The Fix Live

Dec 07, 2012

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

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Hello everyone! Apologies for missing last week's chat. In the words of Carl Spangler, I was unavoidably detained.

Soundtrack for this week's chat: Frank Ocean

Drink for this week's chat: Campfire Mocha.

Let's do this thing.

Can John Boehner get any plan through the House?

I think he probably can. I think the key is to something real as a concession from the White House.  It seems to me that if Boehner can get his conference to give on tax rates, they need something very specific when it comes to entitlements cuts.

But, it's possible Obama doesn't want to deal and sees going off the cliff as a political winner for his side. If that's the case and no concessions are made on the entitlements side, it could be tough for Boehner to convince his side to go along.

Rank these potential retirements in the order from most likely to least likely: Lautenberg, Levin, Rockefeller, Johnson, Harkin, Baucus, Durbin.

Rockefeller, Levin, Durbin, Lautenberg, Johnson, Harkin, Baucus.

I don't think Max is going anywhere.

If he retires, I am predicting a Braley vs. King matchup. Would I be incorrect in that assumption?

That would be a fascinating race.  I wonder if Tom Latham would run?  And could he beat Steve King in a primary (probably not).

On D side, it's probably Braley's for the taking although Christie Vilsack, who just lost to King, might be an intriguing possibility.

If he retires, who would be the most likely candidates of both sides to run?

Well, the R bench in the state is pretty bad. Actually, come to think of it, the D bench isn't any great shakes either.

For Dems, the best candidate by far would be state AG Lisa Madigan but I think she wants to (and will) be governor.  Do they try Lexi Giannoulias again? Someone from the congressional delegation? Tammy Duckworth would be intriguing. Jan Schakowsky would look hard at it

Republicans -- ugh. I mean there would inevtiably be a handful of state senators, state reps and the like who would look at it but it's not clear any of them could raise the money to be viable.  Aaron Schock? Soon to be former Rep. Bob Dold.

If Kerry does join the cabinet, which Democrats are the most likely to run? Markey? Lynch? Capuano? Patrick? Who would be the preferred choice of the establishment?

Would likely be a VERY crowded D field. I think Capuano and Lynch would go. Maybe Markey or Marty Meehan too.  I don't think Gov. Patrick runs but who knows.

On the R side, there's really only one name: Downtown Scott Brown.

What does Tom Perriello do now that he's not running for governor? The Democratic bench in Virginia is pretty thin and the progressive bench is even thinner.

We have a piece coming on this very shortly on the Fix. Think Obama Administration in a 2nd term...

I remember after that whole Alvin Greene fiasco, there were plans to reform the South Carolina Democratic Party. Apparently that state party is pretty much run by one family. Just wondering if anybody was held to account for Alvin Greene and any major changes happened to the party afterwards?

The state D party in SC is not in very good shape.  Who could possibly run a viable candidacy for Senate in 2014? I can't think of a single person.

Dec. 6 in Iowa--Saw my first "Hillary in 2016" bumper sticker in the health club parking lot this morning.

Never. Too. Early.

I don't follow the math with this resignation. From Tea Party King to one of a thousand "pundits" seems like (salary hike aside) a demotion. So when the going gets tough, the tough join the private sector? Of course his significant Senate achievements were twice preventing a GOP majority. Will he bring Angle, Akin, O'Donnell, Mourdock, along with him?

Few things:

1. DeMint never loved the Senate or legislating so going to the outside where he can run a group is appealing to him

2. The power center in the conservative movement hasn't been inside Congress for some time now. DeMint's move is just the latest example of that

3. DeMint clearly believes that he has more power over the conservative movement in the jobs he is taking than the jobs he is leaving -- which tells you something about the Senate.

Does Jim DeMint get more powerful now that he is out of the senate, like Kenobe did when he was killed?

Intriguing comparison...

I'm one of the few souls in Utah who did NOT vote for Mitt. But I might vote for Huntsman if he ran again. What do you see in his political future?

Not much.

Huntsman burned lots of bridges in the Republican world during and after his presidential bid in 2012.  

And, his record is too conservative to run as a Democrat for president. I honestly have no idea what he does unless he goes back abroad as an ambassador during Obama's second term.

I believe it would be enlightening if pundits were evaluated on their merits. Once a year their employers would audit their predictions and opinions to determine their accuracy. The results would be published. This might help the consumers of their wisdom and also give them a little humility. It would all be part of the "process". What do you think?

I am pro.

True/False: If Springsteen did run for governor against Chris Christie, Christie would vote for the Boss.


