The Fix Live

Dec 14, 2012

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

Follow @TheFix on Twitter.

Good morning everyone!

Susan Rice is out, John Kerry is (probably) in and Scott Brown is smiling somewhere.

With grande mocha in hand and Hiss Golden Messenger playing in my ears, let's chat.

I am the rarest of things. I was enthusiastic about voting for John Kerry in 2004. But I don't want President Obama to pick him for the State Department or any other Cabinet position. It's too big a risk to the Senate seat. Honestly, I'd rather have Chuck Hagel at State and then a Democrat picked to run the Defense Department.

Well, it's surely a worry for Senate Democrats particularly given that Brown has proven his abilities as a candidate in a special election.

But remember that Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, gets to pick someone to hold the seat until the special election. Let's say he picks Vicki Kennedy. That could be a very powerful pick if she was willing to run for the full term.

And, remember that Democrats expanded their Senate majority in November. So, one seat won't make THAT much difference.

Why would the Dems be anxious to nominate Kerry in Rice's place, given the possibility that they'd lose a Senate seat? Just to have a peaceful confirmatio process and assuare the Republicans? I think Clinton should stay on for another 2 years (she could still run for Prez), but I gather that's out, so why not someone else? Powell? Some Dems would be unhappy, but Repubs couldn't realisically argue he isn't qualified for the job.

Clinton is not staying.

And, Kerry really wants the job.

So I think that's what will happen with the acknowledgment that putting Kerry at State opens up at least the possibility that they lose the Senate seat.

Why not? I understand he and Obama are tight, he without doubt has the expertise, and would add a Republican to the Cabinet. Then Obama could put Kerry in as Sec. of Defense and watch the swiftboaters' heads explode!

I don't think Kerry wants to be SecDef and Obama would accomplish the bipartisan thing if he named former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary....

The Rice affair shows that bullying works. What a shame. I sure wish the WH would have stood up to the mean three. How many times will the WH let the mean three throw sand in there face before they stand up to these playground bullies? Second question, why do the media seem to fawn over the mean three and the other bullies on capital hill and give them so much love?

I don't think McCain/Graha/Ayotte were the straw that broke the camel's back on this one.  I think it was Susan Collins who had harsh words for Rice. And I don't really think most people see Collins as a bully.

Hi Chris -- Thanks for taking questions today. With Rice our of the S of S race and Kerry appearing to be in contention, who do you think is likely to run for Kerry's seat? Or, just to give the Republicans a few fits, what are the odds that Obama goes with someone other than Kerry and so the whole question becomes moot?

I do think he goes with Kerry.

So, assuming that no one named Kennedy runs (which is, of course, a possibility) the names on the D side include:

Marty Meehan

Ed Markey

Mike Capuano

Stephen Lynch

Martha Coakley

Alan Khazei

And a few others. Capuano ran and lost against Coakley in the 2010 special. The rest of them have been waiting for years -- literally -- for the chance at this seat.

On the GOP side, I would guess the filed would be cleared (or damn close) for Brown.

Though this is not a politics question per se (though the internal politics of the Big East Schools as they scrambled amid the realignment mess must be fascinating. I'd love to run a model UN style sim of the Big East. But I digress), let us all raise a glass to the dear departed Big East. May our Hoyas find a basketball home worthy of their glory.

I agree. Still hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that there will be no more Big East tournament at the Garden. That was a GREAT event.

The new CBA--Catholic Basketball Association--seems to be making a silk purse out of a sow's ear, yes?

Yup. Let's get temple, Xavier and a few others on board -- then we will be talking.

The Beltway media (sorry, it's true) seems like Brown is a lock when he just freakin' lost. Now, he's going to come back and say, "I know you just voted against me and I'm a Republican, but give me Kerry's Democratic seat"? I mean, MA already did it, then voted him out ASAP.

I agree that the idea that Brown walks to victory isn't close to right. That said, he's a far more proven commodity as a statewide candidate than anyone being mentioned on the Democratic side.

