The Fix Live

Aug 24, 2012

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

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Good morning everyone...sorry for being slightly late. Let's do this thing.

The media meme that Ryan produced no bounce is wrong in my opinion. On 8/7 CNN had a poll of Obama +7 and FOX had Obama +9. Romney was on a downward spiral and now it's a virtual tie. Can't one argue that Ryan has SAVED the campaign?

I don't buy into the idea Romney was in a "downward spiral".

I think Obama has opened a small single digit lead nationally and in most swing states. As Romney's advertising edge asserts itself -- as it is starting to -- the race will narrow.

Here's the reality: 47% of people are voting for Obama no matter what. 47% are voting for Romney no matter what. Nothing -- and I do mean nothing -- will change that reality.

I think the Ryan choice was a bold one but not a wise one as Cokie Roberts said, why didn't he pick Rubio? Too many skeletons in his closet from when he was running the Florida Republican Party like his own personal piggy bank?

Not totally sure on Rubio -- I still think he or Bobby Jindal made the most sense for the long term prospects of the party -- but my guess is that they viewed him as open to the critique that he just wasn't ready for the job. 

Ryan spent 14 years in the House. Rubio has been in the Senate for less than 2 years and was in the Florida state House before that.

Remember that the Romney folks lived/live in constant fear of any VP pick that drew any comparison to Sarah Palin....not that Rubio is like Palin but the relative thinness of his time of federal office could have opened them up to criticism that Romney had picked someone who couldn't do the job on day one.

Assuming Akin stays in this race, at what point does the NRSC and Super PACs get back in the game supporting him? This was always a tough race for McCaskill, even now.

It's an interesting question. I am not sure if they ever do, particularly if they have polling -- and they will have polling -- that shows Akin can't win.

Giving away Missouri would be a major blow to GOP prospects of retaking the Senate but they would still have other paths to get to 50 (or 51).

That said, I still don't think Akin makes it to Nov. 6.

Romney is obviously not going to carry MA. When was the last time (or was there ever a time), when a candidate for president won nationally, but lost his home state?

Well, Gore did win the popular vote and lost Tennessee in 2000...

There seems to be a real animosity towards Obama in the media. The media acts like things were economically great when he took office and that he has had a cooperative congress while he has been in office. Every article in the post seems to start with Obama should not win. Not too subtle. What is the cause of this animosity?


Jake Tapper is the latest journalist to suggest that the media was soft on Obama in '08. Do you think the negative tone of the Obama campaign this cycle is allowing the press to be more confrontational?

It used to be the foremost of swing states, but let's face it: Missouri is now a red state. It's only August, and voters have short memories. Despite Akin's repugnant comments, any chance he still beats McCaskill?

I don't think so. I think those comments have gotten massive amounts of attention in and out of the state, the vast majority of it negative.

And, with national parties and outside groups pulling their cash away from Akin, I don't see how he could remain financially competitive (or anywhere close to financially competitive) with McCaskill.

Do the Republicans care that all these anti-immigrant measures might permanently lose the Hispanic vote for them? Or do Republican Representatives assume they will always be able to win their little Congressional district, so it doesn't matter what happens nationally?

I have an entire chapter on just that question in "The Gospel According to the Fix".  Available here:

Have you dropped Worst Week in Washington? I haven't seen it lately. If there is a week to revive it, this is it!

Praise for the Gospel will always get your question answered!

And, no, I haven't dropped "Worst Week"...come on (Gob Bluth voice.)

Here's my latest on (who else?) Todd Akin:

Chris, if Todd Akin drops out of Missouri Senate race, what are the chances the Missouri GOP Central committee picks Jo Ann Emerson over John Brunner?

Possible. I don't think Emerson could win a primary (too moderate) so this may be her only chance to get to the Senate.

Obviously after Akin's comments there is a desire among many Missouri Republicans to nominate a woman in hopes of diminishing the antipathy among that gender toward their side at the moment.

Another name to keep in mind: Vicky Hartzler who beat Ike Skelton in 2010. going to sound pretty silly from a taxpayer-funded arena.

Taxpayer funded arenas are people too my friend.

