The Fix Live

Jun 01, 2012

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

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Hello everyone!  Happy Friday.  But not really -- for the American public or President Obama with the latest May job #'s: 69K jobs created, unemployment rate up to 8.2%.

Lots of questions in the queue.  Let's do this thing.

Former president Bill Clinton seems to be more politically active than most former presidents. Is that a function of his enduring popularity, especially within the Democratic Party (neither Bush nor Carter were all that popular when they left office), or is he collecting chits for another presidential run by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?

He is. But he is also younger than most past presidents. And, unlike George W. Bush, Clinton is a political animal through and through. He loves this stuff. I don't think he could imagine not being in the mix.

Is this Native American controversy going to matter by November? Honestly, is it going to matter by this weekend?

It might matter this weekend, I'd be surprised if it mattered in November.

Warren has botched her handling of this badly but in an election almost certainly to be decided by jobs/economy, her Native American heritage isn't likely to break through.

All of that said, her stumbles on the issue suggest she has some growing to do on the stump to beat Downtown Scott Brown this fall.

Is there anything to suggest Iowa will be in play and the tight poll numbers are not just a result of only the Republicans having a competitive primary there?

There's LOTS of evidence it's going to be close including a new NBC/Marist poll out yesterday that showed the race tied at 44 percent.


Republicans gloating about a bad report can't be good for them, right?

This is the tough thing for Republicans when it comes to the economy.

It clearly is better for them if the economy doesn't recover rapidly between now and November. At the same time, rooting against a recovery is decidedly bad form. It's not an easy line to walk for any politician.

I think you got your boxers in a bunch following a conservative driven campaign tactic in the Warren-Brown senate race. MA voter polling follows the rational and logical conclusion of the MA electorate that this story doesn't matter to the issues that affect their daily lives (and Warren pulled to within a dead heat during this "controversy"). If something doesn't matter to the actual voters in the election why does it matter to you (story after story after story)?

1. I don't wear boxers

2. I have never said Warren loses this election because of the Native American thing. I have only said that the way she has dragged this out and turned a minor story into a MAJOR story suggests she is a bit green as a candidate.

Beyond complicated economic explanations - coupled with Romney's "vote your anger" ad - how does Team Obama do anything but play defense until the next jobs report? Attacking Romney's past seems like it will pale in comparison to presumably month-long (or more?) 24/7 chatter on Obama's present? Thoughts?

This report makes the "economy is slowly improving" argument that much harder to make for Team Obama.

What Romney is and will continue to rely on is that with economic numbers like these, people will ultimately decide it's time for someone new.

Obama has to find a way -- whether it's Bain, Massachusetts or something else -- to turn peoples' attention to Romney and what he'd do if he was in the same position.

An economic referendum Obama almost certainly loses. A choice between two less than appealing options he almost certainly wins.

Chris, what's the assumption on the percentage of voters just not engaged until the fall? Is it around 10%, because this appears to be the figure missing in all of the state and national polling?

Somewhere between 7-12% of the national electorate pops up as undecided in most polling. These tend to be low information voters not affiliated with either party who spend a small amount of time (at best) engaged with the race. Which, of course, makes it a very complicated task to reach and persuade them.

I realize it's more fun to look at his private equity praise as a continuation of the 2008 primary, but isn't it like other Democrats who have strayed from message? Who funds the Clinton Initiative? Who was the leading DLCer decades ago? Clinton being pro-private equity should surprise no one.

Agree. But being pro-private equity and praising Romney's business record as "sterling" are two different things, no?

For people who have no idea what we are talking about, read this:

Hi Chris, It is getting borderline humorous here in Massachusetts. The anti-Warren people are all over the Native American story while all those opposed to Scott Brown and Romney have taken up the failure of Curt Schilling’s video game venture as some proof of GOP weakness and hypocrisy.

Yes. This is the politics we have -- if not the politics we want.

Chris: Earlier this year, the one big thing the President had going for him from an economic standpoint was the market, with the DOW roaring over 13,000. Now it's threatening to settle below 12,000 in the face of today's jobs report. When a certain segment of the voting public (me, for example) saw its 401Ks and IRAs growing at a nice clip, we felt optimistic. Now, not so much. This really has to play into reelection chances I think.

