The Fix Live

Jan 18, 2013

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

Follow @TheFix on Twitter.

Good morning!

President Obama's second term is just days away and there is a perfect legislative storm brewing in Congress. Also, the 2016 race has already started...

Soundtrack for chat: Hiss Golden Messenger

Coffee for chat: Grande mocha

Locale for chat: Fix HQ

How long can she wait to decide whether or not to run? What if anything does she have to do to keep her options open? Her potential primary opposition (Cuomo, O'Malley, etc.) won't spend the next two years sitting still.

She can wait longer than anyone else in either party. She is the best known candidate, the poll leader and the person who has done this before.

At some point, she will come under pressure from the Andrew Cuomos, Kirstin Gillibrands and Amy Klobuchars of the world to make her intent clear so they can make up their minds.

I would think she can wait until soon after the midterms..

How long before a politician gets caught up in a "Catfishing" hoax? Or have I missed one?

It's only a matter of time.

Random fact: I had no idea what "catfishing" was before Manti Te'o.  Also, this makes me feel very old.

Will you be chatting or am I chatting with a female columnist from a New York paper?

Wouldn't you like to know.

How soon would he announce--days after the midterms? Is he a more electable Howard Dean?

I think he is already making clear through his actions that he is in. My guess is he will start making trips to IA, SC etc sometime this summer. I mean, he is in.

O'Malley, unlike Dean, is an establishment figure...he is clearly trying to carve out the electable liberal space in the field...

I can't get over his voice. I hope he hires a vocal coach before heading to Iowa.

Ha! Since I am sure he reads this chat the message will be received.

Hi Chris, You don't need to post this on your chat but I do hope you will read it. Long-time Post reader and subscriber here. It's clear you are knowledgeable and passionate about your job as a political analyst and commentator. Your written work for the Post - whether in this chat, in the print edition, or on the Post's website - contains a lot of information but your analysis tends to lapse into the "winners and losers" type. When I read political analysis, I am looking for nuance and shades of gray, not the black-and-white of who won/who lost. When your default position is to divide political actors into winners and losers, a lot of the nuance is lost and, therefore, the only true loser is the reader. Maybe you don't have enough time for more thoughtful analysis, and I understand you churn out a high volume of work. But I would be ok with a lower volume and higher quality.Thanks.

Backhanded compliment alert!

I don't think looking at the politics of politics, which is what I do, means you lose nuance.

If you read the winners and losers pieces I do, I always note caveats and such -- much to the frustration of some readers.

I am, obviously, far from perfect but I don't think covering politics the way I do it is inherently dumbing it down.

Thanks for the thoughts.

What kind of question are you most likely to want to answer? Conversely, what turns you off about a question?

Will answer ANY question about: 1. Catholic field hockey 2. Homeland 3. Game of Thrones 4. Music 5. Sports

Turnoffs include: smokers, negative people and people who like to use the words "trolling" and "derp".

Not ALL the liars have gone into politics. Some are in sports!

I find that comforting. Somehow.

Thanks for linking to the Fact Checker's verdict on Lance Armstrong. Wow. Wonder where if anywhere Armstrong goes from here and why in the world he went on Oprah.

I have NO idea. I thought he was terrible.  Remorseless.  It felt like a purely calculated move.  Creepy.

Chris, I am so tired of political pundits' prognostications about the 2016 race. Just because you guys (and you're mostly guys), in your echo chamber, are speculating about 2016, that does not mean it's a fact. Don't make me call over to Glenn Kessler, ok!

Ok, ok.

But read this piece at least:

We almost had a race for the ages- ex's running against each other. How depreseed are you?

I assume you mean Sanford v Sanford for House. And, very depressed. That would have been AMAZING.

Related note: I was in SC this week for a speech at Furman Unviersity. Greenville, SC is a VERY underrated town.

I hope you enjoyed Greenville this week. I went to college at Furman and know it's an underrated city. What did you think about the dining scene? I tried to tweet you a good recommendation.

Loved it. I ate at Smoke on the Water and had I stayed another night would have eaten at High Cotton.

Also, the Tripleberry muffin at Coffee Undeground was really good too.

I've been reading that for years now. Is there any chance this idiocy is ever going to change or is this the new normal? I'm SO sick of it.

Read this:

Just to be clear, there's very little evidence and only Notre Dame's say-so that Manti Te'o actually was catfished. He seems to have been a fairly willing participant.