Is there a point at which spending money on TV ads doesn't actually buy you anything because people are so used to political ads that they just tune them all out?

Yup.  There's definitely dimishing returns in a market that's just flooded with ads. Unless you can find an ad that cuts through -- usually a really negative one -- it's likely that people just tune out.

National polls seem meaningless. In what seems a 50/50 nation, all national presidential polls are going to show a close race. The more meaningfull polls are the battleground state polls. It looks like Obama has a healthy lead in most of those states. Certainly enough to get him over 270 electoral votes. Romney would need to pull an inside straight for an upset. Does that seem like a correct assesment?

Have said before that Obama has more paths to 270 than does Romney. That remains true. But there are plenty of toss up states that if they went Romney's way he would win easily.

Are you chatting from Tampa? If not, when were you planning to travel there? Hurricane Issac might have other ideas.

I am not in Tampa yet. Will be there Sunday afternoon.

Food recommendations? Good, cool coffee shops that would welcome me with open arms (and free wifi) are very welcome.

If the GOP has to reschedule their convestion, are networks obligated to cover it?

Not going to happen. Isaac turned west!

Hi Chris, As if there are not enough important issues in the current presidential campaign I have seen a few articles wondering about Paul Ryan's "oversize" clothing. Does he wish he were a bigger guy? Maybe better "suited"to be President than VP?

Like Ron Paul, Paul Ryan would benefit from a tailor.  I would recommended checking out Matt Lauer's suits -- that guy is smooooove -- to get a sense of what you should look like.

Any chance Obama makes Missouri interesting now, enough to make Romney campaign there?


Given there seem to be far fewer undecideds than usual, do you think there will be the usual bounce after each convention?

Good point and I bet not. But there will be LOTS of stories wondering where the bounce is/was.

Status of your book list on the presidents? I'm looking forward to this list! And make sure those that are bias are identified. I haven't found a non-biased FDR book yet.

I am on vacation this week so I haven't started sifting through the comments yet.

For the uninitiated, we are trying to get at least one really good biography on each of the 43 presidents. If you have recommendations send them to me at chris DOT cillizza AT washingtonpost DOT com.

Which speakers are most likely to spark interest for his/her own presidential run?

Chris Christie

Rand Paul


Are we seeing a belated bounce from the Ryan pick or the result of the negative advertising?

I believe the latter. Remember that Obama was heavily outspending Romney on TV for much of the spring and summer.

Which hotels in Tampa ot St. Petersburg are the biggest Movers and Shakers staying in. Did they wind up being closer to the Tampa Bay Times Forum, or the beaches?

You are asking me for information on movers and shakers? You must have mistaken me for someone cool.

Seems like every week, there is some new demographic that will be THE swing factor on if Pres. Obama has a second term or Gov. Romney becomes the 44th. One week it's Hispanics, then it's seniors, then it's women then it's whoever.

Obama is clearly focused VERY heavily on independent women. All of the Planned Parenthood ads and now hits on Romney on education -- all of that is purposely designed to convince waivering women to Obama's side.

The person having the worst week was pretty easy this week. The better question is who had the 2nd worst week, and I think it was Paul Ryan

Oh no.

Kevin Yoder aka the Congressman who went skinny dipping in the Sea of Gallilee.

Mr Cilizza, You do know Bob Dylan plays James Delaney Buffet songs at his concerts? Right! Does Brucie have any hotels? Casinos or restaurants? I take Margartiaville over anything Brucie has ever written. Typical overeducated liberal leaning bias from you to overlook Buffet. Buffet's songs offer just s profound if not more profound social comment than Brucie's. Shame your bias doesnt let you see it. and what shows are more fun to attend?


Jimmy Buffett is not even in the same conversation with Springsteen and Dylan in terms of songwriters.

Also, I am neither overeducated nor liberal.

If Gov. Romney's press team told you they would give you five minutes with the Governor, but only if you agreed not to ask about medical abortions or Congressman Akin, would you do the interview?

No. I don't do interviews where topics are off limits.

Was he thankful for the Akin story, so that his dip in the Sea of Galilee would go totally unnoticed

Um, yes.

