The Fix Live

May 04, 2012

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

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Good morning!

We don't have Newt to kick around anymore and I kind of miss him already.

Let's do this thing.

As I understand it, if Lugar loses on Tuesday, he can't run as an independent, correct? If Lugar does lose, what kind of shot does Rep. Donnelly have against Mourdock?

Given the new poll in Indiana that has Lugar down 10, I think it's more a question of "when" Lugar loses not "if".

I am a bit skeptical that this is a repeat of Delaware in 2010. Mourdock is a conservative but he's also a statewide elected official who has a much longer resume as a serious candidate than Christine O'Donnell.

If Lugar wins the primary, Democrats have no chance. if Mourdock wins, they have some chance. But I don't think it's a great chance.

Here's that poll I mentioned above:

Prediction time. When the results are in, who performs better -- Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota or Bob Kerrey in Nebraska?

Heitkamp. ND won't go as heavily for Romney as NE will.

Is Fix Aaron no longer with you guys?

No, he IS!

He just is on a vacation (we let him take one once every five years or so). He's back at it on Monday.

Hi Chris. I think I remember you asking for recommendations for the best state blogs earlier this year, is there one place (or couple of places) that us political nerds can go to find that list?


I'm not going to ask if former two-term Governor of New Mexico is a factor right now since of course he isn't. But you think, maybe in August "slow-season" or something or in October when folks are sick to death of this campaign, that Gov. Johnson gets his Ralph Nader/Ross Perrot headlines?


Christie? Would he, like Rush Limbaugh, criticize Michele Obama for trying to get Americans to have more healthy diets? If Rubio is nominated, in order to get Hispanic votes, would he defend the fact that Cubans, alone among all Hispanic immigrants, can claim immunity immedaitely upon setting foot on U.S. soil? Personally, my money is on Michele Bachmann, who delivered a rousing endorsement of formerly-too-moderate Romney. Gingrich also made an endorement, but it lacked some enthusiasm.

Well, we ranked them last week.

I think it's Portman then Rubio.  And, I know Jindal is getting a bit of a boomlet right now but I simply don't see it. He supported Perry in the primaries. Politicians don't forget that sort of thing.

Here's our latest vice presidential rankings:

What if anything is the repercussion from Grenell being forced out? Is this going to alienate suburban voters or just be a talking point if Dems want to argue that Romney isn't actually moderate?

Very little. I know this is a REALLY big story among political junkies but there is a 0% chance the average person knows who Grenell is or has followed the story at all.

How likely are these to be blue? Lots of pundits are assuming they'll go for Obama again but aren't they tossups? Is Nevada most likely to switch because of Sandoval's success and LDS?

I don't buy that NM is a tru toss up. I think Obama starts with an edge there.

As for CO and NV, I think they are real toss ups. The foreclosure crisis has hit Nevada incredibly hard which makes it an epicenter of the economic referendum nature of this election. I put a pinky finger on the scale for Romney in CO right now but that is another one that is really, really competitive.

Does either side want to change the filibuster rules or is this just alluded to by Democrats because they have a majority but not 60 votes? If the Senate flips and Romney wins, isn't the Democratic minority just going to act the same way?

There is NO chance the filibuster rules will be changed for exactly the reason you note. Majorites aren't ever permanent. And that means that the minorities right to gum up the works is likely to always be held sacred.

What are some of the similarities you've seen so far between that show and your real life experience in the politics biz?

I feel like they based the "Beltway Butcher" on me. All the way down to the mustache.

Is there any way he could get around his earlier statement that he doesn't think he's ready? I don't see how saying that Romney convinced him he really was prepared could undo that.

Didn't he say he wasn't ready to be prez? VP is a good training ground to be president, no?

If it;'s offered, Christie should absolutely take it.  His reelection race in 2013 -- particularly if Romney wins -- is going to be VERY tough.

