The Fix Live

Mar 08, 2013

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

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It has been an AMAZINGLY eventful week in American politics.  This week will be one we remember for a very long time. Heck, we even wrote a Fix post about it all: Link

So, let's chat about it.

Before we get to that, the important things:

Grande Mocha: Official Fix chat drink

New Phosphorescent album: Fix soundtrack

My office: Fix locale for chat


I never thought that I would ever say this, but my heartiest congratulations to Rand Paul for his filibuster. He made this old lawyer's heart warm because he held the White House's and the DOJ's feet to the fire on the sacred issue of the Constitutional rights of American citizens to be safe from the excesses of their own government. It's old fashioned to be worried about these things, and I'd like to know where the ACLU is on this issue, but I'm glad to see somebody doing the hard work here. It's just a pity that the mainstream Democrats -- and Republicans -- aren't leading the charge here. Paul was completely right to take a stand on the matter and I applaud him for doing so. Well done, sir (now go pee).

A good point. I was somewhat surprised more Democrats didn't join Paul. They essentially ceded the issue to Rand.  

I think some of that was borne out of a desire to not take public shots at the White House but it was still interesting.

And, yes, Rand did himself a lot of good with base GOP voters this week. I argued in a blog post yesterday though that I am not so sure his filibuster was great news for the party. That's here: Link

Who is likely to run for each side for Carl Levin's Senate seat? Gary Peters for the Democrats seems obvious. Any other Democrats? What about the Republicans? Who has the edge for the seat?

I think Gary Peters is the clear first choice for Dems -- and I think he is likely to run.

GOP field is more cloudy.  The AG -- Bill Schuette -- took himself out of the running and I don't see how/why Mike Rogers leaves a good gig in the House to run. Maybe Rep. Candice Miller does it.

I think that the Michigan race is more competitive today than it was yesterday. But, Democrats still have a very clear edge.

Who's next?

Most of the major dominoes that we expected to fall have fallen.  

I think SD Sen. Tim Johnson is next to make up his mind -- although I think everyone expects him to retire.

Others: Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Sen. Mike Enzi (Wyoming).

Looking for a dark horse retirement? Jeanne Shaheen.

Last week, someone wrote: "Can't happen, constitutionally -- the president and VP can't be from the same state." They can, but no member of the electoral college can cast votes for POTUS and VP both from the elector's state. Cuomo and Clinton could each get half of NY's electoral college vote.


We often hear you coming to the defense of political reporting (understandable, since you are a political reporter), like in your piece on Ann Romney this week. That said, is there any major (or even minor) criticism you have towards modern day political reporting?


I won't criticize political reporting broadly but will criticize myself.

The pace at which news moves -- and the pace at which the desire for analysis of that news moves -- can lead to in-the-second analysis that makes sense in that second but might not 24 hours later.

I am always trying to balance the need for speed with my own wishes to write analysis that has lasting impact.

It's a tough balance and one that I work every day to achieve -- with mixed results.

Handicap the race. Does McAuliffe win only if there's a spoiler?

I think Macker can win in either a two way or a three way race although he obviously has a better chance if Bill Bolling runs as an independent.

I also think people understimate Ken Cuccinelli at their peril. He is someone who has shown an ability to build odd electoral coalitions.

Syracuse at Georgetown--will you be going?

If someone gives me a ticket....

Awesome show. I hope you've started to watch.

Watched the pilot and really liked it. Keri Russell character is AWESOME.

...should probably stop talking now, right? Why? I guess he's trying to salvage his legacy but he keeps hurting the GOP when he opens his mouth.

Well, I think what he wanted to make clear in that interview was that he had moved on with his life and was doing just fine.

But, I do think most Republicans with an eye on 2016 would prefer he stay on the sidelines going forward.

I don't get why any Republican primary voter would choose Bush over Rubio. Rubio can appeal to the conservative base while possibly getting the Republicans a second look from younger voters in a general....and his last name isn't a potential albatross.

It won't ever happen. I see NO scenario where Jeb and Rubio both run.

You're from Connecticut, right? Did you fall for the forecasted blizzard?

Oh yeah!

And, by the way, Connecticut currently getting hammered with the storm that missed DC. Fix Mom sent me pictures of 8 inches on the ground with more falling!

