Dec 17, 2010

Get your Friday Live Fix as Chris Cillizza discusses Sarah Palin and the 2012 presidential race, the most underrated politicians and the rest of pop culture too.

Hello all and welcome to the LAST "Live Fix" chat of 2010. Man, what a strange trip it's been...but we all made it out!

This week seemed to mark the official beginning of the 2012 presidential election too -- the Ames straw poll got a date and no fewer than SIX presidential primary debated were announced.

LOVE it.  Let's get to your questions.

Also, if u have best music of 2010 suggestions, let's hear them. I need to know.

This is not a question. I would like to see a televised conversation between Sarah Palin and the president, Mr. Obama. She is a fighter but will she stand by that! Obama says he will fight but has disappointed many! He is a perfect orator. That is all!! It will never happen but it still would be exciting to see them both! Let's see who really fights for what has to be done!

Um, thanks for your question.

On Palin: The new Post/ABC poll presents a pretty stark picture of her chances in a general election.

When six in ten people say they would never vote for you under any circumstances, that's not a good place to be.

Palin clearly has her ardent supporters and her ardent opponents. But, at least according to the Post poll, her opponents outnumber her supporters.

And, the hardest thing in politics is to change peoples' opinions. Which is what Palin is going to have to do if she decides to run for president in 2012.

Hey Chris, just saw the Robin Roberts interview with Sarah Palin, and one thing that surprised me was her self-description as a "business woman." So, I have two questions: 1) do you think Palin is trying to pander to Wall Street Republicans who are the least likely to take her seriously? Is this a new strategy for her? 2) Do you think it will work? Will Wall Street take her seriously as a business Republican and not just a social issues Republican? Thanks!

That's interesting -- I haven't heard her describe herself like that before either.

I think the bigger point to be made is that Palin is clearly making a concerted effort to turn her adversarial relationship with the mainstream -- excuse me, lamestream -- media a little less adversarial.

It makes me think she might actually be seriously considering running for president since opening up for interviews with major media outlets is an acknowledgment that she needs to re-position herself in the public eye if she wants to reach out to the middle.

But, then again, when it comes to Palin all of the political rules don't really apply. She may have just decided to start talking more with the MSM without any broader strategy behind it.

Chris, we know that a large portion of the public despise Palin and say that they would not vote for her. But what generally are their reasons -- and more importantly, which of these reasons is legit and which could be effectively countered (or confirmed) by Palin and a would be campaign?

A good question that I have not seen any data on in quite a while.

Palin is a figure that provokes strong reactions -- positive and negative -- among people. I am not sure whether that's personality, policy positions or a combination of the two but it's a fact.

Almost no one is agnostic about her. Which makes her a captivating political figure.

Who do you think is the most underrated politician(s)?

In no particular order:

Chris Van Hollen

Lindsey Graham

Rick Perry

Harry Reid

Pre-Appalachian Trail Mark Sanford


Do you have what it takes to succeed on TV? Where's your towering ego, your inflated sense of self-worth, your utter contempt for anyone who disagrees with you? I think we all know where nice guys finish.

How dare you question me? Who do you think you are? Do you know who I am?

(How was that? ;) )

After reading the transcript of last week's Live Chat, although he's got A LONG way to go to beat rando Raj Goyle questions and observations, could he be the new Raj Goyle?

Ever since I praised Chris Hayes' hoops game, he has been dodging me on the courts. Coincidence? I think not.

Based on latest polling, how likely do you think it is that Sarah Palin -- through over-exposure and ill-advised fight-picking -- has not only killed the goose that laid the golden egg, but is also starting to field-dress it?

Wow.  VERY intricate metaphor.

If you love Sarah Palin -- and there are tons of people who do -- I am not sure there is anything she could do to sever that relationship, short of endorsing President Obama.

I think the political problem for her is among independents and unaffiliated voters who have little affinity for her.

This is not a Studio/Labor/Audience fed Reagan...This person who sees Russia from her porch, that North Korea is our ally and that Africa is a country, is a creature of your own and the cables. Why don't you just go on to some real news?

If only I had so much power...

Can we just call him "Mark Trail" from now on? (Assuming you remember that comic strip)

yes, yes we can.

My husband and I were maxed-out donors to the Obama campaign, I worked the phones and did GOTV in Virginia. Can I get my money and time back? I really think that the pundits are underestimating the alienation on the left. I am not far left by any means, but am appalled that Obama is not going out into the districts to fight . . . for health care, against tax cuts for billionaires . . . ANYTHING. I supported him because I thought he would create a ground-up movement of the people to put pressure on their representatives in DC. I might hold my nose and vote for him next time, but I won't participate in any other way. That's not good news for the Dems. in 2012.

Agree. If you and your husband are the rule not the exception then Obama has big time problems.