Leaving the Big East - pro or con?

Pro. The Big East as we know it was dead anyway.

What I hate most about this process is that it seems that the Republicans can stamp their feet and get their way. Any chance that Obama thumbs his nose at them and nominates someone other than Kerry now?

I don't think so. I also am not sure it's fair to characterize Kerry as the "Republican pick". I think you've seen kind words for Kerry because the Senate protects their own. It's a very clubby place.

Wouldn't Joe Lieberman make more sense for SoD for the Obama Administration, than Hagel?

Lieberman as SecDef would drive Democrats insane. The base of the Democratic party LOATHES Joe-mentum.

Chris, I had always assumed that Joementum was as constant as the speed of light. How does this bode for humanity?

""We are in a three-way split decision for third place." -- Joe Lieberman.

Where has the DC Squirrel been lately?

Running scared.

Chris, why would President Obama cave in to a couple of right-wing senators? Why not fight back? He has a majority in the Senate, and Ms Rice's approval was virtually assured. Why not show the Republicans and the country that he's the boss? And why possibly diminish his majority in the Senate by giving a Republican a shot at taking John Kerry's seat?

Not sure her approval was "virtually assured".  Collins was skeptical as was Bob Corker of Tennessee. And there is NO way that people like Mark Pryor, Tim Johnson, Max Baucus, Mary Landrieu and Mark Begich -- all of whom are up in 2014 -- wanted to walk the plank ona  Rice confirmation vote.

If Charlie Crist were to win the FL-GOV race as a Democrat, would he be the first Governor to serve 2 non-consecutive terms from different parties since Mills Godwin of Virginia?

Good question. That seems right to me...

When does she move up from Attorney General? Does she risk running for governor in 2014 with Quinn being so unpopular? Does Pat Quinn step aside for her?

I think her next step is to be governor.  I could see Quinn retiring in 2014 or even Madigan primarying him.

She would be a favorite under either of those scenarios.

Does Frank Lautenberg go quietly if Cory Booker runs for the Senate in 2014, or does he put up a fight? How would a primary fight between the two look? How well known is Booker outside Newark? Lautenberg easily dispatched his primary opponent in 2006. Does Springsteen take sides?


I think the ideal Democratic scenario is that Lautenberg decides of his own volition to retire, Booker steps in and sweeps to the Democratic nomination.

I am not so sure Lautenberg is on board with that plan though. And, Booker seems sort of cautious to me -- I don't know that he primaries Lautenberg if the incumbent decides to run again.

Is Martin O'Malley banking on there being no such thing as "too liberal" for the Democratic primary in 2016?

He is definitely trying to stake out the ground as the liberal candidate in the race, which, to be frank, is a smart strategy.  You very rarely lose a party primary for president because you are overly loyal to the party base....

More likely future for John Thune -- future, serious Republican presidential candidate or future Majority Leader in the Senate?

The latter. I think he had his shot for president in 2012 -- field was WIDE open -- and passed.  The 2016 field is going to be packed with quality candidates.

Hey, can we play with you CBA guys? Our football program is at a 1-AA level, we bring two TV markets, and the Hartford Civic Center is cheap to rent for a tournament. And just to make it fair, we'll spot you 10 to start the you can finish with 50.

Typical Uconn arrogance. Have fun in the Little East!

Hey Chris, it looks as if Tom Corbett is one of the more vulnerable Govs in the country for 2014. Senator Casey didn't do much at the PA Dinner to quell rumors about possibly running. If he doesn't, do you think it will be a crowded field? Any chance the AG-Elect gets involved?

I think Bobby Casey would have the right of first refusal and I could see how he would think being governor was a sort of family tradition....

If Kerry get State and then Brown wins the special, it could have an effect on either majority or minority status for the Democrats come 2014.

Absolutely. My point was that it wouldn't cost Democrats control between now and then.

