The Fix Live

Mar 15, 2013

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

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Good morning all! Sorry I'm late, I was on the Diane Rehm show!

Name dropped! Boom.

Let's make it rain.

Hard to take it seriously when he assumes Obamacare his repealed. Where are the similarly wild assumptions on the other side?

$1 trillion in revenue increases in Washington Sen. Patty Murray's budget.

Neither are EVER going to happen. Remember that these budgets should be viewed as the opening ante in a game of poker on debt and spending issues.  Both sides aren't going to make their first offer anything close to what they would be comfortable ending up with.

Every presidential candidate should assume they win two terms. So Hillary would be 77 at the end of two terms. This is approximately the age when President Reagan ended his two terms, which is when he started developing dementia. Do you see where I'm going with this? Why do Presidents / Supreme Court Justices / Popes believe that they really are doing the world a service when someone younger is much more capable to the job?

The new pope is 76.

I say we install a special chimney on the Capitol - black smoke for a govt shutdown, white smoke for passing the budget.

I am STRONGLY in favor of this.

Like, when we announce a state going to one side or the other in the presidential election. Blue smoke for Democratic, red smoke for Republican.

Or when the Supreme Court has made a big decision. Or when my lunch is ready.

The possibilities are truly endless.

Doesn't Ted Cruz look a bit like a thin Buddy Garrity?

I have noticed this before.  I am lying in wait to do a "Congress as Friday Night Lights" piece...

He sure isn't doing himself any favors right now. Sometimes it's better to just smile and wave and really, that's all he had to do for the next couple of years (that and fundraise for congressional candidates.) What do you think he'll say during his speech or what SHOULD he say?

Like the penguins in "Madagascar": "Smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave."

I think two things are going on with Jeb:

1. He's been out of the game for a while and is a little rusty.

2. He views himself a setting trends not following them.

I like to pretend that I go into my tourney bracket with an open mind, but conference tourney week is usually when I zero in on my "smart guy" pick who could win it all. It's looking like the Hoyas for me this year, but recent history casts great doubt on this premonition... Can you make me believe? Should I?

I have been stung so many times with this team in the NCAA tournament...I WANT to believe things are different. I think this team is a bit special but also know that in the tourney a team that occasionally struggles to score -- like we do -- could be in trouble. (And, yes, I just referred to the Georgetown basketball team as "we" though I am not, technically, a member of it.)

Seth Davis says they could make the Final Four. Are you as optimistic about your team?

Yes. Cautiously.

Is he too far ahead of the base for a 2016 run or will he be seen as someone to lead the GOP out of the wilderness, if not as a candidate, at least as a wise voice?

I think he is an intriguing guy (maybe I am the only one).

On the issue of gay marriage the issue is obviously personal for Portman because his son is gay. But, I think more generally he is one of the wiser, smarter strategists Republicans have right now.

I am not sure his personality -- low key -- makes for a presidential candidate but I could see him as Senate GOP leader or even a VP at some point.

Has CPAC become more or less important to the Republican party? I read an article saying they were trying to moderate some of the more extreme rhetoric that usually comes out from the conference, but based on what I've read this week, they don't seem to have succeeded.

I think it's roughly as important as it's always been.

If you are a national leader within the GOP it's a chance to test out your stump speech and see how a certain portion of the GOP base reacts.

The mistake that is too often made in the coverage of CPAC is to assume it is somehow indicative of the broad GOP base. It isn't. It's a slice of the base.

I get he appeals to his core supporters and he shouldn't have to win Mr. Congeniality, but at some point he just becomes a showhorse because no one wants to work with him.

I am not sure he cares. I think Cruz has higher ambitions than co-sponsoring bills in the Senate.

Rob Portman is obviously sincere in his change on gay marriage, but it also makes him a lot more interesting and it shows real leadership and courage. Also, as Dick Cheney shows, the position of dad certainly reduces the political exposure on this issue. Do you think it makes Portman a little more intriguing for 2016? He didn't have much of a story before.

Probably. Though I am sure that's not why he did it.

Did Paul Ryan have the Worst Week with a widely panned budget?

Oh no. He didn't even have the worst week in Congress.

Bob Menendez is the subject of a grand jury investigation.

Dean Heller is trying to keep people from looking at his office space.


