The Fix Live

Apr 13, 2012

The Fix's Chris Cillizza discussed the latest political news.

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Good morning to everyone! Sorry for missing last week's chat, I was working on my book. What's that you say? How can you pre-order it?  Well, twist my arm.

Coffee consumed this morning: One au lait, one chai tea latte.  Springsteen playing on the earbuds.  Let's find the darkness on the edge of town.

After reading Rosen's full comment, it seems to be less about Ann Romney not having a job and more about the fact that the Romneys' wealth put her in a position that she did have the same worries that most mothers do about paying the mortgage, affording college, etc. And I think that point is very hard to disagree with; the Romneys don't have the same concerns as the rest of us in that regard. But at this point, the whole thing has taken on a life of its own as 'working' v. 'stay at home' moms.

I agree that's what she meant but it's not what she said. She said that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life, a statement that is very easily construed as a slap at what stay at home moms do.

For those people saying this is a nothing burger, I would say this: The president and the first lady have come out with statement distancing themselves from Rosen's comments and praising stay at home moms.

So, they must be at least a little concerned...

Hillary Rosen does not serve in the Obama Administration or its reelection campaign, and the President has separated himself from her recent comment about Ann Romney. The Republican assault on women reproductive rights and equal pay for equal work continues unabated. It seems what Ms. Rosen was trying to say in her clumsy choice of words is that Ms. Romney was born of privilege and never had to face the daily struggles of so many American mothers who face double duty in raising children, often by themselves, AND going off to work each day to provide shelter and basic subsistence for their families. It does not seem to me this manufactured dust up does anything to alter the gender gap. Be interested in your take?

I don't think this one episode alters the gender gap at all. What I do think it does is give Romney a chance to play offense on an issue where has played only defense for months.

For a longer explanation of what this all means, read what I wrote yesterday.

It's just out of control, isn't it. Really, anyone get on TV, say anything at all, and generate a firestorm that requires a response from the President of the United States? Really? Hilary Rosen represents the administration and Democratic Party in no way whatsoever. She spoke for herself. Now let the kubuki theater begin! What a profession of morons! What a national joke, our political commentariat...

"The Media Monster" would be a great bad name.  "Political Commentariat" wouldn't be bad either.

I feel like isn't Republicans who are excited about Hilary Rosen's comment, but the press who LOVE "both sides are wrong so let us in the press be the forum to sort it out." Hilary Rosen isn't a congressional committee hearing about birth control or that Mitt Romney himself doesn't know where he stands on this year. Plus the whole issue of whether or not a "homemaker" is a real job isn't the same as reproductive health and birth control so why the press feels the need to bunch them up is pretty awful.

Yes, blame the press! Convenient scapegoat!

You missed Wrestlemania to go see the Boss

That is a fact. And a decision I would make again.  When Springsteen sang "Adam raised a Cain" and "Trapped" back to back, I very nearly lost it. 

There is something to be sad for just yelling "Trapped!" at the top of your lungs every once in a while. Very cleansing/cathartic.

Now that we have our distraction, when does Mitt Romney need to start providing details around his plans and ideas.

Well, the Obama team is trying to re-capture the narrative by releasing their tax returns today.  Democrats think Romney's reluctance to release tax returns reinforces his uncomfortableness talking about his wealth. And they are going to push it like crazy.

I was quite pleased with the championship matchup in your 2016 contest. Is it safe to say that a Cuomo-Rubio race would be the dream matchup of 2016? 2 rising stars duking it out. That would be a heck of a race in my opinion.

It would be a totally fascinating race. I think Cuomo is the clear 2016 frontrunner right now with Martin O'Malley in the second slot...

Did you like the Boss on April 1st?

Um, yes.  

Do you think if the ticket is Romney-Portman, that the Republicans can put Ohio away? Portman won overwhelmingly in 2010, and has a strong base in the greater Cincinnati area.