Assuming that Kerry at State is a done deal. does Patrick appoint himself as Senator? does Rice stay at UN or does President move her to the white house as part of his national security team

Governors almost NEVER appoint themselves to the Senate. (The last one to do it was in the late 1970s.)

Could Patrick put a placeholder in the seat and then run in the special election? Sure. I don't think it's likely but it's certainly possible given that he is term limited out of office in 2014.

Hearing a lot about Obama and Boehner's comings and goings. Where is McConnell in all this?

In the Senate minority.

Considering he's not running for a third term, what's his next move? Does he finish his term then run for Senate?

See above...

I am starting to hear Janet Napolitano being mentioned for AG. How likely is that?

Well, she would like to be AG certainly. I would think Eric Holder sticks around for another year or so though...

Hey Chris, Bobby Jindal is constantly touted as a future Presidential possibility, but he just doesn't seem to have that charisma that some of the other Republicans (Christie, Rubio, etc.) have, and seems to be required in the Post-Obama election world. Still, he's come out with a lot of good ideas recently, and looks to be taking the GOP towards a more moderate future. Do you think he would be more successful as RNC chair or something where his relative blandness wouldn't hurt him, but still would give him a potent way to shape the future of the party?

JIndal is definitely trying to seize the reformer/ideas guy mantle.

That said, I agree with you. He lacks the common touch that someone like Christie possesses naturally.

I like this new feature. You're doing better than the home chat yesterday but not as well as the government worker satisfaction one. Will be interested to see Hax's numbers. I don't live in MA but I could never forgive Coakley for her [insert expletive here] campaign against Brown the first time around and wouldn't support her this time. I wonder how many MA Dems feel that way.

Um, ok.

And, comparing me to Hax is like comparing some decent high school basketball player to Michael Jordan.

Crist was actually a pretty competent governor for a fairly purple state. I voted for Rubio over him in the primary--because senators are advocates, not administrators--but I might be convinced to vote for Crist over Rick Scott (who isn't nearly as "bad" as people would like to think he is).

Also, because Crist wasn't running in the primary. He switched to become an independent before the Republican primary which he was going to lose badly.

I assume this poster backed W in all of his decisions because he was the boss.

Like a boss.

The GOP was convinced it could reclaim the US Senate majority in the November elections (oops!). Do you think they'll have a stronger chance to do so in 2014?

Well, Democrats have to defend 20 seats to just 10 for Republicans.

And, Democrats have to try to hold seat in Arkansas, Louisiana, Alaska, South Dakota, West Virginia, Montana etc -- none of which will be easy.

That said, I think 2012 proves that the Senate majority isn't won on paper....

Former Big East 7 (Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette, St. John's, Seton Hall, Providence, and DePaul) + Xavier + St. Louis U + Creighton. There's your 10, with Iona, Canisius, and Duquesne lurking in case it'd need to be 12 teams for 2 divisions. Solved and good basketball to watch.

Agree. That would make me happy.  And G'town would look like a pretty dominant program in that setup...

After two very expensive losses, do you think Linda McMahon will run for elective office again?

She shouldn't. At least not in Connecticut.

Just because McCain, Graham et al agree that Kerry will sail through confirmation doesn't mean he does. Why wouldn't another Republican step up and filibuster the nomination - maybe while wearing a purple bandage? Yes, I believe the Republicans are that duplicitous.

Always a possibility. But VERY unlikely.  I think youy underestimate how much the Senate is driven by relationships.  Filibustering one of their own would stun me.

Lots of talk last week about Hillary 2016. On election day, Biden hinted that he's interested in running for President. What's going to happen? Will the DNC throw Biden under the bus in favor of Hillary or does Biden get the nod? Or some as-yet-unnamed person?

I find it hard to believe Biden could be Clinton in a primary. That said, I'd love to see that race.

Dear Fix, What should I buy my family for Christmas this year? (Other than your book, of course)?

Downtown Abbey


Apple TV


Future Senate Majority Leader? John Thune renounces the GOP and does a reverse Charlie Crist? Now THAT's a breaking Fix exclusive!