Rank the following mayors from most to least likely to run for president in 2016: Rahm Emanuel, Antonio Villagaroisa, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, and Michael Bloomberg? Lisa de Moraes said Rahm last week.

I don't think any of these people will run for president in 2o16. But here's my list of most likely to least likely to EVER run for president.

1. Castro

2. Booker

3. Villaraigosa

4. Bloomberg

5. Rahmbo

You've made a case that Republicans need Jeb Bush to be the party leader at this point, and that could help his presidential ambitions. I don't see it. In a crowded field for 2016, I just think this makes him the point "man" who is targeted subtly by all the other interested parties. It is different for Secretary Clinton because she is such a strong front runner that her status can clear the field. Agree? Disagree?

I said Jeb shiould step forward to lead the party on ideas not announce his presidential bid.

I think he and Hillary have the luxury of being able to pick the time for when they want to make up their minds.  Both are the prime mover in their respective party's nomination race.

Didn't we see this movie in 2008? All of the pundits said that Hillary was a total lock for the nomination in 2008. There was no way she would not get it. Until she didn't. I predict she will not run, but rather will choose to continue to sail along in the popularity stratosphere and do things that she wants to do without risking it. She will not run in 2016. What say you, wise one?

I do not know.

I think she has yet to rule in or rule out running. And I think she won't make any decision for a year or so -- and maybe longer.

I would say though that if she EVER keeps the flame burning to be president, 2016 might be a hard race for her to pass up.

Hi Chris, Are you buying into any of the conspiracy theory related to GOP opposition to Susan Rice while extolling the virtues of John Kerry? Theory being that it is a stealth way to get back control of Senate with Kerry out and Scott Brown winning his seat in Massachusetts.

Let's just say that Senate Republicans are not unaware of what Kerry's appointment to Secretary of State would mean for his seat.

Could you post a list of the Senators who voted against the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are up for reelection in 2014 (perhaps in a blog post)? I was appalled at the disrespect that some of the Nay-voters showed Bob Dole, especially those who promised him they would vote for the treaty, then turned around and voted against it.

Here's the roll call vote:

With SC conservatives angling for DeMint's seat, does Sen. Graham have enough room to return to previous form (because he can afford to irritate the RW more)? Will he ease up on Rice and Benghazi now?

I don't think his aggressiveness on Rice/Benghazi is primarily born of a political calculation -- although Graham is not unaware that blasting the Administration is good politics for him going into an election year.

What's your over / under date on getting a settlement? December 21? January 10?

Dec. 27.

They look like they're on pace to get another high seed in March so they can choke against an unknown team.

I refuse to let myself hope. I take very game as a single event -- happy we won but refusing to look down the road.

Was DeMint's resignation on anyone's radar? Why now? I guessing because it gives the replacement 2 years to develop name recognition. Or will Gov. Haley appoint a nobody so she can run in 2 years?

Not. At. All.

One of the few genuine surprises left in Washington. And I don't think Haley wants to be in the Senate.

Chris, can a governor appoint himself/herself to an open Senate seat? What are the chances Governor Haley doing just that?

She could but said today she wouldn't.

It very rarely happens -- the last time was in 1977 when Wendell Anderson had himself appointed -- and it's almost never a successful move for the governors who have done it.

Again? Really?

He announced public support of 150 RNC members. So, looks like it.

While I tend to think there's too much horserace coverage, I will defend you and your brethren in this regard--political calculations for 2016 (sooner for other offices) often affect policy deals in the meantime. Maybe go easy on the speculation though. That said, how soon, based on history and Clinton's presence looming, before there is more gearing up (staff, etc.) than just a speech in IA or NH?


And I would say that in the next 6 month you will see candidates taking the occasional get-to-know-you trip to IA, NH and SC.

You recommended that Jeb take the lead of the Republican Party yesterday. Hasn't the press forever tainted the Bush brand/ How could he effectively lead with that kind of baggage?

I could be wrong but I think people -- including Democrats -- differentiate between George W. and Jeb.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 duck size horses? -drew, DC

The former. Fighting 100 small horses is tough. 

I am in the .001 and sorry if the tax rates go back to Clinton years tax rate for 2013 I am not going to pay any more than I am paying now. I pay my accountants and tax advisers big bucks to pay the lest possible amount within the law. I dont go into gray areas. The prez and members of Congress know this. If the Oracle of Omaha wants to pay more intaxes send a check to the Dpet of the Treasury but he hasnt put up and neither has SPringsteen. They are all talk. The folsk that will be hurt are the one like you Chris who make $200K and up to approx $3milllion dollars. Most of these tax payers are couples lving in high cost areas like DC or NYC who cant afford accounts and lawyers to monimize their tax bill or who can tkae advantage of the the tax code. So Happy Holidays Chris and enjoy paying more to Uncle Sam. I am not going to pay any more no matter what the tax rate is.

