The Fix Live

Nov 16, 2012

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

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Hello everyone. A post-election cold has robbed me of my voice but my typing fingers have been blessedly left unaffected.

The chat goes on.  Soundtrack: Sufjan Stevens Christmas album.  Drink: Mocha from Greenberry's.

Let's do this.

You are the Zlatan Ibrahimovic of political reporters.

Thank you. I am thinking of growing my hair into a long mane, Ibra-style.

Also, even if you don't like soccer, you need to watch this goal.

Kudos for getting the Crue into the lede of the Mitt Romney gifts story. It's a nice reminder that Mitt never did kickstart the heart of the electorate.

Oh well played.

And I could never find the umlaut to put over the u in "Crue".

There's no chance Democrats take back the House in 2014 (six-year itch, redistricting, etc. etc.). So do you see Nancy Pelosi sticking around beyond the 2014 mid-terms?

I have ceased making predictions about what Nancy Pelosi will do. I thought she was leaving after the 2010 election AND after the 2012 election.


Ray LaHood has said he wants to leave. What Republicans do you think will join the Cabinet in the 2nd term? Jon Huntsman? Dick Lugar? Chuck Hagel? Steve LaTourette?

I could see any of the first 3 signing on.

Huntsman is the most baffling to me. I don't get what his long term plan is. He has been so critical of the GOP that I don't think he is welcome in the party now -- even among those who recognize they need change.

And he's probably go too conservative a record to run for something as a Democrat. I guess that leaves him trying to get a Cabinet post.

Imagine if he had stayed in China and organized to run in 2016...

Is he STILL bitter about losing to Obama in 2008?

I don't think there's a lot of love lost -- either way -- in that relationship.

What Senate Democrats do you see retiring before the 2014 election?

Good Q.

I think Jay Rockefeller is on that list. Tom Harkin could retire too. Max Baucus, I am assured, will not retire.  Other two that jump out are Frank Lautenberg and Mark Warner.

If you have a horrible post-election cold, why the heck are you here answering questions? Remember what happened to Jim Henson, who was also "too busy" to be sick? Please go home and go to bed. We will still be here when you get better.

This is the only work I am doing today. And I stayed at home so I wouldn't infect my colleagues. 

And, I am not sure it's a cold. Bubonic plague also in the mix...

I'm going out on a limb here and guessing that Petreaus wins the prize this week. Amirite?


It's still worthless. Real journalists laugh at it, not with it.

Disagree.  Strongly.

How does Mitt Romney not realize that so-called private conversations with donors will eventually reach the public. He already went through this with the infamous 47% comment. Does he no longer care now that the election is over?

I think he is still reeling from an election he thought he could (and would) win....and he is trying to come to grips with not.

I'm a big supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, so I am tired of having my hopes dashed for the last 20 years. Is 2013 really the year or are there enough Republicans in safe conservative states/districts to stop this compromise? I've always been skeptical in the past, and unfortunately, I've been proven right every time.

Skepticism is usually the right approach to Congress doing anything major.

That said, I think most Republicans get that they have to make a deal on immigration reform and get it off the table as an issue so they can move on to talk to Latino voters about values and other topics where they have a much better chance of winning votes.

Rubio, Jindal, or Christie. I don't see anyone else because the Republicans love known quantities. Martinez might be a dark horse but isn't as much of a Beltway darling. Jeb, by the way, will never win. The sooner the media accepts that the better for everyone.

Think you have to have Paul Ryan in that top tier.

In terms of pure natural ability, Rubio is the class of that class. But, if natural ability was the only thing that got you elected we'd be in the second term of President John Edwards.

Thoughts on Joe Biden's appearance on Parks & Rec?

I thought he was pretty darn good.

"Precious cargo"!

Gut feeling -- does the Iowa Caucus still lead off the primary season for Republicans in 2016?


Is it too early to ask what the make up of the 2014 Senate race will be? This year there were more Democrat-incumbents, but what does 2014 portend?

We have already done our first handicapping of the 2014 Senate races! Never too early!

Your thoughts on latest GOP reason for losing: Obama giving gifts to "takers".

Not sure that's the "GOP" reason. It's Mitt Romney's reason.