Fair point. And one that gets often overlooked.

Now that its published, how often will you be updating the Electoral Map? Will it be updated on a regular basis or on an as needed basis?

Little of both. My sense is either weekly or biweekly.

Here's a link to the map:

Sorry folks...temporary Internet explosion. I am back.

Who has been pushing him lately? He seems to have more buzz in the last month or so.

His resume is pretty impressive. He would be a historic pick (first Indian American on national ticket). Conservatives love him.

Could you make a legitimate case that the Indiana Senate seat is more likely to have a Democrat in 2013 than Nebraska, Missouri, Wisconsin, or Montana?

You could. But you woould be wrong.

What's the difference between a "hunter" and a "huntsman"?

One ran for president as a Republican this year.

After being awesome as Tim Riggins in Friday Night Lights, why is every Taylor Kitsch movie (John Carter, Battleship) an awful, money-losing bomb? Maybe Congress should pass a law that they bring back Friday Night Lights and he can only play the character of Tim Riggins. Also, why did Craig James do so poorly in the Texas Senate race? Texans love football! If I ran for Senate, I would've got more than 4% of the vote. Texas forever!

Just a terrific submission.

Taylor Kitsch should only be allowed to play Tim Riggins. I think Congress should make a law...

It doesnt make any sense for Romney to be courting Donald Trump. It just seems that Romney is so afraid of the right wing base that he will not have his Sister Soulja moment

Not sure why Romney is appearing with Trump. I have said -- and written -- that it makes no sense. The benefits don't come close to outweighing the costs.

good morning chris. how bad is today's jobs number for obama on a scale of 1-10, 1 being a sunburn, 5 three mile island and 10 chernobyl?

Three Mile Island is a 5?!

It's clearly not good. And if June's job report looks similar to the May one we got today, it's really big trouble for Obama.

Why are you such a bigot about republicans? You drink Obama's kool aid all the time. Nobody should trust anything you write or say.

Um, ok.

I say this all the time. I don't have a dog in the fight. I really don't. Never have.

I do love Kool-Aid though. Particularly on a hot summer day.

When does your new book come out?

Hey Mom! Thanks for being on the chat!

"The Gospel According to the Fix" comes out July 10!

Pre-order the paperback here:  Link

Pre-order the Kindle version here:  Link

John Edawrds verdict was thankfully yesterday, since it covered up a bad day by both campaigns and their juvenile antics

Fair enough. Kind of a bad day to cover politics in general. Lots of stunts by the presidential candidates and then the latest Edwards gut punch. Ugh.

Here's what I wrote on the Edwards verdict if you're interested:

As we slog through these next few months of the presidential race heading into the conventions, is there any chance that the Fix Team could put together a "deep dive" analysis on some of the key swing states, maybe starting with Virginia? Perhaps something analyzing the 2004 and 2008 votes by county, maybe even going to the sub-county level in key places like Prince William or Henrico that saw big swings in 2008, and that could be where the 2012 election gets decided.

Yes. A GREAT idea. We will get on it. LOVE!

So Obama is toast, right?

If this report is duplicated (or close to it) for the next three-four months, it's very difficult to see how he wins.

Is that the big news of the day coming from this chat: that the Cillizza doesnt wear boxers

Oh, I think so.

If it comes out that she did tell Harvard/Penn that she was Native American while they were interviewing/recruiting her, what does that do to the issue?

Makes it worse because she is now on record saying she formally told them about her heritage shortly after she was hired.

I don't anticipate that happening though.

Will we see George W Bush on the campaign trail, including the convention, at all this year?

Maybe at the convention. Not on the campaign trail. His numbers are still nowhere near good enough -- particularly among independents -- for Romney to publicly align himself too vclosely with the former president.

I see all sorts of polls showing Gov. Walker ahead of his opponent. Would his ouster next Tuesday be on the scale of Lehigh beating Duke in the NCAA Tournament?

I think a Walker loss at this point would be an upset but not a titanic one. 

Do these terrible numbers change the narrative from - we aren't making much progress - to - Oh my God, things are getting worse?

They could. And going from treading water to slipping below the surface is, not surprisingly, bad news politically.

Is Republican primary Senate upset winner Deb Fischer Nebraska's answer to Sharron Angle or Christine O'Donnell, i.e., one so extreme she'll snatch a GOP defeat from the jaws of victory?