After showing a remarkable penchant for getting under the skin of Sens. Feinstein, McCain and Graham, newbie Sen. Ted Cruz looks to be on the same 2016 Presidential express as Rand Paul. If both of them seem to believe that they're the smartest guy in any room they happen to enter, would there be any oxygen left for D.C. if they ever found themselves in the same proximity as Pres. Obama?

Wait, there is a hubris train? Where can I buy tickets?

I just watched "Fight Club" for the first time the other night and wondering what you thought of it although my own bet is that you haven't seen it in years.

At the Fix we follow many of the same rules as Fight Club. Also, we have a mandatory tattoo policy. That tattoo? My face.

name dropping before any questions are asked. Bravo.

Well, I was tied up doing a NATIONAL RADIO SHOW, so I thought I would mention it.

I love your people on the new Fix Strike Team (or should it be "Strike Team Fix"?) as I've been following most of them for years now, but how will you actually operate? Will it be like the start of the TMZ newscast, where they offer a story and you say, "Hit it"? Or is it more like the morning roll call on "Hill Street Blues" where you end it with "Be careful out there"? Or will it be more like "Zero Dark Thirty" where you send them out on Top Secret Stealth Helocopters into the night and Aaron and Rachel follows the plan as Ed explained it to them? And if it's the latter, do you wear a long red wig?

This is the best email/question in the history of time.

My analogy: I am the Will Ferrell character in "Semi-Pro". I handle the hype and general buffoonery. They do the work.

So, please start referring to me as Jackie Moon from now on.

So if you were on Diane Reihm (name drop) does that mean you won't be on Andrea Mitchell (double-name drop).

Oh no. I will be on ANDREA MITCHELL REPORTS at 1 pm and 150 pm today. That's ONLY on MSNBC.

Did you see Messi in the Champions League game this week. What an incredible player with 2 goals vs Ac Milan

Yes. First goal was a revelation.  He is not the god. But he is a god.

As Brittney Spears once sang, he did it again. Is his behavior starting to get to Republicans?

2 things are true

1. The old guard -- Republicans and Democrats -- can't stand Cruz.

2. He could care less.

And end to the Sequester before the furloughs hit, or Middle East Peace?

The former. 

We've had smoke signals at the Colorado Legislature, ever since we passed legal pot. </rimshot>


OK to do if it's your alma mater!

Not sure that's true but I do it out of habit and can't stop now.

I cannot wait until we play Syracuse tonight.

It just sounds bad. Maybe he should change it to Youngblood or Studwell or Francis.

If my name had been Chris Steele, I feel like I would be a lot more successful.  

I really don't have anything more this morning. Other than what to the basketball talking heads have against Georgetown vs Louisville? Last I checked, Hoyas won that game.

Um, correct.

So at which establishment should we see Chris and Aaron drinking Guinness?

I really don't like St. Patrick's Day. (I am part Irish.) It's right up there in my list of worst holidays with New Year's Eve (LOATHE), and Halloween before kids.

On a scale of 1-10, how big a political disaster has the sequester been for the administration? I'm an Obama supporter, but the handling of this has seemed incredibly inept. Are there different scores inside the beltway? Oh, and besides framing my question as a 1-10, I'm going to throw in a "Go Catholic fileld hockey" to make sure you answer!

Well, I can't resist any chance to promote Catholic field hockey.

If 1 is no disaster at all and 10 is a big politival disaster, I say 6.5.  Obama and his administration getting a bunch of facts wrong about who would be impacted by the sequester is political malpractice.  But, I am not sure he has deeply hurt himself in the long run.

Hey Chris it's okay if you name drop Diane Rehm because most people don't know who she is...


Know its been a couple of weeks, but always loved the character of Paul Bearer in the WWF

I was genuinely sad when he died. I LOVED him and the Undertaker. A great bit.

And I thought you would use Fix Aaron to name drop all the time

"So, I was chatting with Tom Cruise and FIX AARON the other day about scientology...."

You just assume there's a seat for you, then you call ahead and have them hold it for you because you're in an important meeting and can't get there on time.

Best ever.

I love movies about behind the scenes government and politics as well as history, but am I the only one who thought Argo was terribly overrated?

I LOVED IT. As did Mrs. Fix and she is a tough critic.

Pet peeve. Saying he could care less doesn't really mean much of anything. He could care more too.

Apologies. Grammar police!

I am waiting for the white smoke signals by Starbucks in sponsoring The Fix

Why has this not happened? Is it possible the uppity ups at Starbucks are unaware of this chat? That can't be true. Right? Right? Anyone?