Doesn't make much sense. ALL politics is about making sure certain groups that benefit from your policies are fully aware of those benefits. It's Politics 101.

When the chat software was discombobulated?

I have no idea. I think the dumptruck wasn't totally backed up properly.

"There are some who argue that, had a few hundred thousand votes in Virginia, Florida and Ohio switched sides, then Mitt Romney would have been president..." They would be mistaken. Had Obama lost those states he would still have won the electoral vote by 272 to 266. The next closest state that went for Obama was Colorado, which he won by 4.8%. The Obama forces, with their microtargeting strategy, did a great job of making a close race nationally not close where it counted. Obama could have lost the popular vote by 2% and still won the electoral vote. It's time to get rid of the Electoral College!

Good point. Thanks.

If Obama won because of 'gifts' as Mitt Romney has stated, I wanna know where to get my Gift Bag!

You saw Jon Stewart's riff on that?

It's here:

I thought the fix focussed on an analysis of politics. However, in an article about Republican and immigration, you stated that Republicans needed to adopt the correct policy of a path to citizenship. Calling that a correct policy shows that you are doing policy analysis. Why the change?

Never said anything like that.

I think Republicans -- from a purely political standpoint -- cannot maintain their current positioning on immigration.

Look at the 2012 exit poll and you see why.

on a Mac it's command + u then u; on a PC it's control + shift + : then u. On a more topical note, Romney's ill-considered telephone comments the other day just underlined all of the attack lines Obama had used against him, and he seemed oblivious to that fact. What a guy.


And yes. I think Romney's comments to his donors post-election expedited the desire within the party to get him off the stage ASAP.

Who's more willing to drive off the Fiscal Cliff?

President Obama, I think.

She wasn't on your list of potential 2016ers, but I thought she left an opening in the GOP convention for a run. Other than her potential 2008 vote for Obama, is there a reason she was left off?

She could thing I would say is that her fuzzy position on choice could be tough for her in a GOP primary.

Sorry to hear that you're sick. I'd add Rockefeller and Tim Johnson to the Democrats' retirement list, and put Cochran and Alexander on the GOP list. I think Alexander was sending a signal by dropping out of leadership.

I had Rockefeller but YES on Tim Johnson.

And, Cochran sure. Would be surprised but not stunned by a Lamar! retirement.

I might wonder if Petraeus should be worst week. I would argue that Romney should win. One week after being the nominee, he is now being told by a TON of Republicans to sit down and shut up. A presidential run that will be viewed from history as a failure followed quickly by bad behavior, that's a problem. I think this week people are thinking, "Oh my god, I am glad we didn't elect him."

A fair point.

My skin crawls at the thought, especially since I thought he was best of the bunch, back in the day.

He had a TREMENDOUS amount of natural ability as a politician. As much as anyone since Bill Clinton.

At some point during the primaries, someone asked Ann Romney what was different in 2012. And she said, "Mitt's gonna win!" For some reason, that moment has stuck with me through the whole torpid affair (the election, I mean). So I can definitely see where the Romneys might not quite have a handle on losing just yet.

Imagine you are them. You have spent the last 6 years of your life running for this office. You finally become the nominee and your campaign has polling that suggests you are going to win.

Then, you don't. Would be a tough thing to deal with.

I assume this is a dumb question, but it has to be asked. Does he really dislike the Senate? If he leaves, do the Democrats have anyone who could possibly get elected to replace him? As far as I can tell, Tim Kaine was about it for the bench. And I'm guessing that other than Warner, McAuliffe is the best name out there for governor next year. What a mess for a party that should be on the rise in VA.

My guess is Warner stays in the Senate and Terry is the Dem nominee for gov in 2013. If Warner got in, I think Terry would have to get out.

I read that John Cornyn expects that every Republican Senator up for re-election in 2014 will have a primary challenger, including himself. If that is the case, which incumbents face the hardest path to keeping their seat?

Lindsey Graham. Not close.  Maybe Lamar! could have a problem too.