Nothing I know about her -- and it's admittedly relatively little -- suggests that she is in that mold. 

How much influence does the SuperPAC money have? Can a candidate successfully run against it? I think its a bad thing but will your "low information" voters even know about it?

I don't think you can run against a super PAC. It might get your base revved up but it doesn't resonate with low information swing voters.

Remember that the Obama team tried to make the 2010 midterms about spending by outside conservative groups. And we know how that one turned out.

After the 2008 debacle that was the Sarah Palin Vice Presidential candidacy, isn't the Republican Party highly unlikely to nominate a politically rather inexperienced female (e.g., Martinez of NM, Ayotte of NH) to the Romney ticket?

I think the "experience" or "ready for the job" bar is higher in the post-Palin world for male and female VP picks.

It's a reason why Marco Rubio might not get picked...

When asked if would run for office again, he didn't say no. He said something about God still having plans for him. I don't know whether to be horrified or amused. Your reaction?

I am writing on this today. There will never be another run for political office for Edwards.  The public won't forgive him. Stay tuned...

Did you catch the game the other day? Neymar looks so good and he has Barcelona written all over for him next season

He did look good. Not Messi good. But good.

I definitely agree that she ended up botching the discussion on this Native American thing for the most part. But deciding to finally own up to using it as resume padding on the same day as the bad May jobs report, and the same day as the Edwards trial results, seems like accidentally good timing for her (she couldn't know that the Edwards case was going to be over yesterday). So she admits to ethical wrongdoing but all the pundits are too busy talking about bigger things to talk about her thing.

Well, remember that she talked to the Globe on Wednesday night after they unearthed documents that seemed to contradict her story...not sure Warren chose the time and place to reverse herself.

So, Condi Rice, any chance?

I don't think so.

1. She has NEVER expressed ANY interested in elected office.

2. She's pro-choice in a pro-life party.

Don't you need to poll only the battleground states where the Bain ads are actually airing to determine if the attack is making its way into the public consciousness?

The secret? Obama campaign hasn't spent much on Bain attack ads yet. So hard to gauge if they are working. 

What are you drinking? What are you listening to?

1. Chai tea latte. The Fix stomach has been a bit unsettled as of late.

2. The Lumineers. GREAT new record.

But we knew that already, didn't we? No surprise there.

Some people are naturals. (John Edwards). Others are not (almost everyone else). Warren is in the latter category.

TMI, Mr. Fix.


Can you see him foregoing a presidential bid and running for senate against senator landrieu in 2014 ?

No chance.

Are you awaiting your invitation to appear at the Mar-a-Largo Club, so Trump can tell the world you bombed there 15 years from now?

So good. I had to look up on the Intrawebs what that club was.  Doesn't Trump feel like someone who should be running with the Rat Pack?

That idea was so money!

You're like a great big bear.

As a Mass. resident and lifelong Democrat, nothing short of Warren being revealed as a serial killer could make me vote for Scott Brown; However, I am truly disappointed in the Warren campaign and its handling of the Native American issue and I believe that the issue could sway independents here to vote for Brown; I truly hope that Marisa DeFranco makes the 15% of the vote required to make the primary ballot. If she does, I plan to vote for her. She speaks her mind and while that it easy to do when you've got nothing to lose, I am sick of the dems putting people up who don't know how to run a campaign.

Thanks for the thought.

What's the latest word? Is it getting tighter or will Walker walk away with it?

I really don't know.

I think Walker goes into election day as the favorite but how solidly he has a grasp on that title is anyone's guess.

That's funny, I was just about to comment, "Why are you such a bigot about Democrats? You drink Romney's Kool-Aid all the time."

Look. I LOVE Kool-Aid. It's delicious. Plus, the Kool-Aid Man was the coolest mascot for a kid's drink ever.

I'd say that it's really big trouble for US. Looking to the sitting President (who's no cheerleader) or his current rival (who just exudes false bravado) for "confidence" because some made-up numbers reported this month were below somebody's expectations is a fool's errand. If we want to find confidence, the American people should take a look in the mirror. Either we find it within ourselves and move forwards, or we'll continue to dither and look elsewhere for our own happiness.

Again, I am a political reporter and analyst.

