent" so even if they got her name spelled wrong it could still count. And they could use wristbands and stickers I think All of the other reasons you cited were key, but I think the "Intent" rule is essential, because if it weren't she may not have won.

Yes. ABSOLUTELY critical.

I'm still smarting over his loss to Mark Kirk. Considering Pat Quinn won his gubernatorial race, I gotta think Sexy Lexi ran a terrible campaign and a different Democrat could have won. I don't want to see him running for anything in the future. Why do you and Democrats still seem high on him?

1. he is young

2. he has personal wealth

3. he may have put the whole broadway bank thing behind him in this race

Remember that Alexi's family bank failed during the Senate race. If that failure is several years in the rear view mirror, it might not damage him as badly.

So, has Mitch Daniels tone changed re: a presidential run in 2012. As a true-blue Dem, he is the only Rep hopeful that I think could present a tough race for the President (assuming all the things we assume when we make such outlandish statements). Barbour, Romney, Palin, Pawlenty, Huckabee, Jindal -- all have downsides. Daniels, not so much. Heck, against a bad Dem, I'd even think about voting for him.

I think Daniels is -- arguably -- Republicans strongest candidate for the reasons you outlined.

That said, I wonder if he can get through a Republican primary especially given his comments about making a "truce" on social issues. That's not going to go over well with social conservatives in Iowa and South Carolina.

Any truth to the rumor that when they count the votes for Britol Palin on "Dancing with the Stars", many voters are finding the butterfly ballot confusion and are accidentally voting for her when they mean to vote for another candidate?

OOOH. Wait to make a nerdy ballot reference. LOVE IT!

Also, hanging chads.

It was a Massachusetts miracle which put Scott Brown into the Senate in an otherwise solidly blue state. It took a perfect storm of a listless Democratic foe (Coakley), rising frustration with the DC Dem led healthcare/bailouts and a bunch of late (unknown source until after the election) Tea Party cash behind Brown to do it. Brown has annoyed his Tea Party backers with some of his votes and he'll never win over enough Dems. He will have the advantage this time around of unfettered corporate cash coming into play. Will that be enough in 2012 for him to keep his seat? What could he do to help his chances?

I thought the Massachusetts Miracle was getting rid of Randy Moss?

"This Bed is Getting Crowded" by Alejandro Escovedo. He's a little inconsistent, but this one scores big.

I have never gotten into him for some reason. Springsteen is a HUGE proponent of his music, I know.

"The Weekenders" by The Hold Steady Best records not mentioned so? Surfer Blood, Old 97s, Big Boi, Drive By Truckers, Gaslight Anthem

Love the Old 97s record.

And, I am a Hold Steady fan.

Surfer Blood is dangerously close to my Pitchfork comments above.

Any chance the Dems could get her to caucus with them?

Nope.  Or at least I don't think so.

Would President Obama prefer to face Sarah Palin or Newt Gingrich in a contest? Both are doing book tour stops here in Iowa this month to soften up the electorate with coy asides about their future plans.

Probably Palin because she already has bad numbers among electorally critical independents.

BUT, I always think trying to pick opponents is a dangerous game in politics. You never know the dynamic of a one versus one race until it happens.

That's all for this week folks!

I am off next week so have a GREAT Thanksgiving and I'll see u all in two weeks. Friday. 11 am. Be there!


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.

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