So IF Sen Paul would ever get nominated, could he find a running mate? Would he have to select his father? AND, does his timing to jump into the filibuster have anything to do with the re-emergence of Jeb Bush. (His headlines didn't last long.)

I still think it's very unlikely that Rand winds up as the GOP nominee. But, as I think he made clear this week, he has the core set of beliefs and the sense of showmanship that makes him somewhat not to be underestimated.

Also, running mate: RON PAUL.

Have you considered changing your title to "The Great and Powerful Fix"? My gift to you should you wish to accept it.

Man is that a good idea.

Levin is retiring... CAN a libertarian as Amash win?

Win the primary? Yes.

Win the general election? Almost certainly not.

As I said above, I think Michigan is more competitive today than it was yesterday. But it's not a top 5 race right now.

I have spent the last couple months trying to work in little shots at Gtown (in good fun) through political questions, many of which you have politely answered. I can't imagine doing that with any other school. We can pretend that we will have new rivals. But even if they are 1 vs 2, Duke vs Syracuse would never really mean as much as Cuse vs Gtown. Saturday when these teams meet for the last regular season time in the BE, college basketball dies a little. Hopefully the rivalry becomes closer to UL vs UK (without the death threats etc) than just another early season game. I may hate you, but I dam well respect you.

Check out this amazing oral history that WaPo produced about the rivalry.

It's SO good.

Also, Manley Fieldhouse is officially CLOSED.


But holy cow, where to begin? :-)

So good.

Why do you think no one is really talking about Mark Warner's presidential aspirations more? He's seen by many as a long shot, but he is vocal in his unhappiness with the U.S. Senate and was seriously considering a run in 2008. Why no love for Warner in the power rankings?

1. He is a moderate

2. He is a moderate

3. He is a moderate.

Sure, of Bizarro World. What a waste of energy talking about this guy.

Disagree.  You may disagree with Rand but he is a pwerful messenger for a message that has a significant number of adherents within the GOP.

I'm a Democrat who worked on Guantanamo habeas litigation and I have newfound respect for Rand Paul. I'd never vote for him in a million years but it's important to remember that alot of people in my demographic have been very disappointed with the Obama Administration on this issue. There is no terrorism exception to the Bill of Rights.

He is sort of like Ken Cuccinelli. Rand develops diferent sorts of coalitions of support.

What do you think of it? The conference, not the SCOTUS.

I am happy -- particularly with the addition of Butler and Xavier.

And, we get to keep the Big East name.

What about Jennifer Granholm for Michigan Senate race?

She is mentioned but I don't think interested. And remember she left office as governor with ABYSMAL approval ratings.

What is his next move? Senator or Speaker?

I think he makes a run at Dem leader whenever Nancy Pelosi retires.

He'd like to be Senator but there's no evidence that Cardin or Mikulski are going anywhere.

Who would be the more naturally gifted campaigner if these two run against each in 2016? Although the Clinton in the bullpen would be in his element.

Neither is a "natural" campaigner.  Both are policy people who have adapted to politics.

In that regard, it would be a really interesting race.

Given your role as the Post's official unofficial chronicler of professional wrestling, what do you make of Jack Swagger's move to the tea party in recent weeks? And would the WWE take such an angle had Linda McMahon been elected to the Senate?

I am thinking of writing a post on the whole thing. It's totally fascinating.

And this storyline would NEVER have come up if Linda McMahon was in ther Senate or even still contemplating running for the Senate again.

I caught your gig as host on MSNBC and thought you were great. I also wondered if you might fret about being associated with a brand that is not known for unbiased reporting. Your effort to b remain above the fray, just facts ma'am, could be hindered by moonlighting there. I appreciate that G'ton will be cost your current salary per year by the time the little Fixes reach eighteen (scary thought isn't it- Happy Weekend!), but even I am a little amazed at what passes sometimes for commentary and news from the that side of the dial. I must admit it is delicious to see Matthews change his tune about Hillary already.

Thanks! I really enjoy hosting.

And, no matter what I do -- TV, blog, twitter, chat -- I always do my best to look at the issues and strategies in a nonpartisan way. That's just who I am -- for better or worse.

That's the second time you've thrown out Jeanne Shaheen as a dark horse retirement possibility, any particular reason you're doing that?