So, your poll shows a pretty big "wrong track" number. Is there any indication that Obama gets the blame for that? Or so people blame the obstructionist Republicans for that? Poll after poll seems to show that people agree generally with the President's policy ideas and goals (things like taxes, health care, etc). But once again the Republicans seem to have tricked people into believing that "Obamacare" is some awful "socialist" plot against America. Are we really so dumb?

At least in Virginia, there seems to be little correlation between Obama's numbers and the wrong direction numbers.

After all 60+ percent of people say the country is headed in the wrong direction and Obama is up on Romney by 7.

In general, polling seems to suggest that people still blame Bush far more than Obama for the current state of the economy. I don't know if that changes the closer we get to November.

Here's a link to the poll:

After watching the media and how they handled the Obama visit to Afghan. I have one question. Why do the press hate Obama so much? Really, the guy can't get a fair shake or positive prop from anyone. It sure is a change from Bush. I don't think their has been a president who has faced such a neg. and biased press corp.

The Obama communications operation is on the chat! Thanks for joining!

Did Newt raise any money between last week and his announcement a couple days ago? Or...was staying in longer about ego and future earnings?

The latter.

If you were ojne of the Avengers, which would you be? How about Aaron Fix? Or Rachel Fix? Note: you can use ones not in the Movie like Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.

Captain America.

First off, very excited for your new book! What do you think of Romney's campaign since he sealed the nomination? Do you think he has done the right things to attract independent voters?

Smartest way to get your question answered: Praise "The Gospel According to the Fix". Hitting bookshelves on July 10 butn you can PREORDER now:

Ok, now that we got that out of the way. I think the Romney campaign is laying somewhat low of late, trying to get themselves organized internally for the race to come. The Grenell thing was clearly a swing and a miss but as I said above, I don't see it having any long term impact.

Someone who I haven't heard mentioned as a VP pick, but who might be a good sleeper candidate would be Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota. Thoughts?


Re Warrens Worst week award; is it that bad to say you have Indian ancestors?

Not in the least. But it's bad to have a variety of answers to a pretty simple question.

For those wondering what the heck we are talking about, click here:

What odds do you give for Romney carrying MI? Seems bizarre to me.

Not high.  

Would say he has better chances in WI and OH and IA.

Let's see - the number of jobs created in March was not enough to cover the minimum needed to sustain population growth - and the unemployment rate goes down. The number of jobs created in April was not again enough to cover the minimum needed to sustain population growth - and the unemployment rate goes down again. I understand the whole "discouraged worker" calulation, but does the official "unemployment rate" really mean anything anymore?

It's a good question.  And I don't know the answer other than to say we always knew that the unemplyoment rate was a pretty basic measure and this proves it.

How does Orrin Hatch look for his June primary? It seems possible that the GOP could lose its two most senior senators in the primary season.

I think he is in fine shape.  He could, of course, lose but Hatch has done a million times better than Lugar in terms of understanding his political peril and working to lessen it over the last year.

Why can't we kick him around a bit? It's the slow season.

I have a weird kind of admiration for ole Newt. He is unapologetically himself. We could all do worse than be that.

Bobby Jindal, has he restored his cred enough to be taken seriously? And what does the future hold for him after his term as La gov?

I think he runs for president in 2016 or 2020 depending on how the election this fall turns out.

I DO NOT see him getting picked as VP or even making the short list.

While the unemployment rate is improved at 8.1%, do you think this number has lost some of its impact in recent years? There is now always an explanation as to why the unemployment rate does not mean what we think it does.

See above. Yes.

Dude: I gotta ask you. You seem to be everywhere. You write a gazillion posts a day. You do Twitter. You're always up on the latest music. You hit concerts. You're constantly on TV. You wrote a book. You got a wife and a small kid. When do you sleep? How much sleep do you get per night, on average?

Welcome my agent to the chat, everyone!