Right. Feels like there is a LOT we don't know on this story.

Are you an ice hockey guy, or just CUA field hockey?

Field hockey, the original hockey.

Ever since the Whalers left Hartford I haven't cared about ice hockey.

Also, this:

While the NRA memberships is going up, their leadership might not like the kind of member that are gaining. I have seen more than one instance of pundits saying that peopel who oppose the irresponsible positions taken by the gun industry lobbyists within the NRA should take out memberships and vote to change the NRA from within. Over the next few months, the NRA is also likely to alienate its more adult members, at least some of whom might decide that there are better uses for their money than supporting this organization.

It seems to me VERY unlikely that is where thre bulk of their growth is coming. Seems like a pretty big commitment to undermine the organization from within.

Also, here's the piece referenced in this question:

she did pretty damn well, no? I admit to looking at her only as a celebrity speaking to a celebrity and thus underestimating her.


Pointed without being confrontational. I think she is one of the great interviewers of our time -- if not the best.

Nice try, but when I read ridiculous comments like "I am, obviously, far from perfect " I know this is not the real Chris Cillizza. This can't be the genius that wrote The Gospel - available on Amazon!

Good point. I am perfect. Man it feels so good to say that. I feel almost like Lance Armstrong.

Carrie, Saul, and Quinn are obviously season 3's new power team, right? They'll be getting all the confessions and stabbing all the hands.


I always want more Saul.

I also think Mike - Jessica Brody has potential. Maybe she runs for office?

And who is the new deputy CIA director?

It always amazes me when people can't recognize the difference between the covering of politics in regards to governing and covering politics as sport (if you will).



the race may be under way but do I really have to care?

You do not. But, you also can't call yourself a true political addict if you don't ;)

Chris have you read the books because they are even better than the tv show

Am in the middle of the robert jordan "Dragon Reborn" series but need to re-read the George Martin books too.

And, yes, I am a giant nerd.

What other columns/blogs/Twitter feeds do you check regularly? (Political themed ones) After the almighty Fix, I like to read the guys at TIME's Swampland, Nate Silver, Jake Tapper.

All are great.

People I like (with the caveat I will forget some since I am doing this spur of the moment): Ben Smith at Buzzfeed, Bob Costa at National Review, Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman and Alex Burns at Politico, Peter Baker, Mike Shear and Mark Leibovich at NYT, anything David Maraniss writes, EJ Dionne, Steve Hayes, Ashley Parker (at the NYT), and, of course, my boy Bill Simmons at Grantland.

The best part of when a NY area team played the Whalers on the road was hearing Brass Bonanza blaring in the background as the teams warmed up before the start of a period.

God I loved going to the Civic Center. Highlight of young Fix life.

No offense, but I'm puzzled why you (and Glenn Kessler) are commenting on Lance Armstrong. He never has run for or been appointed to any political office, or even a semi-political office. Is there some connection to politics that I'm missing?

I was unaware I was able to only offer thoughts about politics and politicians. NOTED.

What the heck is catfishing? Is it related to hiking the Appalachian trail? What have I missed this week?

Read this.

True/False -- by 2015, the House, being super conservative and crazy, will have voted on an article of impeachment for President Obama?


Over/under 63% for Chris Christie in his re-election bid for the governor of New Jersey?

Wow. That is high even for ANY Republican in NJ. I think he gets under that but probably in thr 55-58 range. Democrats appear to be in chaos post-Booker announcement.

Any plausability to my 2016 prediction? Before the primaries, Hillary will announce that she's running, with Biden as her running mate. 1) It'll immediately virtually eliminate the intraparty competition, reducing the need for heavy campaigning and spending during the primaries. 2) It'll eliminate any controversy over who is the legitimate heir to the Obama political machine (advisors, databases, etc). 3) It'll provide an immediate opportunity to put big names in multiple places to campaign (e.g., Hillary in NH, Joe in IA, Bill in SC). 4) Biden can secure a legacy as one of the most influential veeps in history, and as the only one to span the full terms of two different presidents, offsetting (to an extent) his desire to become POTUS. 5) Jill Biden can keep her job. 6) They can reliably campaign on both new directions/change and stability.

That will not happen.

Though I do love the theory.

Why are Democrats getting excited by a couple of polls showing the Macker slightly ahead of Cuccinelli? Deeds had polls showing him up in June 2009, and he ended up losing by 17. In fact, the last three Republican governors won their races by double digits. So, why the optimism?