I don't think anyone -- including Portman -- can "put Ohio away" for either side. Yes, he is popular and yes his base in Cincy is real.  But, people vote for the presidential candidate not the vice presidential candidate. Portman could help at the margins but he is not going to win Ohio for Romney.

How does anyone, let alone the guy who goes out of his way to talk about the "New Jersey Giants," Chris Christie, fall asleep during a Springsteen concert?

Kind of brutal.

Happy Friday the 13th! Can you break down your list of likely Indie candidates this fall?

1. Ron Paul

2. David Walker

3. Jon Huntsman

They may not be in Washington, but are those Rocket Scientists in North Korea going to have a Wost Week?

Good one. Allen West and Bobby Petrino also had strong cases to make.

My Bobby Petrino question: Do you REALLY think people aren't going to find out? And , if so, do you live in the real world?

It seems like we have so many faux wars going on right now (women, religion, drugs, etc.) that it's a scandal. This being Washington, is it time for War Gate?

There are very few molehills anymore. Everything is a mountain (or at least people act like it is).

While this could have been the perfect time for all of Obama's People to show up with their Etch-a-Sketches, it got killed by this one consultant who isn't even afiliated with their campaign. Does this portent of a summer of immediate and heavy reaction to every possible misstep by a possible supporter, even if its from Jim the Plumber from Springfield, OR?

I fear it might. It could b a very long next seven months.

Still taking in the glow... What were Rick Santorum's Polls telling him about the possibility of losing his "home" state of Pennsylvania? (He lives in NOVA now)

Well done. Bashing Duke is a sure fire way to get me to answer your question.

I think Santorum recognized that while polling was basically tied, he had no money and Romney had lots left. And that meant he was going to endure a two week assault that would mean he would lose -- and possibly lose badly.

Did someone tell Rick Santorum that you don't surrender in Gettysburg? You surrender at Appomattox!

Do you think Cory Booker has a bigger political future after being mayor of Newark?

Yes.  Options:

1. Gov 2013 against Christie

2. Senate 2014 if Lautenberg retires

3. Presidential 2016.

The third option might be a little too big a lift for him. But who knows?

Hi Chris, Is there any truth to the rumor that Mitt will be using "Death to My Hometown" as his campaign song?


Chris, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band announced this morning that they will play a show at National's Park in September. Can we meet up for a beer beforehand?

Absolutely.  I will likely have a coke though.  That still ok?

And remember: "When it's your brother, man, you look the other way".

She isn't giving special advice to Hillary Rosen today, is she?

Who? Hax? Never heard of her.


How much of a surprise to you? How much driven by his daughter's illness? (It sounded as though she was actually getting better -- let's hope so, no matter what we think of her father -- but might that not be the case?) How much driven by ominous poll numbers in Pa.?

Not that much of a surprise because there was a) no way he could win the nomination and b) a real possibility he would lose in PA.

In politics, it's always better to go out on your own terms. That's what Santorum did.

Hi Chris -- thanks for taking questions today. It seems to me that, regarding the Rosen flap, the point she was trying to make (before she went too far) was this -- when it comes to understanding issues related to women, Romney has to outsource that to his wife, which only reinforces his inability to connect to real people. In other words, she was trying to show a pattern of behavior that shows him once again as inauthentic and out of touch. Why she felt the need to take a swipe at Mrs. Romney, who knows, but if she hadn't gone there she made have scored some points. What do you think?

Don't disagree.  But, how you say it matters...

How does Romney attract independent voters without losing his base? Seems like he can't really win without independents.

Let's see. He just became the GOP nominee on Tuesday.

I think he can win them by focusing relentlessly on the economy and trying to paint Obama as ineffectual on it.  

When does Romney pick his VP?

Sometime right before the convention in August. If history is any guide that is...

When will Fix Aaron be around to sign your books?