"I think he is still reeling from an election he thought he could (and would) win....and he is trying to come to grips with not." This fascinates me, because I have always had the feeling that on election day, most candidates on the short end of the elctoral count always have some inkling at least that the day will not work out for them. I suppose everybody thinks they can win, but did Mitt REALLY not look at any of the polling for himself the weekend going into election Tuesday? Do any candidates--or do they all rely on what the staff around them tells them?

Oh, I don't think he had ANY idea he would lose. He had data from good pollsters that said he would win. And he believed it.

Booker is delaying his decision regarding a statewide run in 2013 or 2014, while Christie's decision to sign or veto the Obamacare health exchange legislation has also been put off a month? Coincidence? My prediction is that Christie signs the legislation and announces that he is running for re-election as a Democrat with Senate President Steve Sweeney as his running mate. Booker and the Democratic establishment immediately endorse. State Senator Barbara Buono announces that she will run against Christie in the Democratic primary. Steven Lonegan becomes the Republican standard-bearer. Thoughts?

No chance.

That said, I love your machiavellian, scheming mind.

Obviously Clinton and Biden do not need to make the trip to Iowa, but when do we start to hear about Cuomo, et al treks to Iowa?


Re: the various Republican post-election assessments theorizing why Romney lost the President election, it seems that the GOP is devoting a good deal of time to debating their campaign style, and not enough on its substance -- namely, that there were more American voters than they realized who disagreed with the main tenets of their political views -- and that they were unable to convert enough voters to their national and world view in order to win.

Blaming Romney is short sighted. I think Ramesh Ponnuru said it exactly right in this piece:

Worse than the fiscal cliff news IMO

Just thank god it wasn't oreos.  I might not have been able to deal with that news in my current sickly state.

Likelihood that George Allen will run for Mark Warner's Senate seat in 2014? If not, will Allen go into lobbying, and if so, for whom?

Allen has said publicly he won't run for any more offices.

A packet of Theraflu stirred into a shot of bourbon, over ice, with the rest of the glass containing ginger ale. Drink it, say "hello" to Klaus, and wake up feeling much, much better.


As Fix Rachel wrote, Ted Cruz thinks the Dems could be coming into power in Texas. Do you see this as a reasonable possibility by 2020 or 2024? And if so, how much of a stranglehold would that give Dems on the Electoral College?

A giant one, particularly if Arizona continues to grow more competitive and Nevada less competitive.

It's why finding a way to win the Hispanic vote is Republicans top political imperative.

This isn't exactly Nixon-Kennedy close. To make that case that one might have won an election if a a group of people the size of Baltimore all switched their votes is kinda like saying the Thunder would be reigning NBA champs if they only scored seven more points a game in the Finals. True, but meaningless.

Agree. Or, as I put it in my post on the subject, if the Nationals hadn't given up a 6 run lead to the Cards, they would be World Series champs. They didn't. And they aren't.

Has a party ever been as quick to try to sweep a presidential nominee under the rug as the GOP is with Mitt? What a difference 10 days makes!

It's pretty fast -- made faster by his comments this week.

Liked your piece on the vacuum. I recall this being said after 2008 when McCain lost. Do you think Romney's loss had something to do with no Clintonesque leader behind him?

Well, I think Republicans acknowledged all along that their next generatiom of stars was an election away in 2012. Rubio, Jindal, Christie, Susana Martinez were all too green to run for president in 2012.

It's kind of like what happened to Democrats in 2004 when they nominated John Kerry.

So if Kerry takes a cabinet position, and Scott Brown runs again, who would he run against?

LOTS of options.

Know who the most popular politician in Massachusetts is right now? Martha Coakley!

Now, I can't imagine Democrats would let that rematch happen but it would be fascinating...

Does the Republican Senate Campaign Committee get monetarily involved in primaries for 2014 to prevent the O'Donnells, Angles, Bucks, Akins and Mourdacks of the world from getting a nomination?

I think they will. They certainly should.

They lost 5 Senate seats -- NV, DE, CO, IN and MO -- over the past 2 elections because they nominated the wrong candidate.

Actually, Martin O'Malley was already here for the Harkin Steak Fry in mid-September. The Reps have Rubio coming in this weekend. Only a few more weeks of seed corn and fertilizer ads before the the pols start in again.



