The Fix Live

Jan 25, 2013

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

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My morning so far:

1. Get up go to catch train to NYC

2. Sit while train is delayed for more than hour

3. Get off

4. Find coffee shop to do chat

So, that all happened. And Saxby Chambliss retired. Busy Friday! Let's do it.

Do you give him more than a 9.99% chance of becoming the next senator from Georgia?

If he runs, he would be a strong candidate....Remember that Cain ran for the Senate against Johnny Isakson in the early 2000s and he has done nothing but help his public persona since then...


Can't see a Democrat who would be able to win this race. What would you rate the race at this point?

Definitely lean Republican until we see how the field shakes out.

If Dems could convince Kasim Reed, the mayor of Atlanta, to run they might have a chance but turnout in a non-presidential year doesn't work in their favor.

The GOP race will be a total free-for-all. I think Cain would start the primary as the favorite if he runs.

Will Newt Gingrich run for senate in GA in 2014?

I can't imagine that.  But, Newt is Newt. So, why not?

What are the chances Pizza man makes a comeback?

Depends if he wants to run. He just started a new radio gig in Atlanta so he might not want to do it. But if he does want to run he has a legitimate chance at being the nominee.

Hi Chris, I always thought Saxby Chambliss was some cheap wine that came in a bottle with a screw off top. I will miss him less than I miss Ripple.

But, the great name caucus in the Senate is taking a major hit.

At least we can comfort ourselves with Rand Paul and Sheldon Whitehouse.

Hi Chris, With Mathew, Mark, Luke and John unavailable do you think any candidate would turn to you as his campaign manager? Would you do it mostly just for the experience of it (another book!) or do you have no interest in such an active involvement?

NO interest. I like watching politics. Never want to participate on the other side.  But thanks!

FYI, Otto Porter is a lottery lock, likely a top 10 pick. Enjoy him and some success for the rest of the reason because he's as good as gone after the NIT.

So depressing. And so true.  And then we are going to stink.

Is Capito the likely winner of Rockefeller's seat in 2014?

She is the frontrunner right no for sure. West Virginia, at least at the federal level, is an increasingly hard place for Democrats to win.

But, they do have plenty of statewide officeholders so maybe one of them takes the leap....

Any insight into why he's announcing that he will retire? Who has the best chance of replacing him?

None yet. But, I wonder if the concern of losing a primary challenge from his right, which was a real possibility, played into his decision....

And I would say whichever Republican wins the primary has the best chance to replace him. This is Georgia in a midterm, after all.

Do you think he runs for senate in 2013 or Governor in 2014?

I think governor. Much longer track record of Republicans getting elected as governor than as Senator in Massachusetts.

If you were to rank the 2016 Republican contenders, does Paul Ryan rank above or below Chris Christie? I assume you would, for the time being, have Marco Rubio as #1 (in a Jeb Bush-less field).

I wouldn't rank order them yet. I think the top tier is: Rubio, Christie, Ryan and Jindal assuming Jeb isn't running.

If Jeb runs, he is the top tier and those other guys are the second tier.

Rank from most likely to least likely whether the following Democrats run for president in 2016: 1) Vice President Joe Biden, 2) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and 3) Gov. Deval Patrick.

I think Biden is most likely.  Clinton considering and will continue to.  Deval I know the least about.  

If Paul Ryan wants to run for president in 2016, does he not run for re-election in 2014 to focus on a presidential run full-time?

Intriguing.  Maybe.  

Why is Obama considering Tom Udall for Interior Secretary when it would deplete Democratic ranks in the Senate even further?

I can't imagine he would be under very serious consideration for just that reason. I know Ken Salazar said Obama should think about naming him but it makes NO political sense to allow a Republican governor to make an appointment.

Late response to your question from last week about what TV shows you and Mrs Fix should be watching, but the answer is easy: Nashville. Good actors, original music every week, fun story-lines, and currently featuring an election (for Nashville mayor) which may have been bought by Big Daddy Lamar! Really excellent. And no, you do not need to be a country music fan to enjoy it.