HA!  He won't actually sign them. Just hold the books open for me to sign. I AM KIDDING!  Everyone knows Fix Aaron and Fix Rachel are the brains of the operation. I am, of course, the looks.

Next Governor of New Jersey?

Talk to Chris Christie and his sky high approval ratings...

No more Dana Milbank chat and Hax chat cancelled today. Where is the competition??

I am in the ring. Who will challenge me? You, DC squirrel???

Do you think Obama will end up with pretty much the same map as 08 or do you think it's going to be more so a Gore/Kerry map? Btw, huge fan! Follow me? @Smere89

Think this map will look a lot more like Bush-Kerry 04 than Obama-McCain 08. Two exceptions: VA and NC will be genuinely competitive this time ... and they weren't eight years ago.

The Democratic primary is on May 8. Does Barrett have the edge going into May?

I think so. But, his feud with labor unions doesn't bode well in a Democratic primary...

What can you as the media and we as the public do to force these politicians and Super Pacs to be honest. I am not referring to the regular spin, but to the out and out lies that are told. Lying is an epidemic with some of these people. Probably the main reason I will not vote for Romney. He and the truth are very distant cousins.

Me and coolness are very distant cousins.

I know you're not into Jessica Sanchez, but how the heck does she end up with the fewest votes? More importantly, is there a political analogy where a bad turnout for a talented candidate shocked the pundits?

BB Chez has become my least favorite person on Idol. She is a ROBOT. And that's why people don't vote for her. It's like a presidential race -- it's who you are as much as what you say tha matters. And she is just not relateable at all.

Also, while I think she might last a few more shows, she ain't going to win. Has anyone who had to be saved ever won before? I don't think so.

When is your music Tumblr launching?

Newest NJ Rock Star = Cory Booker

Totally agree.

Re Rosen's comment: When we said "the press" 30 years ago, we meant broadsheet newspapers, Time and Newsweek and the news departments at the 3 broadcast networks. But now there's a ravening maw of cable outlets, web sites, blogs and talk radio that demands fresh meat every single day. What used to be a stupid thing somebody said that no one remembered in a week, now gets blown up into something that earnest partisans debate endlessly until the next stupid thing is said by someone named Khardashian, then we run off to fight about that. All stupidity is now equal in the 24 hour news universe.

"Ravening maw". Well said.

Obama has numerous paths to get to 270 (I think Virginia will be the important one this year) but Romney has a very limited path to win. Do you think he even has a chance, just based on that?

Yes, he has a chance. And, yes, Obama has more paths to 270.

One thing to remember: Obama got 365 electoral votes in 2008. That means he can lose 95 electoral votes in 2012 and still win.

Ann Romney has not worked. Staying home is NOT working.

Um....have to disagree.

How likely is "likely?"

Not very. But more likely than anyone else I see mentioned.

He's back in DC at Nationals Park on Sept 14. Better yet, he's here in Chicago at Wrigley Field the week before.

I am VERY pysched for this.  

How surprised were you to find out that The Simpsons is from Springfield, OR

World rocked. I always assumed it was springfield, IL. The Simpsons are west coasters???

I think an Ann Romney-Natalie Portman ticket is just what this country needs right now.

HA!  I did love Natalie Portman in that movie with the Shins music and the dude from the hospital comedy.  (And yes I just sounded a lot like my mom. Oh lord.)

Why is it only a "distraction" when the democrats are the ones under fire? I can literally find you 30 so-called journalists that have tweeted their discontent over this "manufactured" gaffe (Rosengate). Funny that NOBODY outside of conservative commentators said the same with the Rush/Fluke story. Dems sure love to dish it out and the media sure likes to gleefully cover it, but when the roles are reversed, all of a sudden we should only talk "substance." Bull.

Also, caterpillar.

And, yes, the media is evil and everything -- including the North Korea missile test -- is our fault. This is an indisputable fact.