Will be close...both Cuccinelli and McAuliffe are deeply flawed as candidates and VA is a swing state. Wouldn' put too much stock into polling right now...race isn't engaged at all.

Do you go see the Wizards/Hoyas play? Both look better than they did this time last week.

I used to have season tickets for Hoyas but with young kids wasn't going. Planning to get them again for next season.

Wiz? To quote Vince McMahon: "No chance in hell."

What are the roadblocks to a McAuliffe win?

1. McAuliffe 2. Cuccinelli underrated as a candidate 3. Backlash in state to Obama 2nd term agenda

Still watching American Idol?

DVR'ed the 2 espisodes this week. Trying to figure out whether to go in for another season. Mrs. Fix will be the decider.

Separate note: Now that Homeland is over, we need another good series. Mrs. Fix isn't keen on Breaking Bad. Ideas?

Sorry to be one of those people using the word, but I really don't know what it means.

HATE it.

Is he the frontrunner? Will he need to marry his hiking buddy before the election?

People who think he can't win are wrong. Read this.

Hi Chris, You frequently make reference to The Wire in your writing, especially the character of Omar ("you come at the king, you best not miss") - but from what you mention it seems like you mainly stick to the early seasons. I've never seen you do any sort of political analysis of the later seasons, for example the mayoral race, internal Baltimore city politics, etc. If you haven't watched the later seasons, please do! I know you're busy and all but it would be fascinating to see your thoughts on the depiction of politics in the show...

Only in the middle of Season 3 now!  Need to get back to watching them...

Will you be surprised if Chris Christie decides to leave the Republican Party and becomes Independent?

Um, yes.

Love that character (not as much as Saul but who could?).

Yes. Peter Quinn is fascinating. Black ops = endlessly fascinating.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching them at the Civic Center, somehow it was great hockey, with few stars. Then, a short while after I saw ELO there, the roof caved in. Seems fitting.

Yes, yes it does.

Just bought my son the last volume--#14--of Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Have you read this saga?

Have read once thru and in the middle (book 9) of re-reading.

Next up: the Aubrey Maturin series.

Chris: Who is the most plausible dark horse candidate for the Republicans in 2016? I'd say Walker of Wisconsin. Who would you say?

Two words: Rand. Paul.

"It always amazes me when people can't recognize the difference between the covering of politics in regards to governing and covering politics as sport (if you will). " People understand the difference in coverage. The problem is that "politics as sport" is so much easier for the average person to follow that the part where the metaphors diverge: [1) End game, people go home, some multi-million dollar players are sad and maybe injured, repeat in two weeks or next year vs 2)End game, people go home, entire financial and social lives are upended] doesn't get enough attention. When TV anchors say "the most important/burning question is who won" I always want to hit the TV. No, the most important/burning question is what happens to the American people after the fact.

My take: Covering the politics of politics doesn't mean that you don't understand that the outcomes are very real.  But if you don't think politicians think in terms of winning/losing, you are wrong.

Throw John Edwards in the mix, but IMO he leans towards the biggest phony and creep

Sandusky?  Bernie Madoff?  Lance is def top 5 in my opinion.

Chris, say that Cong. Nicholas Brody and Carrie Mathison are at home. They've just arrived after watching a Catholic U. field hockey game. They check the Internet to see who's trolling their FB page, reject the negative comments, and do something called "derp." (I don't know what that means). They turn on "Game of Thrones" and some Springsteen, but what sporting event do they watch afterward?

This is the single greatest question ever.

Answer: A re-run of the USA Field Hockey victory over Argentina in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

While the NRA membership has certainly gone up, membership in groups like the Brady campaign have gone up much more. Any thoughts on writing about that?

Sure. But remember that the NRA started in a much stronger position -- in terms of membership and money -- than the Brady campaign or any other gun rights group. And it's not close.

The left and right have assumed their depressingly kneejerk inflexible positions right on cue. Are you at all surprised that the media doesn't seem to make even a pretense of being balanced on this debate. I tend to agree with many of Obama's proposals (althoughI'm not totally comfortable with his rush to do so much by executive action) but even from my starting point, the media - at least the non-Fox networks seem to be totally one-sided.

I do think there is a disconnect between how people in big cities and people in the rest of the country view guns/gun rights.