I think it goes without saying that rising unemployment is bad for the country. But, my job is to view it through the political prism. And viewed that way, today is a bad day for the Obama campaign.

Although downplayed by the Post, your recent poll showed Romney gaining sharply among women. Will the President's support of gender-based abortions and the new figures showing 700,000 fewer women in the workforce since he took office, isn't more likely that Romney will continue to increase his support among women voters?

Downplayed? It led the homepage!  

Chris- I was playing around with the electoral map this weekend and deciding the swing states (based on your classification) for who I thought they would end up voting for I accidently created an electoral tie with 269-269. My reasoning went like this (skip to avoid amateur political pondering) Nevada and Ohio have been hit hard by the economy and Nevada has a population with religious ties to Mitt Romney, I think both go Red. Wisconsin has been getting more republican in the recent elections and will keep that new tradition and turn colors in November from Usually blue to this-time-red. PA and NH both awarded to Obama because, hey it's the NE and Obama does well there. Virginia, pushed largely by NoVA goes blue for Obama. NC comes back into the solid GOP state that it usually is now that there is no longer history to be made Florida also turns red. In every election this is possible, but this election I feel like it's an easier argument to make. If I placed a bet in Vegas that the president ends up selected by the House how likely am I to make some money?


What about Cristiano Ronaldo good?

You mean "pretty boy who folds like a house of cards when a defender gets anywhere near him" good?  Yeah, he looked at least that good.

Does she have any Native American bloodlines? Is it similar to the Rubio "We were exiled by Castro" story?

A genealogist has said she is 1/32nd Cherokee.  I have no reason to think she's not.

Things got chippy, which was kind of exciting, but, man, our talent level is just pathetic. The only way we're ever catching up to the world is if (American) football gets banned and those crazy athletes pick up futbol.

Right. This is my theory on why women's field hockey can't medal at the Olympics.

Our best female athletes play all sorts of sports; some play bball, others softball, soccer and field hockey.  The talent pool gets diluted across all of those sports.

When Mrs Fix took her team to Argentina, EVERY good female athlete plays field hockey. EVERY good male athlete plays soccer. No debate.

Today! Does the Fix have a favorite doughnut?

I LOVE me a bavarian cream with chocolate frosting. The Fix waistline feels less enthusiastic about that pick.

That's hardly a ringing endorsement of natural candidates, you realize.

Well, he WAS (and is) incredibly gifted as a communicator. It's not my fault he used his powers for bad, not good.

As of now, who do you think would win the election? Is it to close to call?

Phil Phillips.

Oh, I'm not saying that she chose the timing herself. I mean it was literally accidental good timing. The political universe smiled upon her for a minute, so that even though she's worked herself into a problem, fewer people are around to talk about it today.

Yes then. Agreed.

Obama might be the luckiest politician ever, but if Warren loses because she never gets a chance to make her economic argument, then Scott Brown has to be a strong contender for #2.

Another lucky politician: Bill Nelson in Florida. In 06 Republicans nominate Katharine Harris.  In 2012, Republicans are probably going to nominate Connie Mack IV.

Could you actually answer the question?

I think Obama will win among women voters. If his margin is 8 or under, that's good news for Romney.


Yeah, but isn't it like one part water, one part sugar with some red flavoring in a packet? THAT's what Mayor Bloomberg should be going after.

Bloomberg vs the Kool Aid Man? I am taking the Kool Aid Man. That dude could walk through brick walls!

Actually, a genealogist said that if her story is true then she is 1/32nd Cherokee. It hasn't actually been proven, the genealogist who said that it had been later came back and said he had never actually seen the documents in question so couldn't verify her heritage.

OK, Thanks for the clarification.

So NOT cool enough to be hangin' with the Rat Pack--Frank, Sammy, Dean, etc. Not even suave enough to hang with the Oceans Eleven crew--George, Brad, Matt, etc.

FACTCHECK on this claim: mostly true.

Congrats to the NBA for winning its own lottery with New Orleans. Another rigged lottery system

Wizards got the shaft.

That'd be "futebol" in Portuguese, por favor.

And Ronaldo goes down clutching at his leg...but there's no one within 15 feet of him....

Ok, folks. That's all I have time for today. Have a GREAT weekend and, as always, 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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