And, thanks. That's a nice compliment. I get plenty of sleep. I am lucky to have a very supportive Mrs. Fix and Fix Jr who help me out immensely.

You had a piece in this AM's paper that mentions the closeness of the national polls. Aren't they basically meaningless though. Do we need to just look at the state by state numbers?

National polls are interesting as a broad indicator of the electorate.

But presidential elections are national races in name only. What really matters is how the candidates are doing in the 9 (or so) swing states.

I know we've got the set pieces: Conventions and debates. Romney's got to pick a running mate. But with six months to go, is it just about raising money, airing commercials, and trying to win each day's news cycle for the next six months?

If we'got set pieces, we need ton get Cristiano Ronaldo. That guy is amazing on set pieces.

Odds on Martinez of NM or Brewer of AZ as Veep pick for the Romster ?

Martinez 50-1

Brewer 5000-1

Is the chances for Romney slim if he cannot carry Virginia, which once was a red state

Yes. I think he has to win NC and VA. If not, it's just a VERY narrow electoral map gauntlet he has to run.

Do you think Americans Elect will have a viable candidate in 2012? What should I do to bring more attention to my candidate, David Jon Sponheim for President either now or in 2016?

Is Ron Swanson available?

He's the anti-meditation, pro-meat candidate.

Does the Bachmann endorsement really mean anything?


Is Bob McDonnell still on the short list for Veep candidates?

Not sure they have a short list yet. I could see McDonnell making the final short list though the controversies about things like transvaginal ultrasounds don't help him. Like, at all.

What are the odds that Romney will pick Sen. Kelly A. Ayotte (NH) as his running mate?

Better than you might think. She is my darkhorse. She was #7 on our latest Veepstakes rankings.

How was the WHCD and what was the top moment for you?

Top moment: My friend and colleague Scott Wilson winning a prize for his coverage of the White House.

Scott is a GREAT guy and a talented reporter. Only flaw: He is a Chelsea fan.

Is the Fix Crew analogous to the APA of the WWE?

We are more like Degeneration X.

Why do you think his re-election race in 2013 would be so tough. Anything can change, but the latest polls in NJ show him will a very tidy approval number.

Two words: Cory. Booker.

As a dual citizen, I had the pleasure of voting in the London mayoral and local elections yesterday, and will have the privilege of voting for the US President in November. (Heck, I pay taxes to both govts ...) That's all I had to say.

Cool. Also, London has a mayor named Boris. That's all I had to say.

I just read on the Guardian that an independent candidate in a penguin suit beat a Liberal Democrat in Edinburgh. Can someone please do this in the US in November? This election season is not looking good for comedy and I'm getting desperate.

I would dress up in a penguin suit in a second. Lifelong dream: Be a mascot.

Before Nov. 2012, will Pres. Obama have visited every school in Northern Virginia?

He just might. Still waiting for him to stop by Fix Jr's preschool...

About time we get some competition chat. Has not been the same without Dana Milbank and DC Squirrel chat

Agree. I want to do chat-offs like the sing-offs on the Voice. Two men (or women) enter, one man leaves. I am coming for you Hax.

Funny, I didn't think of you at all when I saw the Beltway Butcher WaPo writer character on Veep. He reminded me more of Dan Balz with dark hair. If he WAS based on you, man, you need to get over yourself. Not to mention sucking on a bar of Ivory soap for a while.

Dan is the nicest guy in the world. And while he is SUPER powerful, he's not a jerk like the Beltway Butcher.

As for me saying the character is based on me, I want to introduce you to something I call sarcasm.

Did Newt (try to) mention you by name? Maybe I misread your tweet.

He did mention me! He quoted from a story I wrote.

Of course he called me Chris Cileeeeeza but I will take it.

Hi Chris, any chance Romney 'steals' MA since it is his home base? Seems like a long shot to me.

As much chance of Romney winning Massachusetts as me wanting Joffrey to remain as king in "Game of Thrones". 

In other words, less than zero.

