The Fix Live

Jun 15, 2012

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

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Good morning everyone!

President Obama makes a big play for the Hispanic vote with his announcement later today that the Department of Homeland Security will not work to deport young people who entered the country illegally.

Plus, Mitt Romney starts his bus/plane tour.

And, Bieber Fever!

Let's chat.

Obama's job approval hasn't budged for months. So maybe people don't care about the various controversies of the past few weeks.

I think the fact is that people are VERY set in their opinions about this president. There are a small number of undecideds -- somewhere between 7-12 percent is my guess -- who are genuinely trying to make their minds up.

That's who Obama was talking to in his speech yesterday. And who he will continue to talk to for the rest of this campaign.

Hi Chris, love the Fix, but if I have but one quibble with you, it's that your book (oh, look, it's available for preorder now on Amazon...) isn't out yet, so I won't be receiving it as a Fathers' Day gift!

It's a belated Father's Day gift!

The "Gospel According to the Fix" comes out on July 10.  But, pre-order now.  Seriously. Do it. Fix Jr needs a new pair of shoes.

Chris, I enjoy the Fix and your chats. This is probably more an Editorial decision than something in your wheelhouse (sorry, no wrestling or field hockey references). But where have Dana Milbank's Friday chats gone?

(From the producer)

Dana Milbank no longer chats on Fridays.  Instead of hosting a weekly live chat, he devotes his time reponding to readers in the comments sections of his opinion pieces. 

Who is to blame for the relative lack of voter knowledge about the two presidential candidates economic and fiscal plans to deal with the twin problems of lack of growth and employment and long term US gov. debt unsustainability--the candidates or the press? Do the candidates need to "frame the issue" before the press picks up on it or is it the press' responsibility to dig deep into the two competing economic visions and explain the differences to the voters. As a teacher of economics, it is breathtaking to listen to network anchors and political talking heads and their lack of economic policy understanding of each candidate. This is the most important issue in the campaign given our troubles and it goes to the heart of the strengths and limitations of both government and capitalism.

Proposing the candidates or the press as the two scapegoats presumes that people WANT to know about the US long term debt problems.

I am not convinced they do.  I think for lots and lots of people -- particularly those who are still undecided about the presidential race -- they have only the most passing interest in either politics or the economy.

I know it's hard for people who would get on a chat at 11 am on a Friday with me to believe but the reality is that these folks may just not care that much.

If they feel indifference, then nothing candidates or the press can do will help solve that problem.

Are you having Burger King's Bacon Sundae ?

No. Gross.  But a Chick-Fil-A opened Thursday 5 minutes from Fix world HQ. So, I will be enjoying the best fast food in the country five times a week now.

So just how dependent on the Hispanic vote is Obama?

Obama's coalition is: a) black voters b) young voters c) Hispanic voters d) affluent white voters.

Hispanics are a pillar of the Obama base. So, yes, he needs them. And they have been less enthusiastic than African Americans toward Obama over the last three years.

I think today's decision is aimed at making clear to Hispanics which party is looking out for the interests more.

How good was that!?

The best part was his stuff on Perot.  Poppy Bush DOES NOT like that guy.

Thanks for taking questions today, Chris. To put it in pundit's terms, did Obama and Romney each do what he needed to do in their competing speeches? Who do you think did a better job or are we deadlocked as usual?

If you went into Obama's speech liking Obama, you left it liking him.  Ditto for Romney.

I think there is a VERY SMALL group of people who both candidates have to appeal to.  Obama's message to that group was "I am trying to break the deadlock. I need your help". Romney's is "Obama talks a big game but he doesn't deliver."

I am not sure which one works better.

Any downside to the President deciding not to enforce current immigration laws? This follows his determination that DOMA and other laws are unconstitutional and will not be enforced/defended? What happened to the rule of law, the courts, and the three co-equal branches of government?

Obviously this just happened so it's a developing situation.  My guess on a downside is that independents who don't like the idea of rewarding -- in any way shape or form -- people who entered this country illegally might balk at the announcement a bit.

My guess is the Obama team knows that and they balanced that possibility against the political upside of sending a very clear message to Hispanics that the president is looking out for them.

Chris: Will the Post give it as big a boost as they are doing with David Marannis's book on the President?

Well, I have a very high opinion of myself but NO ONE is David Maraniss.

Hopefully the Post will give the "Gospel" some nice run. The company has always been and continues to be great to me so whatever they do will be great!

Well, let the teeth-gnashing begin. The hysterics are already out in force in the comment section of the article about the change in policy. I truly don't understand how the anti-immigration folks don't understand that deporting children who were raised here, and who had nothing to do with the choice to come here, back to a country those children have never seen is anything other than cruel. The idea that we can round up and deport 12 million people is insane. It would cost billions (trillions?) of dollars, and we would be deporting many people who contribute valuably to this country. So, that means targeted deportations, and I'd rather actual criminals be a the head of the deportation line rather than civil violators, particularly those who themselves were brought here involuntarily (unless the immigrant parents were more lenient than mine were and do everything their children tell them to do).

