The Fix Live

Dec 21, 2012

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

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Good morning everyone. 

An incredibly busy week in politics that is capped by the NRA's first public comment post-Newtown and John Kerry being formally nominated as Secretary of State.

Let's get to it.

It seems like Markey, Capuano, and Lynch are the 3 most likely to run of the state's congressional delegation. Who has the edge in that primary?

HMMM. Good question. I think Markey. 

I would say though that if Ted Kennedy Jr. runs, it might be a less exciting primary than we think it will be today.

I was surprised to see her on your list of people who may run for the expected special election. Do you really think Bay State Democrats would risk another Brown-Coakley race after what happened last time?

Probably not and she has signaled she is more interesting in running for governor in 2014.

We put her on the list because she is VERY popular in the state.

Does Booker's decision force Lautenberg into retirement or does it make him want to run again?

Not sure. 

Lautenberg's statement yesterday seemed to hint at the fact that he was annoyed that Booker announced an exploratory committee right now.

Remember that Lautenberg will be 90 years old in 2014. And that Chris Christie is likely to be reelected governor in 2013.

Are there enough GOP members that would join with the Democrats to support the President's proposal?

On the President's current proposal? I don't think so.

On any proposal? We are going to find out....

How does the Plan B mess affect Boehner's chances to be re-elected Speaker? Does he -- or might he -- have any credible challengers?

We don't know yet. Boehner said this morning that he has no worries about being reelected Speaker.

But, what would he say: "I think I may lose..."

Until someone real steps up with the votes (or close to the votes) against Boehner, I think he is fine. But there's plenty of time between now and Jan. 3 when the vote for Speaker is held.

Only fiscal-cliff deal that to me seems at all possible in the next 10 days is one that kicks the old can down the road for several weeks to give the new Congress some time to take action. What say you?

Seems BY FAR the most likely outcome. Given what happened in the House last night on a bill that would have kept tax cuts in place for everyone but those making $1 million or more, I can't seehow any big deal makes it through.

Ok...given what happened last night, is there any way that a deal worked out between Boehner and the President would ever pass the House? I seriously doubt it.

Hard to see any sort of "grand bargain" making it through. Stranger things have happened but...

Key quote from NRA's CEO Wayne LaPierre: "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Is it possible that Republicans vote for someone other than Boehner or Cantor for Speaker?

See above. I don't think so -- today.  Politics is an ever-evolving business though.

Project: Markey v. Brown-who wins? Lynch v. Brown-who wins? Why?

Brown probably starts as a slight favorite in both matchups. Slight but that's a pretty darn good setup for Senate Republicans.

Now, Brown vs a Kennedy? Tougher for the Republican.

Mark Sanford announces a run. OK, it doesn't really means he's back unless he wins and, you know, is back. Win or lose he gets interviews and a shot at making $$$ again.

If his ex-wife runs in the South Carolina special election -- and she's made clear she is interested -- this could be the single greatest race ever.

Boehner has easily the Worst Week in Washington. The only easier call is the Fix obsession with Ric Flair

Not revealing the winner yet....but if we were playing the "warm/cold" game, you would be burning hot right now.

Odds that Bobby Jindal runs in 2016?

Barring any unexpected health problems, 100%.

How worried is the White House about going over the cliff? Are they willing to accept that route if they can't get a deal?

Not sure to be honest. I think they were STUNNED that Plan B didn't get through the House and are trying to re-calibrate now.

I wrote a piece this morning about the uncertain way forward here:

Does Mark Warner's decision not to run again for Virginia Gov mean he may consider a Presidential bid?

I don't think so because I think he knows he's not likely to win that race.

I read his decision not to run for governor as a sign that he is dedicated to spending the remainder of his foreseeable future political days in the Senate.

How was it? Did you like it?

LOVED it. And I really loved they focused on the fight to pass the 13th Amendment. The jockeying for votes was fascinating.

19% of the prez electorate in 2012, 18% in 2008, 17% in 2004, 2000, and 1996. Seems to me that it's not the turnout that's so crucial (despite what the CW is saying), but the fact that they're swinging to the Democrats in such huge numbers. Agree?