Will you be showing up to the convention in a Ric Flair robe?

In Charlotte, absolutely. I will also be renting the biggest house in the biggest part of town to stay in during the convention.

How are you preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Isaac in Tampa?

Lots of meditation

I still dont see Akin dropping out and eventually getting support from the GOP, since they highly value getting the majority in the Senate

That question presupposes that there will be polling that suggests Akin can win thus compelling national Republicans to invest.

While stranger things have happened, I don't see it.

Hi Chris -- Thanks for taking questions today. The polls, while close, consistently show the president winner the "who do you like better" contest by wide margins. How important will this ultimately be come Election Day? It's clear that most voters just can't relate to Romney, but is that outweighed by what many perceive to be the stalled economy? How does Romney overcome that deficit, or should he not even try?

GREAT question and the basic dichotomy of the election.

Do you want the guy you like but who hasn't turned the economy around as quickly as you expected? Or the guy who you don't really like but has a long resume in the business world?

That's the choice.

DId you give up coffee or are you waiting on a deal for a Fix Live Chat sponsorship to go through?

I am STILL waiting for Starbucks to start sponsoring these chats. I mean, it would rule.

In the meantime, I am guzzling down mochas like it's my job.

Who is less on message in tv interviews, Debbie Wasserman Schultz or Michael Steele?

Michael Steele. Not close.

Assuming Obama wins reelection, what do you make of the Republican field for 2016? I think it will be fascinating with Paul Ryan believing that he's the heir apparent, Rick Santorum thinking he's the next man up, and a host of others like Bobby Jindal and Chris Christie who'll think it's their turn.






Will Medicare still be a major issue when election day rolls around?

If Democrats have any say over it, yes.

I know this is off topic, but I read your chats as much for your political insights as for your music insights. In fact, your chat turned me on to Mumford and Sons way before Sigh No More was even released in the US. (I actually went to see the Gentlemen of the Road show in Bristol earlier this month. M&S were fantastic. Dawes were terrific. And I loved Apache Relay. Justin Townes Earl was ok.) Anyway, how about a music tip? Any new favorite bands? Albums?


Diamond Rugs

Leonard Cohen's new one

New Edward Sharpe


Yeah, that certainly doesn't qualify one for the presidency. Unless it's Illinois, right? Geez.

I didn't say it didn't qualify him. Just that the Romney team was very wary of picking someone with a relatively thin national resume.

What Battleground States are you on the cusp of reconsidering from Toss-up to either party?

GOOD question.

We move NC to lean Romney a little while back because I still don't see how Obama wins there...though they are spending so much money on TV that they clearly see a path to victory.

I am not sure what to make of Wisconsin. On the one hand, polling shows it's close and Ryan should help Romney marginally. On the other, neither campaign has spent ANY money on TV in the state and no Republican has won it since 1984.

Have you been on every MSNBC show with your appearance this week, besides Lockup and any of the documentaries?


Hello, I'm from Earth. Have we met?


What Post have you been reading? Talk about an alternate reality.

I love alternate reality.

Fix Sean is doing such a great job!!

He rules! Follow him on the Twitter machine @FixSean.

And, I'll tell him his mom was on the chat.

First--ordering your book this weekend--too much build-up to just ignore! Second--and I know this is absolutely NOT going to happen, but it did get me wondering--assuming the hurricane fizzles and the RNC convention goes off as planned, how much of a storm would be raised if the Dems announced--during the RNC convention that Hillary was replacing Biden? How much coverage would be moved away from convention coverage to focus on that story. (Again, I know it ain't gonna happen, but the thought of what this could do made me laugh a bit...)

1. Thank you. I hope you enjoy the book

2. It would absolutely steal thw show. But it isn't going to happen.

It has to be fascinating to observe politics from your perch. I look at one candidate and wonder how anyone could vote for the Bozo, but at the same time, I know the other side looks at me and says "how you can vote for that Bozo"? If you ever figure out how that works and keep your sanity, you will have a spot reserved on some Florida beach for life.

Still working on the keeping my sanity part. Lots and lots of mochas.  And Oreos. And pickup basketball.