The only unemployment figures that really matter is whether YOU and YOURS have a job. Let's face it, nobody really votes based on whether people you never met in other states are unemployed. That's like the Grenell issue: minor league stuff for pundits.

I dine out on minor league pitching. When it comes to then major league stuff though...

Do you think that reporters joking about serious matters sends negative messages to kids?

If I thought kids were hanging on my every word, I might worry. They're not.

To quote Charles Barkley: I am not a role model.

Any chance Jeb is picked as VP by The Hair? Any chance Jeb accepts it?

I think it's a longshot but not entirely out of the question. I DO think Jeb runs for president at some point down the line...

OK, other than that... what was the best moment... I thought the bo video was good. and who was better the pres or Kimmel?

Thought Prez was funnier than Kimmel. But I love Kimmel.

is The Man. He is Captain America... Just saying.

Wait, I thought I was Captain America? What the heck...

Who's your favorite - personally I'm thrilled that Mr. Met was just named the best mascot by Forbes...

The Stanford tree is tough to beat. I would also want to be one of those mascots that jumps off the trampoline, through the ring of fire and dunks a basketball. Only chance I have at dunking at this point in my life.

Doesn't the fact that NH has a Democratic governor rule her out as a VP pick?

Not if Romney decides that Ayotte is essential to his winning math...

Are the unemployment numbers not definitive enough either way to make an impact? And isn't it too early to make a lasting impact anyway?

Am writing something right now on how it's not too early....

Do you give Chelsea any shot vs Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final?

Sure. I didn't think they had ANY chance against Barca and look how that turned out.

Drogba will create 4-5 legit scoring chances.  The question is how Mereiles, Lampard and the rest of the midfield play.

Remember if you hold a security clearance or occupy a sensitive position in the US govt having dual citizenship and voting is big no no. Voting even in Uk will cause your clearance to be revoked

The Fix chat perfoming public service!

What are the odds that the Hispanic, female Chair of House Foreign Affairs has any chance at the No. 2 slot?

Um...not good.

Is awesome. Always tells you how awesome he is. And how dumb *you* are for not KNOWING how awesome he is. Just like Dick Cheney - right? I bet they hate each other, but they will both tell you how smart they are and how they know exactly how to do everything, but everyone else is just too dumb to know better. Does that sum it up?

Like I said, Newt is always Newt. Sometimes that's for good, sometimes for bad. But it's never boring.

Odds of him attaining any political office?

The same as the odds of us having heard the last from Margaery Tyrell (Loras' sister and former bride of Renly Baratheon). In other words, not high.

He's still out there--his supporters were very active in my state Republican party convention. What do they hope to achieve at this point? Some sort of concessions or compensation in Tampa this summer?

My deputy Rachel wrote a great piece on the impact Paul people are having in state parties. It's here:

I was listening to the BBC World radio feed late one night this week, and who should be interviewed as an expert on the US Presidential campaign but your fine self! So now you're the internationally-renowned Fix!

HUGE. I mostly did that show in hopes they would invite me back to talk about the English Premier League.

does this stuff really matter? I thought the respinse was good from Bill Burton... leasve the wives out of it.

I don't think this one does. Ann Romney is wealthy. Wealthy people have expensive stuff. 

We now have the fewest number of people "not participating" in the workforce since 1981, and somehow this is "good news" because the total unemployment figure is pretty close to 8%? Do you have to be an economist to realize that we are sitting on a huge underclass that needs subsidies and entitlements simply to stay alive and housed and who aren't even TRYING to find jobs? That might be single most frightening figure I've heard in a long time.

A good point and more evidence why the unemployment rate is an overly simplistic read out of the real health of the economy.

So we get VP Biden speaking at a Broward County High School graduation ( all thought it is the largest high school in the country)- at the new Marlins stadium no-less. And now I hear, Dr. Jill Biden is speakling at the Broward College graduation. I guess the campaign is in full swing here in FL.