Read this:

Is there any good pizza in DC? I'm from Chicago (but a thin crust fan) and can't stand the lack of non-chain pizza. That's the real outrage about Washington.

Vace in Cleveland park. Matchbox. And if you live in the burbs like me, Pietanza in either Falls Church or Arlington.

Also, Flippin Pizza isn't bad.

Have you checked out ELEMENTARY, CBS's take on Sherlock in the 21st century? Very good.

The Fix fam tried the British Sherlock (with Benedict Cumberpatch) and came away less than impressed. Is this one better?

New Girl is hilarious. I'm not big on sitcoms and this one is totally worth my precious TV time. (Working parent w/young kids here).


It's actually going out on a pretty strong note - I feared that the short season would be lame but hand it to Tina Fey and the gang, they know what they are doing...

"Do those pajamas have a turtleneck?"

Dexter True Blood Boardwalk Empire Girls

Girls is out. Do not like.

Dexter maybe. But do I really want to start watching a series on a serial killer.

First, I'm only on episode two, Season 2 of "Homeland", so I'm reading your chat while desperately trying to not get spoiled. Who is Quinn? Sigh. Anyway, do you ever sleep or take time off? I thought for sure we'd see a lull in your coverage after the election, but you've been working basically non-stop. Do we need to contact your union? Take a break, man!

Ha!  No days off! 

And, get caught up. Quinn = fascinating.

And in my opinion there are many better ways to spend those hours that would be wasted watching American Idol this season. I've been a fan for years - but this is just too boring. Randy can't carry the show by himself.

Got it. Have heard good things.

If you're reading whopping volumes like those written by Martin and Jordan, are you reading the paper versions or on a Kindle ( or Nook)?

On my iPad. Which is still version 1.0. Of course, my bday is coming up in February...hint, hint Mrs. Fix...

Do you really think he could keep "the crazy" under control throughout a grueling primary season? He doesn't have his father's grandpa/grizzled prospector persona to soften the sharp edges of his opinions.

He is FAR more politically savvy than his dad. And, I think crazy is iunfair to him. Does Rand Paul have views on some issues outside the mainstream of political thought? Sure.

But that doesn't make him crazy.

Don't forget the Kevin Bacon serial killer show, the Homeland ripoff with Felicity, and a BBC show about Jack the Ripper. I have a feeling that could take off with the Anglophilia in pop culture these days.

I mean...I can't be watching shows about serial killers. Just not going to do.

What is the new "Dawson's Creek"? Is it Gossip Girl?

"Once Upon a Time.." It is still quite good even in its second season. And if you tune in and have no idea what is going on, ABC posts all their old episodes online for FREE. I think they're up to around 34 episodes now; so there is 33 hours Mrs. Fix could catch up. :)


But what I like about the Hillary-Biden ticket question you got is that Jill Biden keeps teaching at a local community college. There is just something very satisfying about the fact she does that. Even her campaign appearances (in both 08 and 12) were scheduled around her day job, though in 08 it was a Delaware community college.


I posted the question about why you and Kessler were writing about Lance Armstrong. I really didn't mean to offend you. But your column does appear under the Politics tab, so I was just curious if there was some connection that I was missing.

Not offended at all!

I was very surprised to hear that my 84 year old father, who, in his younger days, went deer hunting with my uncles in Pennsylvania every year, joined the NRA last week, for the first time ever. When I asked him why, he said that he, as a law-abiding recreational hunter, resented being lumped in with mass murderers and wanted to make sure that people like him would still be able to deer hunt without being treated like criminals. It was an interesting conversation.


Sounds like it's hilarious

Oh my gosh yes.

BTW, Anglophilia is my new band name.

Good one.

I like "Rampant Anglophilia" even better.

Holmes filtered through House again. Perfectly competent procedural with the prickly genius at the core (and a more sprightly and competent Watson in Liu than some other adaptations). Sherlock was much more uneven, but nothing Elementary has done made me as excited as the Irene Adler episode.

I barely understand this question's many references but I think it says "Elementary" is good.

You ask if the just cancelled GOSSIP GIRL is the new DAWSON'S CREEK? If you need your James Van Der Beek fix, THE B IN APT 23 is surprisingly entertaining.

I am so old and out of touch

Alright folks. Time's up.

Make sure to check out the Fix later today for our rankings of the 10 most memorable/best inaugural speeches.

See you next week. Same time, same place!


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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