What I will say -- and you are already seeing some of this in the coverage -- is that Obama's stock was artificially low for the last few months.

He still retains considerable loyalty within the Democratic base and is well liked by a good number of people outside of it too.

That's not to say that if the economy doesn't show signs of recovery that Obama won't be in trouble in 2012. He will be. But, he doesn't start at as low a point as many people seem to think he does.

My friend and I disagree on Susan Bysiewicz running for the Democratic nomination in Connecticut. My friend think Connecticut Democrats are big on senority and Susan Bysiewicz has right of first refusal and its her if she wants it. My own thoughts are that she was already hurt with the improper paper fillings she made for running for Connecticut attorney general (especially as candidate fillings is a duty of her current position), but she sunk herself with the awful polling station situation that happened in Bridgeport, the most populated city in the state. We REALLY need some insight from Connecticut's own Chris Cillizza...

The last year hasn't been all that great for Bysiewicz. 

First the govs race that wasn't and the whole AG snafu.

I don't think she has the right of first refusal...I think she may get in but I also think Chris Murphy, the Congressman, is going to be in too.

Would Bysiewicz start that primary as a slight favorite? Sure. But not as a clear frontrunner.

The XX and Florence and the Machine

Have heard GREAT things about XX.

I don't know if you caught the Daily Show last night but Huckabee put on an impressive performance. Following 4 cancer patient 9/11 rescue workers the Huckster managed to be empathetic, defend Republicans and deftly align himself with the palpable outrage. Now he also looked 50 pounds heavier than acceptable but he is clearly very good on his feet.

Huckabee is being underrated as a candidate right now.

If he was a stock, I would suggest buying now.

He has proven he knows how to win in Iowa and if Fred Thompson wasn't in the race through South Carolina last time, Huckabee might have won that state and made a real run at McCain.

So, I am not sure whether he runs again or not but if he does, he could be formidable.

Since you asked, here's one of the best CDs of 2010, and it's even full of good holiday cheer (and classic holiday songs performed in Mandarin, Japanese, French, Arabic and English): Pink Martini's Joy to the World. Trust me. You've never heard Auld Lang Syne done like this.

Whoah. I saw that at Starbucks this am when i got my GRANDE WHITE CHOCOLATE MOCHA for $4.65.

Now THERE's a candidate who'll NEVER run a write-in campaign, at least not against Joe Miller!

Seriously. I am just happy I spelled her name right.

I know it's a long way away, but.... Isn't it the case that if the economy is doing substantially better in 2012, Obama will be hard to beat, and if not, he will more than likely lose?

Simple but true.

Obama's electoral fate is directly tied to the health of the economy or, more accurately, how the public perceives the fate of the economy.

Remember how the last president lost in a bid for a second term: It's the economy, stupid.

Struggling financial conditions at home make it tough for all politicians but in particular for a president.

Safe bet you read that WTF interview with Maine's very own Andrew Ian Dodge and him referring to himself in the third person as a potential candidate to knock off Sen. Snowe. While the various conservative activists have gotten a lot of press, curious about potential Dems. While they have a narrow change to win if Sen. Snowe makes it out of the primary which is looking more and more likely, still interested in the Democratic bench in Maine. Janet Mills? Rosa Scarcelli? Mike Michaud?

Chris Cillizza appreciates anyone who speaks in the 3rd person regularly.

I think Democrats would probably say their best general election option against Snowe would be Michaud although I doubt he would run.

Snowe is a VERY strong general election candidate and barring some sort of major unforeseen event it's hard for me to see her losing.

Three questions? Seriously, we need a limit on Palin questions until she declares she's running for president.

Does this count as a Palin question?

Is he ever going to run again? Will it be in TN or NY? He isn't shying away from his DLC positions so it would seem to be Tennessee, but couldn't he run as a Wall St. candidate in NY?

If he ever runs again, it will be in NY not Tennessee. And, if I was a betting man, I would put some money on the idea that we haven't seen the last race from Harold Ford. (Assuming you can bet money on an "idea" which I am sure you can't.)

Do we know who is helping Michael Steele's campaign to be reelected as RNC Chairman? Reports have said key RNC staff is out, but no one has said who is in.

I have NO idea.

He has a core group  of supporters among the 168 committee members and I would assume he is consulting with them on things.

But, I hear nothing in terms of political strategist-types that Steele is using to run this campaign.

As I have said and written many times, it's VERY difficult for Steele to win this race. There is a path to victory but it is a very narrow path.

Where are the Mon and Wed chats? Is it because you are a big TV star now? Don't forget the ones who made you great--- your loyal, nerdy and twisted chat audience. If we can't get you, can we have other political chats?

On Mondays now, I do the Fix Weekly Face-Off. Basic concept: Propose any two things -- people, places or things. I will choose the better one and explain why ON VIDEO!