NO question.

The unity with which they supported President Obama is the story not their share of the electorate.

The question going forward: Is the youth movement toward Democrats tied to Obama or to the party? As in, when Obama isn't running anymore does the next Dem nominee enjoy the same marhin or no?

I put $20 on this at 50-1 back in October. The person who took my bet is wondering whether or not she should be sweating.

Oooh. Interesting.

Every time someone "smart" has talked about how close the two sides were (Chuck Todd, I'm talking about you) I laughed and said that these House Republicans have never compromised with anyone about anything unless the stock market is tanking.

In Chuck's defense, the actual numbers between the two proposals wasn't/isn't(?) all that far apart.

or rather, middle things middle, Where are you? What's the soundtrack? What are you drinking?

Soundtrack: Beachwood Sparks "Tarnished Gold"

Locale: The hub of the TV universe -- NBC DC buro

Drinking: Honest Tea Peach White Tea (because I am SO health conscious)

Reaction to this press conference?

I am not surprised. The idea spread in some circles that the NRA was going to capitulate was always far fetched.

MA voter here...Ted Kennedy Jr. is a resident of Connecticut, and I doubt he would run for his father's old seat. But there are some signs that Vickie Kennedy might be willing to be appointed to the seat, and maybe then run to keep it.

I know he lives in CT but if he moved....

JJ Redick of the Orlando Magic has started to "woo woo" after sinking 3-pointers.

Holy cow. That makes me hate ex-Dookie Redick slightly less. But only slightly.

What are the odds something significant actually gets done?

That depends on how you define significant. I think it's possible that something like the ban on high-ammo clips could pass.

I am not sure some sort of comprehensive gun control legislation would make it -- particularly after that press conference by LaPierre.

Earlier questioner was deliberately misquoting the goateed one also -- Chuck Todd said that objectively they were "thisclose" to a deal but also "thisclose" to everything blowing apart -- basically that we were suddenly on a high-stakes pivot point. Your questioner quoted half of that. Go Goatee!


Chuck is a personal friend but he's also one of the best minds in this business.

Who wins a Markey-Lynch-Capuano-Downing primary? I would think that liberals would do almost anything to keep Lynch from winning the nomination.

My sense is Markey. Liberals like him and he would be well funded...

And Bobby Jindal was heard to say, "Wait a minute, what have you heard?"

I mean, until he announces what he's doing, we don't know.

But, my belief on what he WANTS to do is run for president in 2016.

Why don't the Democrats get something passed in the Senate and then get all the Democrats in House on board and call the GOP's bluff?

That may be what they do...

He will probably have to face Frank Pallone and Rob Andrews in the primary, who should lock up the Central and South Jersey votes, respectively. If Steve rothman runs too, and splits some of the North Jersey votes, I think that keeps Booker down enough for Andrews or Pallone to get the nomination. What do you think?

Fair enough. I think Booker would be able to raise a TON of money but you are right that the geographic realities make it something short of a walkover if the people you list above do wind up running.

I remember when Bill Clinton would take too long to name a nominee and all his trial balloons got shot down. But it looks like Obama is taking even longer.

I am AMAZED that the White House is following the same failed blueprint they used for Susan Rice on Hagel.

The problem for Rice/Hagel is that it's tough(er) for the Administration to defend someone who hasn't even been nominated. Which, of course, means that the person is left to twist in the wind.

Note that voters under 30 were the only age group to back Kerry in 2004. They voted 60% Democratic in 2006. So I don't think that it's just an Obama thing.

Fair point.

Basketball or Field Hockey? Or Politics?

Field hockey. Not close. But I do love me some college basketball.

I'm surprised someone hasn't asked "boxers or briefs" yet.

It's because no one can bear to envision either answer.

There aren't 25 Republicans in the House (out of what, 240?) who are moderate enough to join the Dems to avoid the cliff? They are all radical?

Viewed another way: They believe that raising taxes isn't a solution and in fact would make the economic situation worse.