We do watch!  I think the "Lamar" character is SO overdone -- no one is that evil -- but really like Connie Britton and Hayden Panettierre. Also, the guy who plays Deacon rules.

Who steps up to challenge Al Franken?

It's a remarkably thin field. If Michele Bachmann runs, she would win the primary and almost certainly lose the general election.

Chris, the progressive community is none too pleased with Sen Reid's filibuster "reform." But let's be real here -- was there ever any possibility that something meaningful would happen? Is real reform a lost cause?

I don't think there was ever a real chance that anything was going to happen.

Here's my piece on why:

Has Cory Booker hurt himself with how he's handled the Lautenberg issue? Or will everyone more or less say "politics ain't beanbag" and forget about it?

I think the latter. And, the only people paying attention right now are people like you and me. Average New Jerseyans -- is that right? -- aren't watching it closely yet.

Cuomo seems to be viewed as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in 2016 (in a world where Hillary Clinton sticks to her word). But how will Cuomo overcome the disdain so many Democrats seem to have for him?

Do "many Democrats" have disdain for him?

I think Cuomo would be the de facto frontrunner in a race without Clinton or Biden. But I am not sure the 2016 race doesn't have one of them in it...

How great was it that we all experienced this event together... via twitter? Between the humor, reporting, etc. I mean, how did we do these types of things before twitter? You even RT'd my Homeland joke!

I don't know how we all lived before Twitter. Can you imagine the Manti Te'o story without Twitter? 

Who of these future GOPers is more likely to support gay marriage: Marco Rubio, Jindal, Christie, Paul..? will they?


But I bet he stays away because he knows it would play into the "he's actually a moderate" story line.

So are you in this year. Minaj and Urban are a big upgrade even if the talent hasn't been there yet. Then again, who brought less to the table, Idol or otherwise, than Steven Tyler?

Watched a little...Nicki Minaj's voice bugs. Also, is that Mariah Carey or a cardboard cutout of Mariah Carey?



But the titans of the great name caucus -- Fritz, Strom, Alfonse, Lincoln -- are gone.

Twilight of the idols and all that.

Never bought an album, never saw her in concert, guffaw every time I hear that line about her clothing company in All the Single Ladies. But if this completely arbitrary, trumped-up "scandal" about her singing live, with a backing track (which some people can't distinguish from "lip-synching" apparently) gets her the Worst Week, then I'm going to be peeved. (And on that note, tell your colleague Mr. Milbank that he can critique Obama's text all he wants, but sideswipes at Kelly Clarkson are not only not on, but unwarranted. She was great.)

I didn't know people called her "Bey". I am old.

Where will he end up lobbying after his term ends? Does the peanut industry have a lobbying space?

The Fix fam is STRONGLY anti-peanut. Fix Jr has a bad peanut allergy. I would be good with a full peanut ban.

Hillary was amazing at the hearing and the congresspeople looked like dopes. Why do they bother having these hearings made public when they learn so much more when they get the facts behind closed doors? I know they like the publicity, but they look so ridiculous that the free publicity usually backfires.

I thought she was quite good. And I think they want it in public so they can say the government is being transparent.

Here's my piece on Hillary's performance:

What are the chances that he takes a look at the open GA seat?

I think everyone who has an "R" after their name in GA will take a look...

Basically someone decides a person is a rising star and then everything he or she says or does is seen through the prism of that person being a rising star, regardless of actual quality of words or action. Cheers to you, Beltway echo chamber.


I'm a conservative R and I think that Broun if nominated (less likely now than if Chambliss ran again), he would lose Akin-style by double-digits. Romney won GA by less than he won IN and MO, though GA is more hardcore conservative. Do you agree?

I think that nominating a candidate who is beloved by a small fraction of the overall electorate but not even liked by the rest of the electorate is bad politics.

Don't know enough about Broun to know where he fits there.

With Saxby Chambliss's departure, the senate has one fewer member with a cool name. What are your favorite congressional names, Chris?

Favorite name ever was Charlie Melancon from Louisiana. He went by "Charlie boy". His wife's name was Peachy. Not kidding.

Other great ones: Elbridge Gerry, Claiborne Pell....who else?

Losing a Senator with the name of Saxby Chambliss. Any chance Sherlock Holmes actor Benedict Cumberbatch can run?

Working on a "Draft Cumberpatch" site as we speak...

Just heard him coyly respond to Chuck Todd yesterday. What has he said today?

Nothing yet as far as I know.

But he seems like he is going to take a VERY hard look at it.

Wow, what a terrible show.

Don't watch.  Doesn't sound like I should.

So overrated. He's not connecting with people in Iowa and Democrats don't fall for electability arguments for people not named John Kerry.

Interesting perspective. I do think there is a chance that Cuomo looks better on paper than in real life.

Did she really give her word that she wouldn't run in 2016? Don't recall that type of statement.

She didn't give her word at all. Said she isn't planning it blah blah blah.  No Sherman-esque. or close.

From currently the Best Chance of winning the nomination to the worst: (1)Chris Christie (2)Jeb Bush (3)Sweater Vest Santorum (4)Bobby Jindal (5)Scott Walker (6)Rand Paul (7)Paul Ryan (8)Tag Romney (999)Herman Cain (10)Alan West


Rubio (you didn't list him but I will)







All the rest...and West.

Is your BA degree in journalism or political science?


I had never heard of him until his passing. Just ordered What it Takes because I heard everyone said it's the best political book ever. Have you read it?

Yes. And I wrote an entire chapter of my book on him.  He was an amazing man. Here's what I wrote when he died:

Hey Chris, Why hire you when a smart candidate can just buy the book? Yes, available on Amazon I think.

As a public service only, I provide a link to Amazon for "The Gospel According to the Fix":

I'd bet more people will hear (and care) about his having saved a freezing dog than will hear (or care) about the Lautenberg thing.

Prob true.

Georgia Democrat here (yes there are a few of us left). Any chance Max Cleland joins the race to reclaim the seat that was so unscrupulously taken away from him by Chambliss no less?

It i an intriguing possibility. The sense I have gotten from those who know Cleland is that he is done with politics. But who knows -- an open seat could be intriguing.

Ok let me ask in a different way. If Kingston ran for the Senate, could he win? I enjoy his Bill Maher appearances so I hope so.

Probably not.  He would not be the most conservative person in the race.

What other movie star - besides Ashley Judd - would you like to see in the U.S. Congress? Who has the right stuff to forge true bipartisan consensus?

Coach Eric Taylor.

No offense to your dark horse 2016 candidate but who will actually staff that campaign? Doesn't she almost turn over her entire staff every few months because they all leave....

Oh, people will come for the chance to work on a presidential. People will most definitely come....

I was thinking more along the lines of Millicent, Olympia, Hillary...


I assume Biden thinks he can win the nomination, even though he has gotten nowhere in two previous attenpts. Obviously, being VP gives him a leg up. But do the party insiders think he can win? How much does that change if Hillary Clinton decides to run? I just don't see any advantage that he has over her (other than being a little more "of the people" than she is). If she doesn't run, on the other hand, . . .

Hard to imagine him beating Hillary. But without her in the race, he sort of looks like the frontrunner at the moment to me.

Here's the piece I wrote about it:

...was the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding affair. It is much more fun to imagine how historical events would be handled on Twitter - OJ is certainly the biggest idea, but how about the Gore/Bush election? All the end of the world tweets during the Cuban Missle Crisis? Watergate?

The Bush-Gore election. Holy crapozoli. That would have been amazing.

How about the McCarthy communist hearings??

What's your take on the Rand Paul/Hillary Clinton interaction in yesterday's Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing?

Rand is running for president in 2016. Not much more complicated than that.

I nominate "Mazie" and "Angus."


Would it make a good present for Groundhog's Day?

"It's the perfect Groundhog's Day president." -- someone.

Seeing a Republican will probably never be elected statewide in NY anytime soon, I hope the republicans in the state designate him the candidate for governor every cycle, just to make it interesting.

Hilarious. I love that idea. It's kind of like when I used to play flag football and one dude would be the designated QB for both teams.

In his RNC keynote speech this week he said, “We’ve got to stop being the stupid party. It’s time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults.” How well was this wisdom received?

Very well by the smart set (columnists, party strategists etc). I am not sure how well by the rank and file.

I thought Jindal's speech was quite good and laid down his marker as the reform candidate in the 2016 race.

This comment implies that Gtown is not currently awful. Right now they normally can't score 50 points a game and are about as exciting as CSPAN. Good luck with Syracuse, you are going to need it.

BOOOO. That's called playing good defense and having a patient offense. Oh god, I am just justifying it to myself....

If you allow your reach to extend to governors, you have to put Orval Faubus at the top of your list.

Best ever.

Another huge fav: Fob James.

Your book just became available in my local library. It's still listed as "new". Is there a difference in the quality of a library copy to a store-bought version?

None. Though I would recommend buying it because, well, the Fix offspring have to eat.

Me too. As one of your colleagues wrote, we demand authenticity but also perfection. How can a performer win that, especially with the temperature in the 20s?

I don't care whether she lip synched. Like, not at all.  Separate but related, Kelly Clarkson rocked it.

Does he run for Governor of Maryland in 2014?

I'd be stunned if he didn't.

Realistically, won't much of America consider Hillary and Biden too old in 2016? The "preferred" age seems to be more like early 50s (Clinton, Obama, Bush 2); no more Reagans, Eisenhowers, LBJ, etc. If that is the case, what Democrats come to mind?

They might be...Biden would be 74...which would make him the oldest person ever elected.

It seems like Bruce Braley is gearing up to run for governor. Can he give Branstad a real race and does Branstad even run for a 6th term?

I think Braley would rather run for Senate but Harkin doesn't seem to want to retire. I think Iowa gov will be a good race but people love Branstad there. 

Yes, I can. It would have been as inconsequential as it is with Twitter.


who has expressed disdain for Andrew Cuomo. Except maybe Kerry Kennedy.


I think your commenter mistakenly alluded to Bachmann's staff turnover.

No, Klobuchar is reportedly tough on staff too. But, I think she has a very interesting profile to be a serious candidate...particularly in Iowa.

Estes Kefauver - classic!


Is no dummy. He saw the writing on the wall...(don't tell anyone, I actually liked him, because he stood up and didn't do what he was 'supposed' to do). He isn't young, he saw a tough race ahead of him, he doesn't need it. He knows that there are so many out there who want him gone...he said to heck with it.

Right. Fascinating...want to see if he gives an exit interview and tells all (or at least some)...

3-time loser for the Governorship of Washington State - "Dino Rossi"


Also, speaking of perennial losers with great names: Adlai Stevenson.

Who will be the next president in the race? Reagan, FDR..?

How awesome would it be if it was Clinton? 

How is the currently life of Romney?.. xD

Here's a good piece one of my deputies wrote on it today:

I see him more as kingmaker. I could envision him wrapping his arms around O'Malley as the heir to his Everyman throne. And the Delaware-Maryland proximity doesn't hurt.

Absolutely. And he may well do that. But, as of right now, I think he is planning to run. 

Any chance on the Dem side for John Barrow with his proven crossover appeal?

I think he might be a good candidate...but he likely couldn't win a Dem primary.  If he is unopposed he might have a chance to make things competitive in a general election.

well it will come back and with a vengeance. In my kid's class is grover, and levi, and thor, and well, a lot of other names I can't remember right now.


wouldn't be able to win in a statewide election. i don't think he'd try...but really - most of the state hates Atlanta.

But that is the reason he would be a strong candidate in a D primary at least since so much of the vote in the primary comes from Atlanta.

California's Goodwin Knight ("good night").

Gavin Newsom.

We should enjoy it while it lasts. In 2040 the Senate will be filled with Madisons, Masons, Jacobs, and Bellas.


That's all folks! Enjoy your Friday! See you back here next Friday. Spread the word!


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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