Chris, isn't it just possible Akin could stop advertising and run a campaign on a shoestring, counting on a Republican tilt in the state to give him the win? In other words, does he NEED a lot of money?

To communicate statewide he does.  But it's an interesting question. Given the tilt of MO, my guess is Akin woud likely underperform Romney by 5-8 points. So if Romney wins with 52, Akin loses with between 44 and 47.

His campaign manager told huffo ipad magazine (that's a thing?) that he might be a one termer who fixes the problems and then leaves. Is this likely, or is it just a way to get attention and make conservaties more ramped to make Ryan veep?

Not sure I would put too much stock in it.

But I love the James K. Polk comparison. I feel like politicians nowadays look for the most obscure politician to compare themselves to.

"Not since William Henry Harrison....."

It's hell living in a battleground state (VA); the ads, the ads, the cursed, never-ending ads. Tell me, FixCzar, how do you like my ad-avoidance strategy -- if I'm watching TV, and a political ad comes on, I have a button on the remote programmed to switch to ESPN immediately! Football's back! The baseball playoffs are coming! With a little luck and a fast channel finger, I plan on avoiding most ads. What say you?

I think you are far from the only one pursuing this strategy.

But where was the field hockey part of the question ;)

Any chance alarm bells are going off in Tampa over the Rasmussen poll showing Obama leading in MO? Not to mention a 10 point deficit for Akin. No way for Romney to win w/o MO, right?

No way for him to win. But I find it hard to believe Romney would lose Missouri in an election like this one.

Victor Valdes, without a doubt. Come on! My 10YO could've cleared that ball.

He's not very good.  I am a Manuel Neuer fan.

Um, according to Rasmussen McCaskill is up 10 over Akin and Obama is leading Romney by 1 in Missouri. There's a stench emanating from that poll right?

I wouldn't be surprised if McCaskill was up 10. Obama and Romney tied is surprising to me...

Love your work. To me, you're like the post-punk Charlie Cook or Stu Rothenberg. I want to know if you think that either candidate will tack back to the center. As a moderate independent non-partisan voter, I believe the solutions always lie halfway between left and right. Any chance either of the candidates thinks this too?


And, I think there is an active debate in the strategist world right now as to whether this is a base election or a persuadables election.

I wrote my column on it last Monday. Here it is:

Given that less than 20 percent of voters believe that abortion is a major issue in presidential voting, can we conclude that the prominence of abortion rights with the Democrats right now is simply a way of diverting attention from the poor economy and jobs outlook?

It's also a MAJOR way to pump up their base.

Rand Paul has a national constituency?

He thinks he does. That will be tested when he runs. And he will run.

Other than your writing or the rest of the Fix posse, my favorite writing this political season has been by Ron Brownstein. His breakdown of the race using the numbers and campaign strategy has been incredibly informative. Just so good.

He's amazing.

...Is this likely to happen?

I didn't think so but Booker is sending some signals that he is more interested than we all assumed.

That would be a GREAT race.

Do you think the president still has a solid 50-50 chance of winning Florida or do you think the state is tilting toward Romney?

I would have put a thumb on the scale for Romney pre-Ryan VP pick. Now I think it's a straight toss up.

Last week in this chat you stated that you pointed at the republican compisition at the Villages every chance you could on MSNBC. Have you ever pointed out the democratic makeup of any of Obama's crowds, or is that just for Republicans?


I think it's worth noting that Ryan and the Romney team chose a friendly audience of seniors to explain Medicare.  

I would say the same about Obama and the locations he picks to give major speeches.

You can keep looking for bias. But it's just not there. Sorry to disappoint.

Uh, the point is it's hard to pick someone with a nearly identical resume after spending months/years saying the other guy wasn't prepared. That was a clown comment, bro.

Great use of clown question meme.

Chris, Based on what you seem to like, I think you shoud check Willem Maker out: For the record, I am not him.

Will check out. Thanks, Willem!

Hurricane's at St. Pete Beach for the Grouper Sandwich. The Colonade on Bayshore Blvd. for the French Onion Soup. Columbia's on St. Pete Pier for the Cuban Sandwiches and Flan. (they're tearing it down next year for a new pier). Pepin's for some wonderful Paella. Crab shack in Bradenton for Seafood and a "Blue Crab Pizza" But they can't make a Latte worth a damm, sorry.