They did a great little bit last year for the Correspondence dinner (That was it, I think?). Do you think an election pitting the two of them against each other could actually be a pleasant campaign, or will it turn nasty?

No chance it would be pleasant.

You know what kind of elections have only positive ads? Ones that aren't close.

He'll get the ABC (Anyone But Cuccinelli) vote, but Bolling has mostly kept his head down and can point to the good parts of the McDonnell record while running away from the crazypants stuff (see, again, ABC).

Agree...Terry's best chance is against the Cooch. And I think the Cooch starts as a clear favorite in that primary.

Better than Oreos. Yeah I said it. And Twinkies aren't that great. Yeah I said that too. I also don't like Peeps. Where should I turn in my passport?

My god man. What is wrong with you?

Also, go back to Russia.

Be sure to wash down a few Contact or other capsules with it for effective relief.

Are you people trying to kill me?

His swift departure from Republican hearts stems from two factors: 1) He lost a race they were sure was winnable and 2) He never had a strong base of loyal adherents within the party.

I agree with both of those things.

Extraordinary, no doubt. But I think there are two major points against it: first, the opportunity was the result of Joe Hart making a silly error, and two, it was only a friendly, not an actual competition. Maradona, in the World Cup, embarassing three defenders, is better (among others). Agree or disagree?

Probably true. An international friendly is not exactly high stakes and the fact that it was in injury time of a game that was already basically over detract.

But my gosh it was an amazing goal. And I am not even an Ibra fan.

Relieving pain, congestion, and cough due to colds, flu, or hay fever. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor. Contac Severe Cold/Flu No-Drowsiness is an analgesic, decongestant, and cough suppressant combination. It works by constricting blood vessels and reducing swelling in the nasal passages, which helps you breathe more easily. Read more at I hope you breathe more easily.


Rate the crossover appeal of your Big Four Republican possibilities for prez in 2016 -- Christie, Martinez, Rubio, Jindal. I am a Democrat that can occasionally waver. Martinez is the only one I can imagine voting for.

In order from most crossover appeal to least:

1. Christie

2. Martinez

3. Rubio

4. Jindal.

Do you think at some point 'W' will emerge and will take some role on the Republican stage? We'll be eight years out when the Obama term is up, and I suppose it's nice to have a former prez out there--ala Clinton; think W will show up?

I really doubt it. I am not sure he ever loved (or maybe even liked) politics. He is not the political addict (or even close) that Bill Clinton is.

If Coakley runs for Kerry's seat, I guarantee she'll be standing in a noreaster trying to shake hands with people vs. repeating her last go-around.


When people realize that gambling money is NOT going to the schools after all (told you so!), O'Malley & Co. will look not as good. Will that take a little luster off any future run?

We shall see.

I do think he is a go to run in 2016 almost no matter what.

Oh, yeah, him. I pray that Virginians aren't so stupid this time. Somehow, three years ago people managed to ignore his extreme social views because the Dem ticket was so bad. I hate that he's wasted so many tax dollars on losing social points. Can't wait for the negative ads, they'll be great!

If it's Terry vs Cooch that is going to be one hell of a race.

I've been reading a lot of post mortems of the election with the general message that the leading cause of MItt Romney's loss was the party he was in. Do you agree with that? Romney chose to go far right on immigration (Perry and Gingrich were reasonable) and to bring up Planned Parenthood. He chose to engage on bellicose language on foreign policy, only to dramatically reverse course in that third debate. He just wasn't a good candidate.

I agree he was a candidate with severe limitations. That said, I am not sure anyone in the GOP field in 2012 could have done better than Romney.

The party has some major demographic problems that it is only now beginning to grapple with.

I'm not sure if she has enough foreign policy bona fides (although she could develop them for all we know), but Klobuchar is very underrated right now. For one, people outside of Acela Corridor don't like New Yorkers or NY politicians, but they do like Midwesterners. Klobuchar is what the GOP thought it was getting with Ryan on the ticket. At a minimum, if a man wins the Dem nomination, I could see Klobuchar as an ideal running mate. She is personable (Minnesota nice!) and sharp at the same time--that's a lethal combo for a politician.

Agree. And what were the foreign policy bona fides Barack Obama (or Mitt Romney) had when they first ran?