That's one approach...

1) When's the next one? 2) My trivia team has collapsed as teammates took different jobs further from downtown. Is it possible to show up solo?

Next one is this coming Monday!

And, just come. We can match you up with a team or you can play solo...

How soon do you think Dems will start pressuring Hillary to make a decision on 2016 so that they can figure out whether or not to jump into the race?

Soon-ish (Next year or so).

Nothing will really move until she says very clearly yes or no. Of course, I think she and her people will do everything they can to push that deadline back as long as they can.

My team lost to Tufts in the semis. Their offense was unstoppable. Montclair must have found the same thing, lots and lots of pressure. Younger players did the scoring. Lady Jumbos, go figger.

Yup. Watched all of the games. They were really very good. Amazing season for DePauw though to make it to the final 4 and beat Middlebury.

Do you find open primaries like they have now in California and Washington more exciting to cover or less so? Also, do you think they're a better or worse system overall?

I argued in my book that open primaries are one of the only ways we will get a Congress that is actually incentivized to work together.

What book, you say? "The Gospel According to the Fix"! And what a great Christmas present for the political junkie in your life:

If Kerry does get the SoS job, wouldn't it make sense for Patrick to pick someone like Markey who is well known around the state, a solid pol, and might give Brown serious thoughts about entering the race? I think Markey could have that effect, not sure about some of the other names bandied about.

It's not an appointment. It's a special election....

Do you think it's possible Hillary has denied any interest in running in 2016 to this point because she thinks it's inappropriate to politicize her current position in such a way? She seems at various times, like the conventions, to have gone out of her way to preserve the "above politics" image of SecState position.

Absolutely. I am CERTAIN she has not decided one way or the other whether to run.

If Hillary runs in 2016, what are her chances of carrying Arkansas?

Roughly 0.

No way Demint jumps if Romney is president, right? Or am I underestimating the much nicer salary that comes with the Heritage presidency?

I doubt he jumps with Romney as president since that would also likely have meant a Republican controlled Senate and more prominence/power for DeMint.

Wait, you're listing Durbin as a more likely retiree than Lautenberg? Durbin will want to serve the rest of Obama's term, which he can only do if he runs. Plus, Lautenberg is going to be 90...9-0.

I don't think Durbin sticks around now that it's clear that Schumer will be the next Senate D leader. Just a hunch though.

My boss looks a lot like you. But his sense of humor is not quite as dorky as yours.

By "dorky" I assume you mean "awesome".

And, your boss must be one handsome dude.

If Gov. Haley chooses Rep. Tim Scott for the Senate that would lead to a special election in his district. Could Mrs. Sanford (the one who didn't 'walk the appalacian trail') run for that seat? What would be her chances of winning?

Yes she could!

I suggested just that scenario on the Twitter machine yesterday and SC politico types mocked me. It would be a fascinating storyline though....

Memorial, Easter, President's, New Year's, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor, 4th of July

Best to worst

1. Christmas

2. Easter

3. Memorial/Presidents

4. Thanksgiving

5. 4th of July

1,984,691. New Years

I hate New Years eve with the white hot passion of a 1,000 suns.

Looking at 08' and 12' presidential races, Obama lost the state by 5% and 7.5% respectively. Do you think that a decade from now or so Georgia could legitimately be a swing state at the presidential level like VA and NC?

Yes. As could Texas. And Arizona.

...runs for Senate in 2014?

I think so...the problem with that is it's predicated on Lautenberg retiring and I am not sure he is going to do that.

Do you think either of them becomes a solid threat for the presidency in the coming years? Who knows, maybe they'll get the benefit of a VP pick.

I actually think Kaine has more potential there than Warner. Warner is too centrist, I think, to win a Democratic primary.

Any insight - this is especially bothersome for us non-DC residents who read to the site for the Poor Man's Bill Simmons's great insight

I am still processing...

A few more things: 1. More money (by quite a bit) at Heritage Foundation 2. Smaller pond, bigger megaphone 3. More power without that messy "legislating" stuff


" It is different for Secretary Clinton because she is such a strong front runner that her status can clear the field." I believe this was the conventional wisdom for Hillary in 2008, right?

It was.

Is Ken Cuccinelli too politically extreme to win the VA. governorship?

We shall see.

I have written and believe that Cuccinelli is probably the only person Terry McAuliffe could beat and McAuliffe is the only person Cuccinelli could beat.

Which, of course, makes the race so intriguing.