Haley Barbour -- the former REPUBLICAN governor of Mississippi and former head of the Republican National Committee -- said almost that same thing this morning at a breakfast for reporters in Washington.

Just where is Jeb Bush in the mix? He says he's open to it, then he takes a swipe (a mild one in my opinion, but a swipe) at his own party. Florida, of course, is vital in the Electoral College. and Bush remains very popular there.

Not interested. And I take him at his word.

I think Jeb will run for national office in 2016 or 2020. But I think he has zero interest in serving as vice president to Romney.

What with The Fix throwing hard-earned money away on Oreos, who can doubt it. Oreo should be an official sponsor. Get your Oreo Fix!

Agree. I should be sponsored by Oreos, Chick-Fil-A, Friday Night Lights and Game of Thrones. Gosh knows I do enough publicity for them ;)

Both John McCain and Barack Obama made high profile trips overseas (London/Berlin) during the 2008 campaign. Is there any talk of a Romney trip in the next few months - maybe to Afghanistan?

Not yet...but this is a very good idea.  I assume Mitt Romney reads the Fix chat so he'll see this shortly...

Now has 57,000+ followers on their Facebook page and many collateral merchandise items for sale. Does The Fix household include a pet with political opinions? Or does The Fix pet remain studiedly neutral?

There is no Fix pet. Won't be one. Mrs. Fix is terribly allergic.

Spain and Germany both look strong, and the Netherlands have to be the biggest disappointments so far

Agreed.  I think Croatia has surprised too.

Hi Chris- I'm a political junkie, but I have to say that I am already bored with the presidential election. Some fun senate seats, sure, but what can the poor voter do to combat election fatigue besides hope someone make a major gaffe? I don't want snark, I want issues. And all I hear is how bad the other guy is. I know I am voting for Obama, but it's with diminished enthusiasm.

Hmm, not interested in snark eh?  I may not have anything to sell you ;)

I think the hard thing -- in terms of covering this election -- is that there are so few undecided voters and it appears as though that nothing that happens in the day to day of the campaign has much impact (if any) on how people thionk about the race.

That's tough because it's hard to know just what to watch, what matters and what people want to know about.

How much harm did Jeb Bush cause himself for a possible run in 2016 with his tweets of how Reagan and Bush 41 could not get nominated in the current GOP?

Well, if Romney loses there is the real posibility that the GOP does some soul-searching and decides that Jeb is right.  

"I think today's decision is aimed at making clear to Hispanics which party is looking out for the interests more." All without bothering to draft and submit a comprehensive immigraiton reform proposal to congress - as promised in 2008! Is this becoming a theme - Congress is deadlocked so why bother to propose anything?

Yes. Remember that Obama has said as much. That if Congress refuses to act, he will. And remember that Obama kept saying "Mitt Romney and his congressional allies" in yesterday's Cleveland speech. That was not by accident. He is trying to run against Romney AND Republicans in Congress.

While I suspect this new tact will sell well to Hispanics, isn't Team Obama taking a chance that independents and others leaning to vote for him will be turned off?

Yes. See above. All decisions like this have political pluses and minuses. Not possible to make a 100% politically positive decision this close to an  election.

Isnt it a bit childish for Romney endorsing the idea of his bus following Obama campaign events?

And what part about campaign politics isn't "a bit childish"? 

I kid. But not really.

Is the Cillizza's talents headed to see Dave Matthews tomorrow at Jiffy Lube Live?

Um, no. But the Fix fam but Fix Father In Law will be in attendance at the Nats-Yanks game on Sunday. SO PSYCHED.

"But a Chick-Fil-A opened Thursday 5 minutes from Fix world HQ. So, I will be enjoying the best fast food in the country five times a week now." Friend, if you have occasion to travel to North Carolina to cover the race, get thee to a Cook-Out as soon as possible. That is, in fact, the best fast food in the country. Just a heads-up.

I am, admittedly, intrigued.

Is he going to stay on as AG if Obama is re-elected?

Who knows. But, the idea that Holder is even considering resigning is ridiculous. Not happening.

First off, agreed on Chick Fil A- love that place! And B),, it feels like President Obama did the right thing for the wrong reason. He knew he needed to get the Latino vote, so he did the right thing for the children- but it was so blatantly political that something about it feels wrong. I know, scoreboard, the end result is a good thing for young lives, but still. It's sort of like him coming out in favor of gay marriage...right before heading off to rake it in from Hollywood/NYC fundraisers.

Maybe. But remember that most people don't see things through the political/process lens that we do. 

It's much harder to campaign as an incumbent, or is it?

NO question.

As an incumbent you own everything -- including lots of things you have no power to control. As a challenger, you can pick and choose the debates you wade into.

On the other hand, being the incumbent allows President Obama to make moves like he is going to do on immigration today.

Chances are that some event that neither candidate can control plays a big role in moving the undecideds. BTW, have any debates been agreed to yet, or does that come after the conventions?