I think Klobuchar could be intriguing...

You and Nate Silver provided me with all the campaign coverage I needed this past year, so I thought the best way to say thanks was to buy both of your books. They arrived yesterday - can't wait to read them! I hope you get to take a long vacation soon.

THANKS so much. I really appreciate it. The "Gospel" was so fun to write. I hope it's fun to read too.

What do you make of the John Kerry as Secretary of Defense rumor?

Seems like it was floated as a trial balloon by the Obama folks because they are set on going with Susan Rice for State.

But that's just my educated guess.

If you're Scott Brown, why not just run for governor in 2014? Massachusetts has elected a lot of Republican governors over the last 20 years -- Bill Weld, Paul Cellucci, Mitt Romney. That seems like it has the greater chance for success.

Interesting -- and good -- point. My guess is he is weighing that possibility now.

Seen this? I think you'll like.

VERY cool. Thanks for on passing.

After Chris Christie's recent embrace by the Boss and handling of Hurricane Sandy, do you think Cory Booker will take a pass on challenging him in 2013?

If I had to guess, I would say Booker doesn't run against Christie and instead hopes that Lautenberg retires in 2014.

Why do we get this claptrap about voters giving the victorius side a mandate to go forward? If they understood that voters are more likely voting AGAINST one party's platform than for their own, we might get somewhere. Less of two evils, balance, all that stuff. And do you have a pick in this weekend's D3 Field Hockey Championship? My alma mater, the DePauw Fighting Tigers, has won 20 in a row going in. Daughter played two years in her younger days,.

I think Montclair has to be the favorite. But it's exciting for a team from the Midwest to make it to the final 4 of a typically east coast-dominated sport.

And, I am with you on mandates. I think they are overrated -- particularly in a presidential reelection race.

Which republican is most likely to do what Paul Ryan failed to do: Turn a Blue State Red? And on the other side, what Democrat could turn a Red State Blue?

VP picks are WAY overrated.

pecan, apple, pumpkin, blueberry, cherry

1. Pumpkin

2. Cherry

3. Blueberry

4. Apple

256. Pecan

Can Bobby Jindal really win a national election? Especially up against a potential Clinton candidacy?

We may get the chance to find out...

I voted for him in 2010 because the alternative was Ehrlich, not because I think he's a great governor. He's not. Does he have polling that shows he's a viable candidate for 2016, or is this just more about his ego? He has no chance. None. He thinks he's his generation's Bill Clinton in terms of oratorical skills, and he's anything but. Seriously, Martin, give it up.

Well, no one in Iowa or NH knows who he is at the moment. I just think he believes his resume lends itself to doing what he wants -- which is to run for president.

Christie has the greatest crossover appeal? Not to this Democrat. He's too much of a bully. I'd go with Jindal after his latest comment about 100% of the country, despite that awful post-SOTU performance.

Fair enough.

I have been unable to find reporting on the overall voter turnout. How was it this time? How did it compare to last time?

Down from last time...which is the first time since 1992 that overall turnout dropped.

Romney got less votes than McCain...

You could batter them and deep fry them. Those days are so gone.

I just poured some of my Theraflu/Bourbon out for deep fried Twinkies at the Iowa State Fair.

Also, I am singing "It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday"

I'm disappointed that he hasn't set his sights on Congress. Why does he think he can jump straight from Annapolis to the White House?

Because he's a politician.

"Now, the first thing I want to say is Mandate My A**" -- And this election was even closer than that one.

Terrific GSH quote.

This. Every east coast pundit who thinks Christie is top tier needs to understand this. NJ bluster doesn't play well outside of NJ.


But the field is packed with east coasters!

Wildcard pick: Rob Portman.

What's its future as a national issue?

Ask Peter Tosh.

Likelihood that Deval Patrick runs for Senate from Massachusetts in 2014?

Does he not take a gig in the Administration? How about a presidential run of his own in 2016?

When are you seeing it?

Just as soon as I can stand up without worrying about falling over due to the fact my head feels like it weighs 1 million pounds.

Folks, that's all I have time for. Thanks for joining me.

And have a GREAT Thanksgiving since I won't be chatting next Friday.

Swanson/Knope 2016.


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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