Predictions are easy, but opinions? Seems tough, but I'll give it a shot. All of your opinions are, in fact, your opinions. You scored 100%!!

Yay, I won!

Are we going to have to PAY to talk to you in the future? If so, how much do you think you're worth (kidding)?

I am going to start an advice stand like Lucy in "Peanuts". 5 cents for every question. I will be filthy rich!

"It very rarely happens -- the last time was in 1977 when Wendell Anderson had himself appointed -- and it's almost never a successful move for the governors who have done it." Did you for get about WV Gov Manchin who followed Byrd to the Senate?

But he didn't appoint himself. He appointed Carte Goodwin as a caretaker and then ran for the open seat the following fall.  Not the same thing.

He came within 4 percentage points of Gov. Haley in a year when Republican's did particularly well.

Right. I think governor is a different ball game. Federal races in SC seem like a lost cause for Dems at the moment.

Have you seen it yet? I loved it. Don't think there's a better movie that fuses both the noble and uglier sides of politics.

Haven't. But really want to...

Is it possible that Sen. Pryor (D-AR) announces his retirement instead of running in 2014? Citing that the Senate is broken, no bi-partisanship as the reasons.

Always possible. Not likely. 

I do think Pryor could face a real race....

Chris you are wrong about this one. Patrick has the power to appoint an interim senator. Paul Kirk served after Ted Kennedy passed away. Giving someone like Markey that job and letting him run in the special election could be an advantage I think.

Ah, crap. U are correct!

Which do you hate the most?

New Years.  Having kids has changed my opinion on Halloween. I still loathe the college version of it though....

You mentioned that you see AZ, GA and TX as some of the next swing states. Do you see any blue states going more purple, or just red ones? If it's just red, that presents a pretty serious problem for the GOP, no?

The ones I mentioned are the most obivous because of demographics.

Maybe PA? MN?

Guess we know who could wind up spending the 2013 holidays in the pokey!


The truth is most Americans don't know a whole lot about Jeb Bush. If he were to run in 2016, he'd be under enormous pressure to differentiate himself in terms of both ideology and specific policies from his brother. Dems would base their early campaign against him as "Not another Bush!" Do you think Jeb would be willing to repudiate aspects of his brother's presidency if it's what he needed to do to have a shot at his own?

I don't think he would do that. And I am not sure he would have to. But, as I said above, I could be wrong. Maybe people won't ultimately differentiate between George W. and Jeb.

is the best candi.... Yeah, I don't care right. Hoyas are taking Maryland down tonight in men's soccer, right?

I hope so. Hoyas to the national championship game!

I guess they don't teach math at G'town. You've answered 49 questions. At 5 cents apiece, that comes to $2.45. I doubt you'll become stinkin' rich.

50 questions! $2.50.  I am going on a shopping spree.

Is there any viable SC Dem who can defeat Lindsey Graham for the Senate?

None that I can see or imagine.

I heard Sen Kerry is also being talked about for the SecDef job. Has Leon Panetta said he won't work in the Second Obama Term?

Not definitively but he's given strong hints he's ready to go back to California. (Who isn't?)

Speaking of SC, whatever happened to disgraced Gov. Mark Sanford? Is he heading a think tank or working as a lobbyist these days?

He told the Wall Street Journal yesterday that he hasn't ruled out running for the Senate in 2014.

So, I guess he has yet to come to grips with his situation...

Personally It's St Pats for me - at least New Years has some sort of meaning for everybody plus there's a ton of football on TV. St Pat's is a day for a bunch of underage kids to get drunk as well as adults who should know better to act like underage kids and get drunk. Halloween was almost at the St Pats level before I had kids - now I see it through a 10 yr old's eyes and it doesn't annoy me as much (although going through it this year without power on LI was a buzzkill).

St Patricks Day is AWFUL.  And I love the Irish. Just not how we celebrate it.

For your pints tirvia night: The three U.S. President that both parents were alive when they were elected. It's Ulysses S. Grant, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and George Walker Bush.


People, like you, who work in Washington DC hate New Year's eve because you recognize the hollow platitudes of 'new beginnings' and 'auld acquaintances not being forgot'. Being steeped in this kind of thing every two years (really every waking moment), you have become cynical and recoil at the slightest hint of promised changes or avowals to 'keep in touch.' Oh, and happy new year !

No no. I hate the accepted drunken debauchery. One of the best New years I ever had was when me and Mrs. Fix went to the kennedy Center and saw a show. That was a good time.

Ok, folks. That's the hour. Thanks for spending it with me.  Enjoy your Friday! See you right back here next Friday.


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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