I think they were STUNNED that Plan B didn't get through the House and are trying to re-calibrate now. Chris Are you really that naive? When Cantor plasters his face all over the news proclaiming "WE HAVE THE VOTES" you should have known it wasn't even close. Please stop acting like the republicans had a plan. They never did. Plan B was just a way of not dealing with the Dems and the president. Next year the senate will approve legislation that lowers the tax rate for the middle class. Republicans will have a real choice then. Everyone please stop acting like this is the equivalent of the Mayan calendar.

I guess I AM that naive.

I really don't see what appeal he would have in the primary. He is somewhat conservative on social issues (espicially abortion) and he voted against Obamacare. I don't really see why he runs or how he would think he would win. Your thoughts?

The labor community is strongly behind him. And that's a powerful constituency in a Democratic primary in Massachusetts.

I know that you would describe yourself as apolitical in your private life, but what about the other immediate people in your life (your wife, your mom, your dad, etc...) Are they also apolitical as well?

I don't presume to speak for them!

Everybody. While Boehner may have the official worst week- the damage that they have done to the country makes this everybody's worst week. The inability to have common sense and deal when your head is loaded into the guilletine and the executioner is walking towards the release is just nonsense.

Congress is clearly broken. There's no debate on that. Who broke it and how to fix it is a debate.

So the party of 'no' has become a party of no even within their own ranks. We had a lot of bluster then a last minute no vote. Does this make Boehner and Cantor the Thelma and Louise of the GOP?

Again, as I said above, I am not sure what Boehner and Cantor were expected to say. "Hey, we might lose this one?" 

They were trying to fake it until they made it. Unfortunately for them, they didn't make it.

Did a specific event spark your interest or were you born a political junkie?

Nope. I am a convert. Wasn't into politics until post-college. And, I have the zeal of the converted now!

What would be a good Christmas gift for the Politically-inclined members of our family? Signed, your agent.

Five words: "Gospel According to the Fix".

Good job on Daily Rundown this Morning. Does this mean that you won't be on Andrea Mitchell or Hardball? And where did Chuck Todd go? Is he trying to track down John Boehner back in Ohio?

Chuck is taking a few days of much deserved rest. I will be filling in for he and Andrea occasionally over the holidays. Thrilled for the chance!

Sorry, but that person lost his or her money. You can't be Speaker AND run for President. Ryan running in 2016 is a lock, so yeah...

Fair point.

Now you're taking comments from Chuck Todd's mother sticking up for her boy? She also thinks he's a nice boy who always says please & thank you.

He IS a nice boy who always says please and thank you 


If the Dems nominated Steny Hoyer do you think he could win?

I do not.

Do you think there will be any other changes in the Senate BEFORE the 2014 elections -- resignation, appointment to another position, health?

I WISH I knew...

Right now we know we are going to have a special election in Massachusetts to replace Sen. John Kerry.

And we have 3 House special elections set for 2013 including one that could pit Mark vs Jenny Sanford....

Chris, happy holidays to you. As a political junkie there's nowhere I'd rather get my fix . Thank you Fix Crew for the work you do. Peace.

Thank YOU.

I hope my passion for this stuff comes through. Politics is a fascinating business and I have the privilege of seeing it up close.

I try to remember to be thankful for that every day.

My top tier: Ryan, Jeb or Rubio Second tier: Christie, Jindal, Rand Paul, Santorum Mike Huckabee would be at least second tier if he ran, but he's shown no sign that he will. Am I missing anyone?

I think Christie belongs in first tier and maybe Jindal too.

If Jeb runs, he starts as the first tier with those other guys in second tier.

And, I think people underestimate Rand Paul's ability to influence the outcome of a presidential primary at their own peril.

Thanks Mr. Fix for all of your insights throughout the year - more than a few turned out to be correct. Hoping for all the best for you and your family in the coming year.

Again, thank you.

Without people reading and reacting to my stuff, I would be nowhere.

I am blessed to have the chance to do what I do.  Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday with their families.

I'll see you all in the New Year.


All best,


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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