There are typically three debates. My guess is that's how many we will get this year.

If only that were true. I find him tiresome enough that I'm sorry there is one David M.

INSANITY.  One of the best writers/political chroniclers of this or any time.

I think Obama loses in November, I think we'll look back at this month as the decisive point. But not because of anything that happened on the campaign trail. Because of that jobs report, which seems to solidify the view that the economy is souring. Very different from the beginning of the year, when things were really brightening for Obama.

We absolutely may. But Obama would rather have June be a terrible month for him than October.

Will Spain win it all? Will Torres finally get some respect? Or will he just never be good enough for some commentators?

Torres played well yesterday. I think the only team that might be able to take Spain out is Germany.  That seems like the final we are headed for, right?

Wait, what? The guy who said the years of the civil rights struggle were just all nice & peaceful that he remembers?

Haley has been a leading voice on immigration policy and foreign policy -- remember he was the one who said the country might need to re-examine its role in the world.

sorry, fresh out of issues, we only have snark available.

Get your hot, fresh snark!

"Well, if Romney loses there is the real posibility that the GOP does some soul-searching and decides that Jeb is right." One can always hope, I suppose, but I see very little evidence Republicans are considering any meaningful move toward the center. Any particular reason you think that is a real possibility?

Eight years without the White House can be a powerful change agent. See 1992 and Bill Clinton.

Chris, remember your Fix headline from about a year ago: "Is Obama Unbeatable?" Remember that?

Yup. Because that was a question people were asking at the time.

I write a blog.  That means I write several times a day about various conversations in the political world. I say -- as often as I can -- that I don't have a monopoly on good ideas or right opinions. I look critically at politics and try to report things out. That's all I can do.

"Chances are Chances are that some event that neither candidate can control plays a big role in moving the undecideds." That event will be the election, probably.

BOOM. Prognostication 101.

Who would you put money on as the better debater? And assuming that the debates are organized around policy areas (domestic, foreign, economics), which area is likely to be stronger for which candidate?

Both men, based on their past record, will be able debaters. The more the debates focus on the economy, the better for Romney because that's clearly the area where he is most comfortable.

I believe that they almost never matter. I remember in 1988, when Democrats held their convention in Atlanta, because they thought that it would help them in the South. Didn't happen. Do you think that Charlotte or Tampa will affect the election in any way? Maybe if Tampa is hit by a hurricane, and Romney is washed out to sea.

Seconded. They don't matter.

Moving in next door to Sarah Palin, after her fifteen minutes were up? Why? And I hate writers who inject themselves into the narrative.

Um, that Joe McGinniss. Not the same dude. Or even close.

What's the "Point of No Return" in this election, when not even a huge economic breakthrough will affect the public opinion.....end of September?

Maybe even earlier... but yes by end of September I don't see anything other than an conomic cataclysm changing the overarching dynamics of the race.

He doesn't seem to be doing very much to court them. Is this a deliberate strategy? Am I wrong?

He is trying to balance the need to court them with past statements during the primary that took a hardline on illegal immigration.

That's why I think Obama's move today is smart politics. It boxes Romney in. If he comes out even marginally supportive of Obama's proposal, Democrats can hit him as a flip flopper. If he opposes it, Democrats can hit him as uncaring about Hispanics.

Cory Booker? (That's the question -- future in the party, future elections, etc...)

I think he should run against Christie in 2013. If I was a betting man though, I bet he passes on that race and hopes Lautenberg retires in 2014 and there is an open Senate seat.  I am not sure Lautenberg has any plans to retire though.

My DVR is already rejecting all the campaign ads in June?

Get your DVR set to tape Andrea Mitchell Reports today at 1 pm. I am guest-hosting!

Clearly a BIG issue for Obama -- he needs those black, Hispanic, and young voters to stream to the polls. But does Romney have any groups he needs to show up? I suspect a lot of "undecided" voters may stay home, especially if they come to dislike Romney.

Maybe so.

Well, it would be nice to live in a perfect world, but unfortunately... C'mon. The point is he did the right thing.

The political world is not an ideal world. Or close.

Is the Republican nomination in Florida still Connie Mack's to lose?

Yes, although he has not run a good campaign. In a big state that costs lots of money to communicate in, however, having a great political last name matter alot. And Connie Mack has that.

Do you have any insight into what's going on in the GOP primary to replace Herb Kohl?

Not really. My guess is Tommy T is a slight favorite. But Mark Neumann is running as a conservative and Eric Hovde is spending a bunch of money trying to replicate the Ron Johnson model.

What signs indicate whether the Indiana Senate seat turn into a competitive race?

Not many. I am skeptical Indiana is a real opportunity for Democrats given what I assume will be a significant Romney win in the state this fall.

Ok, folks. have to beg out slightly earlier.  Remember: If you really want your dad to know you love him, you should buy him a copy of "The Gospel According to the Fix".


Have a GREAT weekend.


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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