An example: "What's a better sport: field hockey or ice hockey?

Me: Field hockey. Second most popular sport in the world. Count it.

And so on and so forth.

As for the Wednesday chat, there was an executive decision made that three days of Cillizza was one day to many. Which I happen to agree with.

What is the best and worst political ad, campaign, one-liner, candidate of the year. Do you agree with the awards given by your pal Chuck ? ( he seems bitter about the Colbert testimony).

We did a bunch of Fix awards a few weeks back.

Best ads:

Best candidate:

Best campaign:

Fix, you might want Jon Cohen to do some polling for you. Make sure you don't lose your base. Don't want PK or one of the Fix deputies to primary challenge you.

So true. Cohen conducts regular fav/unfav stuff on me...

Most recent data: Fav 2/Unfav 35/who the hell is "Chris Cillizza" 63

I was pretty happy with that actually.

I know the normal List is ranking the seats most likely to flip, but how about at this early in the cycle, you switch it up and do lists like "Most Likely to Retire" and things like that?

Great minds. We did that two weeks ago.

Link is here:

8 percent. 8 percent. 8 percent of the public wants Sarah Palin to be president. Yet her potential candidacy is the constant source of speculation. At what point can we say that she is a media phenomenon, a celebrity, and nothing else in the public eye? 8 percent! I bet a higher percentage would want Michael Moore to be president!

Reality is that among GOP primary/caucus voters she is FAR more popular. 

And, like it or not, that is the group who will have the most influence of the identity of the party's nominee in 2012.

So, while I do understand the Palin-overload, I also think there is a decent chance that if she runs, she could be the GOP standard-bearer in 2012 -- which makes it tough to ignore her.

Seriously. Did you even know what field hockey was before you met Mrs. Fix?

No. Chance.

When I saw Harold Ford, Jr. on Meet the Press at the high of his potential Senate run last year, he was talking about trials for al Qaeda members in his "home state," my first thought was "Why are they having terrorist trials in Tennessee?" Took me a second to get he was referring to New York.


Who do you think will be the first Republican to declare they are running for president and when (roughly) do you think the announcement will come?

Tim Pawlenty. Mid January.

Not more popular, better. By your logic, Mao would be a better dictator than Stalin, or maybe Pepsi would be better than Coke.

Damn you and your logic.

Hi Chris, I am pretty much in sync with earlier "I want my money back" comment. I will probably vote for Obama again in 2012 because I am unlikely to be for the Republican choice, but I won't be sending those frequent online $25.00 donations either. Do you think Obama should go for federal matching funds next time around?

There is as much a chance of Obama taking matching funds in 2012 as there is of the following:

1. Kobe Bryant calling to ask me to be on the Lakers

2. Me having lunch with Jeff Tweedy

3. Mrs. Fix not having a winning season at Catholic U field hockey

So, not much of a chance.

In case you were ever wondering "What's Reshma Saujani up to these days"


Man, I have NOT been sleeping well lately because I haven't had an answer to this question.

What a load off.

I can understand loyal and nerdy. But, I'm still trying to purge out of my mind the image of you serving as a thonged barista at a bachelorette party courtesy of one of your 'twisted' chatters.

That IS a haunting image.

If you could go back in time and do a one-on-one interview with any American president, who would it be?

Franklin Pierce. No, Coolidge.

Serious answer: C. Montgomery Burns.


Palin NEVER EVER said she can see russia from her porch. TINA FEY said that. No wonder we get the politicians we do.

The line between reality and parody is very blurry these days.

I always thought The Hills was fictional. Then someone told me it is a reality show. What?

(Also, I am very old.)

Care to place a bet if W and Cheney get to speak at the 2012 Republican convention?

Bush, yes but not in primetime., no.

Will I be getting only coal in my stocking if this McCain/Palin voter laughs hysterically and gets a very satisfying sensation of schadenfraude when I read comments from liberals asking for their money back from Obama? I know it's not in the best Christmas spirit (although I've decided that I fall under the Hanukkah exception).

Man.  This is NOT spreading the holiday cheer.

Also, remember the wisdom of Jack Donagy and Avery Jessup: "Happy Holidays.... is what terrorists say. Merry Christmas"

With Jim Jordan leaning against a run, who steps in to run for the Ohio Senate race against Sherrod Brown?

Good question. 

Answer: I do not know.

But, Republicans did sweep almost every statewide office in November and so they will have plenty of options.

I think the Wisconsin Senate race in 2010 proved that you don't necessarily need to find a well known candidate to beat an incumbent -- just a candidate that fits the state and the political times and can articulate a message.