I have heard whispers.

What was he doing this week on immigration? It's almost like he was unprepared, but that's not possible -- he obviously has given a lot of thought to the issue. It seemed like a monumental and unexpected screw-up, but is this some grand strategy that you can help explain?

Not sure. A bit odd. I think it shows that he is a little rusty. Remember that Twitter and You Tuve didn't even exist when Jeb last ran for office. It will be a big adjustment.

Eugene's column today made me laugh on the subject of drones: "Rand Paul was right. There, I said it." But the filibuster on drones was just a sideshow. Is there anyone who could now doubt the prescience of the Fix when you announced last year that Paul is positioning himself for a run at the Presidency?

Was there ever anyonr who could doubt my prescience?  Don't answer that.

No, no. You gotta go with "Fix, The Great and Powerful". More magisterial.

I am legally changing my name to this after the chat.

Rand Paul is showing himself as a 2016 contender....will he be the first to endorse some libertarian issues as pot legalization (I think He already is for it) and gay marriage? Maybe it could hurt him with the base and conservatives...

I think so....his bid for president (and make no mistake, it;'s coming) will be absolutely fascinating to watch/cover.

Does Mark Sanford really think his ex-wife would run his campaign? I'd be more likely to run him over with the tour bus.


And, Mark Sanford believes a lot of things that other people don't.

Cuccinelli will get slaughtered in Northern Virginia. He was only elected to the state Senate by a small portion of NOVA, and that was before his polarizing Attorney General stint. Unless he miraculously wins the Hampton/Tidewater area, he has no shot in a 2 way race.

Maybe. But I wouldn't count Cooch out just yet. The Macker is remarkably polarizing too.

"he is a powerful messenger for a message that has a significant number of adherents within the GOP." As was Sarah Palin. If you admit that his nomination would signal the end of the GOP, then by all means keep talking the guy up!

Ah, I think Rand is savvier as a politician than Palin. But I could be wrong.

Does he want a primary opponant? It seems likes he is doing everything he can short of paying the filing fee.

No, he doesn't.

But, Graham is a fascinating guy. One minute he is slamming Obama on Benghazi, the next defending the president on drones.

There's a Fix post in there somewhere...

OK, I stand corrected. But politically, still can't happen. Who would be dumb enough to give up half the electoral votes in one of the most populous states in the country? (Just as Bush/Cheney couldn't afford to risk Texas.)

Agree that it will not happen.

Saying it's not a top 5 race isn't saying much when Republicans have good opportunities in West Virginia, Louisiana, South Dakota, Alaska, Arkansas, North Carolina, and with the right candidate (i.e. not Bachmann), Minnesota.

Fair. But is it even a top 10 race? The last Republican to win a Senate race in Michigan was Spence Abraham in 1994. And, as I recall, that was a pretty good to be a Republican running for office.

Any predictions of who will be wearing the white robes at the end of the conclave?


But I loved this chart on odds:

Not to get too far ahead of myself, but can you foresee a situation where Chris Christie, if not the 2014 nominee, decides to go after a senate seat in 2018, say from Bob Menendez? Or do you think he's only interested in being an executive?

I assume you mean the 2016 nominee...

Sure...although I think Christie is very much the executive type. Can't see him being interested in the Senate.

but instead got to something called "The Golf Fix." So I remain woefully ignorant of politics and Catholic U. field hockey, but my handicap is down three points.


Done and done.

Also, Catholic U field hockey spring season starts Tuesday. PSYCHED.

What's the upside to McCain and Graham sniping at Paul? Can they really mix and match between "Obama's incompetent" and "don't interfere with Obama's policies"? Aside from venting spleen, what do they get from this?

Agree. I thought it was a bit of muddled messaging.

One thing that you can say about both Rand and his father is that neither of one really cares about "playing to the base." They are completely above those petty concerns. It's one reason why they have such devoted followers. They truly do elevate principle over party, and you can't say that for too many politicians today (or in the past, for that matter).


I wrote about Rand and the principle principle. I think it underlies all of his support. That piece is here:

Sarah had nicer hair.

Rand's hair has that "just out of the shower" look at all times.

if sen tim johnson retires....there is a lot of buzz about who wd run from the democrats side. any guesses on steph herseth vs brendon johnson?