Correct. If you live in FL or OH or VA, expect to see a presidential candidate (or a spouse) most weeks between now and November 6.

If people really do tend to blame GW for the state of the economy (three years later!) than they do Obama, doesn't that pretty much rule out Portman as a legitimate VP pick?

It's the biggest knock on him without question. But remember every candidate has their flaws...

Hi Chris, Do you think there is any truth to the rumor that Newt climbed the clock tower at Georgetown and stole the hands of the clock because he heard time was running out on his campaign?

He has to be considered a suspect.

How is Adam Sandler supposed to be Andy Samberg's dad? I don't understand. Is this too much thinking about a Sandler film?

Don't think too hard on it.

How are Sybil and Edith sisters in "Downton Abbey"? They look NOTHING alike.

Do we need to know about every romantic relationship for each candidate? Is this is the new normal?

I think this is the old normal. Remember Gary Hart, Donna Rice, "Monkey Business" and "follow me around"? That was in 1984!

How excited are you to see Harper up with the Nationals?

VERY.  Strasburg and Harper + Zimmermans (both of them) make it likely Nats are going to be good for a very long time.

Any special plans?

Celebrate Star Wars day.

Last time I checked, Santorum hadn't endorsed Romney. Any chance that he'll run as an independent? I bet he could get 10 percent of the vote since the social-conservative wing of the GOP doesn't like Romney. Unlike Ron Paul, who doesn't want to make enemies in the party because of his son's career, Santorum has nothing to lose.

None. I think Santorum is holding out for something like maybe a plum speaking spot at the convention.  

Was saddened with the death of Junior Seau. Still remember the dance he had when he was introduced in Super Bowl 29

Awful. And yet another reason Fix Jr won't be playing football. Is there ANY debate at this point that it's detrimental to your health?

How do reporters decide which content to cover and which to ignore?

Speaking just for me, I monitor news and write about what interests me. Most reporters have beats though and write off news on that beat.

Speaking of Premier League- Man City or United?

Hoping Man U but thinking Man City. My team is Spurs and am really hoping we can hang on in the top 4 this weekend.

Ann Romney's $990 t-shirt doesn't matter simply because Michelle Obama wore a $3,000 cardigan from the same designer. "The rich are different from you and me; they can afford greatly over-priced ugly clothing." That's from F. Scott Fitzgerald. Or maybe Zelda.

Ah yes.  Nice Fitzgerald "quote".

Do you think Romney ever mentioned him in a letter?

He did. Ezra Pound redacted it.

Hey, thanks. Fortunately for you, me and all the other readers of this chat, I do not have security clearance. The Fix has a wide readership. (I work in financial services.) Who doesn't love politics?

Problem solved.

at GOP convention, yes or no?

I bet not.

Chelsea Clinton is playing Bayern Munich?


Tareq Salahi or Christine O'Donnell?

That guy in the penguin suit in the UK.

Sorry, wasn't quite expecting your transvaginal ultrasound throw-down in today's chat.

I do my best.

Will he campaign for Romney or speak at convention. Will the Dems roll out the "deficits don't matter" tape?

I do not think we will see a lot of Cheney on the campaign trail or at the convention.

From GA (where the prez campaign doesn't matter much, we're going red) to Oregon. Do they campaign much in Oregon? Or can I sit back and just see and read what I want - but they won't care much about me there either?

Different state, same difference. Oregon not competitive.

Hey!! Don't spoil the plot line in the new season of Downton Abbey!


Sidebar on Downton Abbey: Mrs. Fix points out that Sir Richard is played by the same dude who plays Jorah Mormont in Thrones.

I find this to be remarkable for some unknown reason. I am easily impressed.

Your humor is great. Others take it to places it shouldn't go.

I never go anywhere I shouldn't go.

That's it and that's all. Thanks for spending the hour with me. Have a Happy Friday. And remember: 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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