Forget the freaking politics for a minute (yeah tax extensions!). REX GROSSMAN WILL START FOR THE SKINS ON SUNDAY!?? Are you kidding me? This team is cursed, either by John Cooke or Native Americans, and Shanallehan thinks that benching a reasonable, if aging quarterback for a proven failure is going to point to the future? AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Thank you. You may now return to your regular programming.

I am literally stunned.

Rex Grossman.


Is Shanahan trying to get McNabb to pull a Randy Quaid in Christmas Vacation on him?

Kirk or Picard?


See this is what the Fix Weekly Face-Off is all about! Tune in Monday at 11 am.

Assuming Obama wins reelection in 2012, does Joe Biden run in 2016, or will he retire? Despite Hillary's denials, what does the intelligentsia think she'll do in '16?

I can't imagine Biden running for president in 2016 under any circumstances.

Hillary will be 69 years old on election day 2016. Just saying...

Have you tried it yet?

Haven't been up to NYC lately. Need to go. And when I do, I will be at Billy's.

Hi Chris, You are probably right, Kobe won't be calling. He has too big an ego to want you there overshadowing him. He knows, as well as we all know, you are way better than he is at any sport.

Such a good point.  Just well said.  Take that, Kobe!

Herman Cain...right after Pawlenty. :)

Amended: Herman Cain -- aka founder of Godfather's Pizza -- could be in before Pawlenty.

Any chance we see Obama reach out to any of the following to serve in his administration in some capacity: Castle, Bennett, Ingles? All seem disenchanted, yet somewhat reasonable. Perhaps with enough good will to be a bridge to Boehner?

What about Chuck Hagel?! Is he still considered a Republican?

That McCain-Palin voter does get that Obama-Biden voters are upset that he isn't more liberal or stronger in his policy positions rather then some "halfway between the parties" solution. So they might be unhappy, but nobody is saying "Wish I'd voted McCain."

Oh, snap.

When does he make a decision?

No idea.

I assume Webb is coming under pressure from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to make up his mind sooner rather than later so that if he doesn't run they can find someone else.

Webb, though, marches to the beat of his own drummer and I don't think feels any particular loyalty to the party leadership. 

soft cooked or hard boiled?

I am a hard boiled guy.

If I have to go soft-cooked, give them to me sunny side up.

Fix Weekly Face-Off! Mondays at 11!

To the Washington sports fan: We'd graciously welcome you to come be a Steelers fan. And a Penguins fan. (Pirates are another story, however)

Um, no.

Ovechkin > Crosby,


Just as long as you don't have egg on your face.


Oh yeah? Arsenal's No. 2 goal keeper is Wojciech Szczesny. Try typing that a few times!

Fix=Spurs. All. the. way.

Gareth Bale's left foot=magic.

Democrat or Republican?


Democrat, for now.

Though, read this where I argue winning a D primary is a non starter for Joementum:

Assuming Herb Kohl retires, do you see Ryan jumping into the race, or is being Budget chairman enough to keep him in the House?

I think Ryan runs for Senate if it's an open seat but doesn't challenge Kohl.

If he runs, I think he starts out a slight favorite even if Feingold decides to get in again. Also, keep an eye on Ron Kind who has been wanting to run statewide for a while now.

You know, as a political reporter visiting the Daily Planet?

Someone in line at Potbelly yesterday told me I look like Clark Kent.

I will absolutely take that.

Ummm, YES she DID. Palin: "They're our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska."

The answer!

Does she challenge Klobuchar in 2012, or does Bachmann know she can't win statewide in Minnesota?

Good question.

I think Bachmann may try it -- especially after her attempt to move into House leadership ran into a wall.

If she does run, I think she is a considerable underdog...she will raise millions but her profile as a national conservative won't play well at all in Minnesota.

She could be this cycle's Katherine Harris -- well funded but short on votes.

One thing the Beltway needs to learn is that the question isn't "Does Hillary Rodham Clinton want to run for President of the United States?" since "D'uh, of course she does." The better question is "Do a majority of voters want for to be President of the United States" since that was answered in 2008 and she isn't like wine or cheese getting better with age. There will always be a hotshot Democrat to take down her ambitions whether it's 2008 or 2016.

Calling out the entire Beltway...I like it!

Where is she now?

Man. Even wikipedia doesn't know:

The US's top Ladies skater these days, winner of the Grand Prix of Skating final, is Alissa Czisny.

The top ladies skater has and will always be the pairs team of Jimmy McElroy and Chazz Michael Michaelson.

Also, the night is a dark time for me.

And, scene!

Folks, thanks SO much for being loyal Live Fix chat participants this year. The hour I spend fielding questions is one of my favorite times of the week. Thanks for your wit, wisdom and wonkiness.

Have a wonderful holiday. And don't forget to check out the Fix Weekly Face-Off on Monday at 11. After that, I will be signed off through the new year.

Be excellent to each other.


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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