And there is NOWEHERE in Tampa where I can get good coffee?

He won reelection in 1916, despite losing his home state of New Jersey.

Yeah, it was right on the tip of my tongue. Not.

Love Jimmy- but please do not put him in the same sentence as Bruce.

Thank you. Although this is apparently evidence of your "liberal bias". You have been warned.

Was thrilled to watch the EPL last weekend with no political ads

So good.  The Everton-Man U game, which I watched in its entirety since I am on vacation this week, was absolutely electric.

Chris, Why is there anyone on this chat who STILL hasn't read your book? I read it two weeks ago and I wouldn't dream of facing this campaign without it. (And no, I'm not your mother. Or Mrs. Fix, who I am sure has much else to keep her busy these days).

I ask myself that same question all the time.

If you are one of the 50 or so people worldwide who has yet to buy the book, you can do it here:

Chris overeducated? The man went to Georgetown. There is one thing I can tell you about us Hoyas, noone would ever accuse us of even being properly educated, much less overeducated (that is unless you compare us to Syracuse alums).

It's funny because it's true.

Is Syracuse still an accredited university?

Hi Chris, Jimmy fan must be referring to his deep social commentary like "let's all get drunk and screw" - can you even print that at WP?

It's true.  Buffett lyrics are just so layered.

I mean "it's 5'oclock somewhere" is the rough equivalent of "How many roads most a man walk down/Before you call him a man" right?

The media area at the DNC is purported to be the Charlotte Bobcats Practice Court .. is there such a thing as a Charlotte Bobcats Practice Court?


Chris, are you saying you're an uneducated conservative from Connecticut? That's an oxymoron, isn't it?

Neither conservative nor liberal.

But certainly not overeducated. I will fight to the death on that point. I am, if anything, undereducated.

Do you think the current high profile of Todd Akin's rape comments will have any negative effect on his fellow anti-abortion bill-sponsor Congressman Paul Ryan, and by extension Romney's candidacy, come election day? Or will it mostly be forgotten by then?

Almost none.  People vote for a president, not a vice president anyway...and Akin does not equal Ryan...

Are there no Cuban eateries in Tampa? That's where I'd look for good coffee. Oh, wait, I forgot -- you & your lattes. you don't like coffee; you like candy.

That is, sadly, correct.

Media animosity toward Owebama? My head nearly exploded reading that rabbit-hole comment. The media is in love with Owebama. Not as infatuated as four years ago, I'll grant you, but that would be impossible.

I think it's spelled "O-b-a-m-a".

Just sayin'... Can you find time to compare any/all of the November races to Premier League (throw in La Liga and Serie A, if necessary)? If so, I can promise an interested audience of at lease one.

Hard to resist that kind of audience...

I voted for Rubio for Senate and agree that he's not a good choice for VP. Just noting the double standard which has become gospel since about November 7th, 2008. If you journalists had done your jobs 4 years ago, we'd be talking about the failed Clinton administration or the redefined-conservatism-so-badly-it-no-longer-exists McCain administration.

The answer!

is the Salvador Dali museum. It's mostly his later work, but I always liked "Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory." And there might be a piece in the idea of surrealism on both sides of the Bay.

Awesome! Keep the recommendations coming. I am down there for 5 days!

First time writer, long time reader. If Mitch Daniels would have ran, do you think he would of been leading the delegate count?

Hard to figure how the race would have played out but he would have started as a co-frontrunner with Romney would be my guess.

HAHAHAHA Jimmy Buffett....liberal bias.....Bruce....Bob Dylan.....hahahaha, oh crap I forgot the question. Rosalita forever.

"Screen door slams/ Mary's dress waves / Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays /"

Ok folks. My typing fingers are worn down. Time to go back to vacation -- until Sunday when I jet down to Tampa. If you have recommendations of where to eat/drink/see I'd love to have them. Email me or tweet me or send me a note on the Facebook.

Until next week!


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 sons.
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