Well, I think Herseth wants to run. But, it might be hard to push out the son of the retiring Senator.

Either way, Mike Rounds, popular former GOP governor, is a favorite in that race.

Didn't his dad basically prove out that if a true libertarian running for the GOP nomination a nearly impossible needle to thread. In running for POTUS you either a) anger the conservative base by supporting things like pot/gay marriage or b) tick of the libertarians by not being independent enough?


BUT, I do think Rand is sort of Ron 2.0. That is, he is willing to hedge on some of the foreign policy stuff where his dad was not.

Was there ever a better aptonym for someone joining the Tea Party?

I had to look up what "aptonym" meant.

An aptronym (also: aptonym) or charactonym is a name aptly suited to its owner

Anyone knows when is Pelosi retiring??..


I thought she was gone after the 2010 election. And the 2012 election.

So, I am done with Pelosi retirement predictions.

So if Warner is too moderate to win a Democratic presidential primary, I'm interested in hearing who you think would be similarly disqualified in a Republican primary, or is it just a Democratic phenomenon? I'm not sure that Warner's problem is that he's too moderate, just that he'll be minimized by Clinton/Biden's popularity.

Jon Huntsman

To what other nations might he apply his new-found diplomatic skills? A pity that Berlusconi is no longer in charge in Italy--they would have found lots to chat about.


Why do you think the filibuster by Senator Sanders got less attention? Was it because it was a less "sexy" (politically speaking, ahem) subject or because that Clinton briefing room appearance took away its thunder?

Stand with Rand > Filibernie

Here ya go: pick a person who's a Democrat not from Detroit.

So, Kid Rock is out?

What about Eminem?

You forgot Hugo Chavez passing away and the North Koreans threatening us with thermo nuclear war.

Kind of a busy week.

Also, the snowquester that didn't happen.

Weingarten, Petri, and Hesse are all rolling their eyes at you.

Hell, the DC Squirrel is rolling his beady eyes at me.

I'm not his greatest admirer by a long shot, but how is the Macker even remotely as polarizing as Cooch? Does he have a record of appealing only to the far, far left of his party? (Not a rhetorical question, I'm genuinely asking, in case there's something there that I've missed.)

Are you kidding? Yes.

Both Cooch and Macker could only beat one person in the state for governor. Fortunately for both of them, that person happens to be the one running against them.

I'm hoping the other people include the people of SC. Do you think he stands a ghost of a chance?

He does. He makes the runoff. I bet he loses in the runoff...but he could win.

Since you are decidedly unpartisan, does it bother you when your "followers" show partisanship?

Nope.  People feel how they feel.

What I don't like is when people try to use their own partisan lens to analyze my alleged partisanship. It's just not there. Sorry to disappoint.

So an aptonym is an antonym itself?

I am just so confused.

Really I did, but the fact that he actually thinks the President was going to use drones to attack random people sitting outside Starbucks having coffee. . . . Seriously??? One tries to take his point seriously, but he does himself no service when he then goes out and becomes a paranoid conspiracy nut. Our Federal government is not out to kill us, and to say otherwise . . .well in the words of my kids, it just makes you look cra cra

Tell Nicholas Brody that.

One of my favorite things is seeing Carl and Sandor sit together at the State of the Union addresses. Will miss that starting in 2015.

The Levin Brothers were good but not as good as:

1. The Avett Brothers

2. The Felice Brothers

3. The Pernice Brothers

Who will be the next US Senator from Iowa. Why is this race getting so little national attention? Has the beltway fascination with the first caucus state waned?

Everyine is waiting for Steve King to decide whether he is running or not. If he runs, it will start to gets LOTS of national attention.

When our Pastor takes a vacation and we bring in a Guest Preacher for a sunday, we compensate him/her with a some funds for "Pulpit Supply". When you guest as the host on an MSNBC show, do you get some compensation to be the substitute Pundit? Do you get anything for being another talking head at the table? Do you even get a free grande mocha?

The "grande mocha" clause will be included in the next Fix contract.

The show definitely changes after the Pilot. John-Boy Walton comes in as a total tool for the FBI.


I am psyched. Too much good TV.

That's all for me today folks!

Thanks for joining. I'll be 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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