1. How many games will the Wiz win this year? More or less than 10? 2. How many Senate seats will the GOP pick up in 2014? More or less than 4? (Alaska, WV, Arkansas, South Dakota, North Carolina?)

I think the Wiz go 14-68.

And I am not making political predictions this far out.  Too much ammo for the haters ;)

You've defended and promoted Buzzfeed before. When the "reporters" go from silly outsiders to establishment figures who are RT left and right (affecting the debate), they need to be held to certain standards that they just haven't proven capable of.

Disagree.  Who among their political reporters have show they lack the abilityn to meet basic standards of journalism?

"And, comparing me to Hax is like comparing some decent high school basketball player to Michael Jordan." Hax is way better than a decent high school player.

I see what you did there.

Have you moved Ohio back to lean Obama yet?

It was the 2nd closest state in the country. So, toss up seemed right then and seems right now. Thanks for reading!

Your odds on us going over the fiscal cliff?

25% chance we go off the cliff. I am still skeptical.

So what was her motivation to reject Rice? I'm thinking it was a bone for the Republicans so she can push them elsewhere, but I have also read that it was a favor to Kerry. From what I am reading here in Maine, she is looking to extend her influence now that she's the senior senator, does she really have a chance to do that?

Don't know. I do think it's at least worth floating the idea that Collins just disagreed with Rice on matters of policy?

What does this mean? Do you think Dems in MA don't care about how bad Coakley was the last time she ran? Or that they do but would get over it if she would have the best chance of beating Brown?

Coakley will not be the D nominee. And she wants to be governor in 2014 anyway...

What's under the Fix family Christmas tree this year? Do people give you politically-themed gifts?

"People" don't give me gifts. If they want to start, I would welcome it.

I just to let you know that I refuse to read any articles that have the word "2016" in them. I just can't bear to think that far ahead.

Never. Too. Early.

Really...? Downton Abbey would more than likely be easier to find...

Well played.

Do you anticipate voters in Wisconsin and Michigan are likely to inflict "Right to work" backlashes on Republican candidates in 2014?

Let's see. I wrote about Rick Snyder and the Scott Walker of 2014 earlier this week. Here's that piece:

John Tower

Comparing John Kerry and John Tower = no comparison.

Best Seasonal Coffee: Pumpkin Spice or Gingerbread Latte?


Though I am now a Mocha guy. Old skool.

Bringing in true mid-majors like Iona and Canisius doesn't seem right (although Canisius is #67 in RPI as of today just 1 slot above my alma mater UAlbany). Considering the 7 freaked out about Tulane, I can't see them diluting the pool with mid-majors.

True enough. But we need to add a few schools, no?

Well, Temple isn't Catholic. Those Catholic hoops teams on their own (Xavier would be a coup) would make a good conference. Maybe they could steal St. Louis University and someone else for a really good conference top to bottom.

Good point.

He's too liberal for this administration. He's opposed to killing American citizens abroad without a trial.

Oh, snap.

Speaking of Christmas gifts...Any plans to record an audio book of "The Gospel According to The Fix?" If so, who would you pick to read it (assuming you are too busy to do it yourself)?

I would read it!  And no, not yet. But if you want to buy it for the political junkie in your family, here's an easy link to do it:

He lost on a 53 - 47 vote. BB

Yes. Good pt.

The Pope has to do the first tip-off.

Would rule.

In your opinion, is she sitting on the biggest pile of political capital in American history, or at least since LBJ in '64?

Yes.  Read this:

Do you collect anything? Probably some good deals on the overstocks right now.

Used to collect baseball cards. Now I collect Almanacs of American politics. if someone wants to buy me the 1982 and 1974 Alamanacs I will love you forever.

For you TV viewing pleasure add "The Hour".


No way! Politicians do everything for, well, politics.

Yeah, can't believe I forgot.

That's all folks! Have a good Friday and enjoy your weekend...and see you back here next Friday at 11 am.



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.
Recent Chats
  • Next: