The Fix Live

Feb 22, 2013

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

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Happy Friday!

Sorry for the slight delay...I could not get the Internets to work properly. But, that problem is now solved.

So, let's do it.

Respectfully, Chris, I think that you need to be talking to folks who don't work for the government and who live outside the Beltway. Most people don't give a fig for the sequester and won't shed any tears whatsoever if federal workers are furloughed for a day each pay period for a few weeks, or even months. They think that federal workers get overpaid anyway and are unfairly protected against the risk of job loss that private sector workers constantly face. I honestly don't think that most people really care what Congress does, and a few number of them think that a Congress that does less is better than a Congress that does more. I just don't see the sequester rebounding to the disadvantage of either Congress or the White House, unless the individual is directly impacted, and that's a minority of voters in this country. And if the life goes on much as it did before, it will all be much ado over nothing (which I think is the White House's biggest fear, actually).

I agree it could elicit a bit of a yawn from the general public. That said, once the sequester kicks in, it will kick off the next major fight/negotiation between the White House and Congress over debt and spending -- which is something that people care about.

So, the sequester is the appetizer. It's not going to fill you up but it's a sign that the meal has started and the heavy stuff is coming.

With the endorsement of Will Ferrell, is Eric Garcetti the frontrunner to be L.A.'s next mayor?

Don't ask me. I voted Ron Swanson.

I've read that a particular quirk of Kentucky election law means that Sen. Rand Paul can't run both for Republican nod for President as well as reelection for his seat in the U.S. Senate which is up in 2016. Is that true?

A quick Internet search tells me that Kentucky DOES NOT have a resign to run law, which means that Rand could run for president and Senate simultaneously.

And I think that's exactly what he will do.

From what I can see, the Republicans risk nothing in letting the sequester happen. People I talk to back home, away from DC, said they would actually get some enjoyment out of seeing the economies of Virginia, DC, and Maryland crater. They think the area was spared any pain during the Great Recession and that federal workers waste money and provide nothing useful to taxpayers. Their comments about contractors are even worse. This would seem to be a big win for Republicans and another example of their "starve the beast" strategy beginning to work. Why do you think there could be a negative. Even if this tips the US economy into recession again, they can always blame Obama.

I think there would be a negative because history suggests that when Washington shows itself to not be working then people look for someone to blame.

Of course, history changes.

Please rank the following fictional presidents: Dave Kovic (Dave) Josiah Bartlett (The West Wing) Laura Roslin (BSG) Thomas J. Whitmore (Independence Day) Merkin Muffley (Dr. Strangelove) Andrew Shepherd (The American President) Tom Beck (Deep Impact) feel free to add anyone else to your rankings

Ron Swanson

Laura Roslin

Tom Beck


Jeb  Bartlett


Muffley (I, embarassingly, have never seen Dr. Strangelove.)

When do you think we will know if Bolling will throw his hat in the ring? I'm a life-long dem who is not thrilled with the Macker, but want to be dang sure the Cooch doesn't win.

I would be STUNNED if Bolling runs as an independent largely because he would almost certainly be a spoiler for Cuccinelli rather than someone who could win in his own right.

And, as much as Bolling might not like Cooch, does he really want to be the guy responsible -- in Republicans' eyes -- for Gov. Macker?

Mr. Fix, assuming 1 March arrives without a deal, will the White House plan of rising public pressure force Boehner to put a package on the floor that most House GOP loathe but with Dem support manages to pass? Or is now he in the position of following the majority of the majority rule come hell or high water? And is Eric Cantor measuring the drapes in Boehner's office?

Man, I think it's really hard for Republicans to sign on to another tax increase. Tax reform sure. Tax increase, no.

If Boehner does agree to pass something with a minority of the majority in support, it's a sure sign he is done with the Speakership after this term.

Chris, what's your prediction?

I hope "Argo". I loved that movie.

I think he wins over Ryan, Rubio, and Paul. He would crush them in debates. Plus, Republicans would think he'd appeal to Latinos (after embarrassing Rubio on substance).

We shall see. I think Cruz wants to run for president but not sure he thinks 2016 is his year.

Of course, if the race looks wide open maybe he decides to move his timetable up and get in.

I am not sure we know enough about him yet to make predictions about who Cruz would "crush" in debates.  Running for president is very, very difficult.

I'm glad they've done well lately so you feel pressured to pick them to make the Final Four...because that won't happen.

At this point if we could make the Sweet 16 -- given our 1st and 2nd round exits in recent years -- I would be thrilled.

As for tomorrow's game, how does ANYONE root for Syracuse? That's like rooting for the Russians in the 1980 Olympic hockey game against the U.S..

Can you put him at the top of Veepstakes yet?

He may think he belong somewhere in the presidential standings. I don't see it -- he is WAY too moderate to win a Democratic primary -- but Schweitzer is a political animal in search of a race.

You hung on to Fix Aaron instead of trading him for an expiring contract and a future 1st-rounder?

Yeah. He's an important cog. I am not giving him up for just anyone.

He was actually trying to deal me for an expiring and a future protected pick to get younger but no one would bite.

You deny supporting the Dems or Repubs, but people are always accusing you of it. I think one reason is that in politics, like sports, there's a tendency to choose a side to root for. It's difficult to maintain interest without some sort of emotional stake in the outcome. Plus, it's just human nature to like some people more than others. Are there no politicians who are so annoying/boring that you'd like to see the back of them? It must be very hard work to maintain complete equanimity.

I root for good races, interesting strategies and innovative ads/campaign tactics.

That's it.

Impossible for some people to believe but I am never going to convince them. It just happens to be the truth.

What's more toxic: Medicare reform as a campaign issue or Dwight Howard as a teammate?

Howard. Not close. He is TERRIBLE. I felt like he was trying harder in the All Star Game than in the regular season.

Hi Chris, thanks as always for doing these chats. As you know, it's never too early to think about the 2016 race. My question is about timing and how the individual party nomination battles might affect each other. Obviously the R side will be pretty wide open, and the D side less so if Hillary decides to go again. If I'm Jeb Bush, aren't I pretty likely to weigh Hillary's decision pretty heavily? I would think that if she runs the Clinton/Bush contrast would tend to make his path a little more difficult, whereas if she doesn't he has an easier time, especially if Biden doesn't run either. What sayeth the Fix?

Yes. And I think Jeb, unlike most of the GOP field, has the luxury of waiting Hillary out.

As soon as Jeb gets in -- whenever that is -- he's a top tier candidate with a proven track record and a big name. He doesn't need to spend the next 2 years having the people of Iowa and New Hampshire getting to know him.

Can Hagan keep her seat ?

She can.

But she is going to be a major GOP target in 2014. One thing working for Hagan is that the Republican bench in the state isn't all that amazing.

"Joe Biden's unique style of communication". Carnival Barker or just plain BS Artist ?

Or speaker of truth to power?

It all depends on whether you are pro or anti Joe B.

Where are you? What is the Soundtrack? What are you drinking? And what's the weather like?

Yes, good point.

Listening to "Wrecking Ball" by Springsteen at a Starbucks in Tenleytown slugging down a mocha. Life is good.

Who is/was a better president, Obama or Bush?

Hello hornets nest!

Check out our piece from this week on the most ovverated and underrated presidents:

Hey Chris, non-political question: enjoyed your co-hosting appearance on the Kornheiser show yesterday. How fun was it chilling with Tony's neuroses for two hours?


Seriously, I have been listening to Mr. Tony since I graduated from college in the late 1990s so to have the chance to be in studio with him for the full two hours was a terrific experience.

He rocks -- as do Gary Braun and Nigel.

Hi, The Fix. You recently had a piece discussing the top Democratic choices for the 2016 election. Who is on your list for Republican candidates?

We did that one too!

1. Rubio

2. Christie

3. Jindal

4. Ryan

5. Jeb

Full list here:

When O'Malley runs in 2016, how badly do Republicans kill him over taxes? (1 being "tax-and-spend-liberal" and 10 being "socialist")

I am sure O'Malley would love the chance to be attacked by Republicans over his tax record because that would mean he is the Democratic presidential nominee.

Make sure to read this great profile of him:

Why are our elected politicians essentially holding our country hostage instead of working with each other? Do they really hate each other that much?

No, they don't hate each other. But they do have fundamental disagreements about the right way to fix our debt and deficit problems. And, when there is no hard and fast deadline -- with painful consequences -- to spur them to action, they choose not to act most of the time.

Over/Under on number of weeks the Furlough is in effect until people come to their senses and finally get some sort of budget with cuts and tax-loophole closures? I'll set it at 7.5

I'll take the under. I say 3.5 weeks.

Are we 100% sure Ron Paul will never return to politics?...

There's never 100% certainty as it relates to Dr. Paul.

Hey Chris, you tweeted a couple of weeks ago that you'd started to watch "Breaking Bad", but were alarmed at how dark it is. Have you stuck with it? I hope so - it is indeed pretty dark, but I think offers a valuable snapshot at one aspect of modern American life way (!) outside the so-called Acela corridor.

I am sticking with it. End of season 2.



The death of Jesse's girlfriend was SHOCKING.

Is Fix Aaron turning into being on TV more often with his appearance on Weekends with Alex Witt last weekend?

I hope so. I think he is great.

What chances do you give her in 2014?

She can win. But she's not likely to win.

Here's our piece assessing her chances:

How will you celebrate it? Will you put on a powdered wig or wood teeth?

I think I am going with the wooden teeth.

I am also looking for a cherry tree to chop down.

Regarding the first poster's comment, people will not react with a collective yawn when they have to wait 5 hours to get through security at the airport.

Fair.  Golly I hope that doesn't happen. Traveling is already horrendous enough.

What a great day to celebrate James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce and Millard Filmore

Don't forget William Henry Harrison. He was president for a month!

Do you believe the administration intentionally leaked the immigration back-up plan to sabotage reform and therefore position Democrats for big wins in 2014 and 2016?

No.  I think they probably leaked it to try and make clear to Republicans in Congress that the best deal they were going to get was going to come out of the Gang of 8 talks.

What do you think of the series and which version do you like more, American or British?

Not I need to?

I have been told I need to watch "The Americans" too.

Getting ahead of the game, who are your top 5 VP choices should Hillary run and get the Dem nomination for Pres? My choices: Hickenlooper (CO), Udall (CO), Pryor (AR), Warner (VA), Brown (OH).

Hickenlooper is potentially appealing there.

I also think the people who might run -- O'Malley, Cuomo -- might be in that mix

Do you think Al will finally start talking to the national media soon? I miss his wit!

Maybe if he gets elected to a second term next November. Not before then.

I thought Ted Cruz was born in Canada, which would make him ineligible to run for POTUS?

I believe one of his parents is American and the other is Canadian...

Hi Chris, No Dr. Strangelove? Say it ain’t so Joe. Maybe you and your readers could put together a list of “must see” political movies – 10 seems too short and 50 seems long for people with a life. I hope you have at least seen Bob Roberts.

Already did it! Dr. Strangelove?? If you are at all interested in the progression of human folly, you have to see it - along with Paths of Glory, Barry Lyndon and a few other Kubricks!

I cover politics, how could I not be interested in the "progression of human folly?"

They just did what they do every year: feast on nobodies, all at home, until their first road games are in January against good teams, when they stop looking invincible. G'town should win if they can manage to score more than 40 (I know, big if).

Plus, they are bad dudes. And Boeheim is a whiny baby.

Whoever failed to include President David Palmer on the list of best fictional presidents, please know that Jack Bauer is on his way to waterboard you.


He is at 300 goals, what an incredible feat

Will be -- if he's not already -- the greatest soccer player ever.

He is 25!

Hey Chris, love the blog! Do you think Rand Paul really would stand a chance at gaining the Republican nomination in 2016?


And yes. I think Rand Paul's libertarian streak will find firm footing with a decent part of the GOP base. I also think he is a bit more pragmatic than his dad so he won't lose tons of people due to his foreign policy beliefs.

I am a huge fan of your articles that profile a series of interesting things in politics, and would love to see you guys do a series on the dynamics of each state's legislature. It would be a real eye opener to for junkies into how politics in each of the states works, and you're the perfect team to bring it to us!

Good idea. We have been thinking of doing this. Now, we will.

Full squad reports tomorrow for spring training. Get excited.

Very easily. Biden will be rooting for them and he has already said the game is a big *&%$ing deal. The real question is how does anyone root for a team whose famous athletes include class acts like Allen Iverson. Or to make it politics specifics, its 5 days before the sequester, and Georgetown Still Sucks.

Eric Devendorf, Syracuse's finest.

Curious-do you and your colleagues in the media drive, take the Metro, cab it?

I drive. But I know lots of people who metro too.  Having little kids I need the flexibility of a car in case I need to pick them up at school etc.

"Do you believe in miracles...YES!"

And Eruzione is STILL dining out on it! USA! USA!

I loved your book, especially the tidbit about Crist in Florida! Do you think he can win the governor's race and will it really be a $100 million race?

Sure, he can win because Rick Scott is very unpopular. I am still somewhat amazed Democrats are ok with Crist being their nominee.

In her race for NYC mayor, is she... (1) The favorite (2) A strong favorite (3) A prohibitive favorite?


......Why "The Fix" ??!

Why not?

Really? I guess those people don't live anywhere that has any defense-related contractors or industries, then. Or they have zero idea of what the sequester actually entails.

I think it's the latter.

"[Georgetown] is the very dirtiest hole I ever saw for a place of any trade, or respectability of inhabitants." -- Abigail Adams No one likes your university. not that you will let this be printed in the chat.

I am the bigger man.

You mean when some of them call the President, a "Nazi socialist Muslim pig," that is just a compliment?

Haven't heard ANY GOP member of Congress use anything close to that rhetoric.  The bases of the two parties do hate each other. But the actual members? I don't think so.

Who do you have your money?

Dolan. He's like 1000-1.

You could do a ranking about most boring political issues....I guess Sequester would be among the first ones...

Oh yeah.

I believe you when you say you don't care who wins. I'm a sports official and I don't care who wins. But everyone thinks I have it out for their team anyway.

Same deal.  Unless you are reffing a Catholic field hockey game in which case there is only one correct answer about which team should win.

Must-see. The lead actor is better than Damian Lewis is in Homeland and I love Homeland.

Whoah. Watch yourself, Uncle Mike.

And Boeheim thinks you're a disloyal jerk....

I take that as a major compliment.

The last Syracuse player I like was Rony Seikaly.

What was the gift from Mrs Fix and the kids?

Celebrating tonight!

That's all I have time for!  Have a great weekend!  I'll be back here next Friday. Same time! 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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