Your colleague Jen Rubin is reporting that Hilary Rosen is going to be on Meet the Press this weekend, which, Rubin correctly notes, will only serve to keep her inane comments in the public's eye. So much for her as a PR strategist!

She is not going on MTP. She apologized again on Twitter today and said she isn't going on.

Though I haven't lived in Indiana for 40 years, I still have a certain interest in politics there. I'm wondering what are the prospects for the Senate and Governor's races. Will Lugar get knocked off by a Tea Party candidate? Will the Dems have viable candidates for either race? What sayest thou?

I think Lugar is 50-50 at best against Richard Mourdock in the primary. And, if Mourdock wins, I think he is a very likely winner in the fall.

Who SHOULD go on Idol? Hollie has been subpar lately but the precious PhiPhil is channeling his inner Scotty McCreery by delivering the same performance week after week.

Phil's "I don't need to ever change anything because that's not true to who I am as an artist" schtick is wearing thin.

I now believe Colton is the likeliest winner.  Maybe Schyler.

I was hoping he'd have his own chat again. Cillizza vs. Squirrel: The Sequel.

I see movie possibilities.

we all know you're a sucker for two-time hall of famer Ric Flair, but who, on the current roster, is your favorite?

CM Punk. Not close.

How much do members of the press and officials, staffers, etc. socialize in DC? Do they hang out with people just in their own groups, just with people in politics, or do they hang out with people in law, business, etc.?

I socialize with Mrs Fix, Fix Jr and the guys I play pickup basketball with. And that's it.

The primary should be interesting, but def. advantage Barrett. Falk's basic problem is that no one really likes her--her previous run at statewide office was notably lukewarm in every way and she hasn't exactly lit the world on fire since then.


Not gonna lie...I love the title

How could you not???

Now that Santorum's dropped out, there's no chance it'll be a brokered convention. Now it'll just be another heavily-scripted pageant.

True enough.  But we'll always have Ybor City.

In order to not be crushed in the press like Gore in 2000, Romney has to pick someone personable as VP. Two stiff politicians barnstorming America, awkwardly interacting with voters while Obama and Biden smile, will not work. Start from there and someone whose resume isn't thin like Rubio. In other words, Thune.

Interesting theory. What about Christie? He's personable.

How many Justices may retire over the next four years?


Your willingness to admit this makes you WAY COOL!

Yes, nerd sheek is my only option as a backdoor into coolness. That and the fact that Mrs. Fix is WAY cooler than me. It's a Julia Roberts-Lyle Lovett setup.

Do you not socialize with Fix Aaron as well?

NEVER. We are sworn enemies.

The Simpsons is based on the West Coast. Family Guy is East Coast. This definitely calls for a crossover episode where Homer and Peter have a violent feud like Tupac and Biggie.

I couldn't love this idea anymore.

Will George Allen EVER live down his "macaca moment" from 2006? Or will it become the permanent albatross of his electoral career?

He has a chance to make good if he can win this fall. If he loses to Kaine in the Senate race, I think we will be talking about macaca as the thing that destroyed a once promising career.

Cillizza AND Squirrel. If he's truly from DC, that squirrel undoubtedly has opinions on the political news of the day. And if he truly lives in the DMV, Cillizza undoubtedly has opinions on squirrels...

Oooh. That has possibilities.

I am thinking a joint Fix-Hax chat. We could call it Fax. She could give good relationship advice and I could give bad relationship advice. Nothing but readers!

The Romneys need to take another tack. They laughably unconvincing as "folks next door".

Car elevators are people too, my friend.

Who do you favor right now as the best to beat Walker?

I think Barrett. But would not fall over dead -- hopefully -- if Falk won.  Either way, it's going to be VERY close against Walker.

Ok folks. I have to run a little bit early to finish up my rankings -- from worst to best -- of the nine Republican presidential candidates.

Stay tuned. Shouyld be posted on the Fix shortly. Thanks as always for joining the chat!

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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