C'mon. You're better than that. Unless, was that Hipster irony you were using?

You should assume I am ALWAYS attempting hipster irony (and failing).

Sunday: Gtown gets a 1-seed after winning the Big East tourney. Thursday: Gtown loses the first-ever 1-16 game to the suddenly-surging 15-15 Utah Utes (surprising winners of the PAC-12 tourney) in a 34-33 upset.

Not impossible to imagine.

Also, what is a Ute?

So Ted Cruz appears to have decided to make a national name for himself by dropping bombs and the like. I keep reading that he's a smart guy, but that's kind of irrelevant in politics (Joe Biden, one of the most successful pure politicians of our time is widely thought to be intellectually dim, even by people who love him). Is his behavior politically wise in the long run?

Remember who elected Cruz.  The strength of the tea party. And, the tea party doesn't want him to go to the Senate and get along with everyone. They like that he is clashing with the old guard. So, it is politically advantageous actually for him to swim against the stream.

I had the opposite reaction to Portman's announcement than the previous reader, who said that it "shows real leadership and courage." To me, it shows that he is incapable of empathy - and real courage - until whatever it is he's against happens to him. Only then will he consider another person's viewpoint. I'm curious about your thoughts on this.

Well, I think it's tough to judge someone as they grapple with deeply held beliefs.

And, I think when something directly impacts your family, it can cause a real re-examination of how you think about things.

So, I am not ready to judge Portman as "incapable of empathy".

Wait, if we install a chimney, can we lock Congress inside until they actually get some work done?

I think it would be a requirement.

Also, everyone should speak Latin more.

are the Indian tribe Utah is named after.


Who is your pick to win Champions League. Still have my money on Barca, with a drakhorse being Borussia Dortmund

Bayern. I think they look REALLY good lately.

Anyone who is serious about following politics SHOULD know who Diane Rehm is! Her show is the most intelligent and thoughtful one on the air. She gets amazing guests, has fascinating conversations and LIVE QUESTIONS! She's awesome.

Did I mention I was on that show this morning?

I'm curious whether you saw the Kevin Spacey mini-series and what you thought of it. For me, it was believable right up the [spoiler alert] murder scene. I can believe a lot of what the series portrayed happens (backstabbing, two-timing), but I can't believe that there are a lot of politically-motivated murders.

STILL haven't watched it. I am embarrassed.

So Fix Aaron is a Scientologist, I knew


Anytime I name drop The Cillizza, I hear the entrance music to Ric Flair


But is he clever or stupid if everyone in his OWN PARTY hates him.

Well, I think he knows he isn't going to wind up as Senate leader any time soon. And he isn't interested in being that person.

Cruz is an entirely different model for the Senate. He wants to use the platform it affords him to push his issues. I am not sure he cares much about passing random pieces of legislation.

One useless trivia I know about "Fight Club" is that they originally wanted Winona Ryder to play the role of Marla Singer.

That IS useless.

Also, where is Winona Ryder now? Man, she has disappeared.

When Benedict became pope, I thought it was like Dick Cheney being elected to lead the Catholic Church. With the ascension of Francis, I'm thinking it's like Jon Huntsman taking over?

I think he looks a little like Jeffrey Tambor of "Arrested Development" fame.

On Monday and Tuesday nights this week , I received robo calls from Sen Kay Hagan under the "guise" of a teleconference with the option of talking to a member of her staff at the end. I live in a county that went 70% for Romney Ryan. At this point in the 2014 campaign is she: data mining, running early and smart , or desperate. Sounded like you guys had fun on the DR Show. You were the best of the three guests.

Running early and smart. She is going to have a VERY tough race.

And, praise me and you are CERTAIN to get your question answered. My fragile ego needs constant stroking.

Well, they already sponsor Morning Joe--maybe you could make a move to take over that show...and Starbucks will follow...

Or they could just sponsor us both. Pretty sure Starbucks has enough money. COME ON.

Did you play soccer? If so, were you a defender?

Never played a soccer game in my life. Ever.

I don't think there's any comparison between an office squabble and a grand jury investigation.

Tend to agree....

Someone has to be the Cinderella team this year! GO DUKES!!!

I will now pick them to the sweet 16.

Does this mean when Pope Francis visits America, I could run into him on the Metro?

I assume. Random DC fact: Don Graham, WaPo kingpin, takes the metro. He is good people.

That's all the time I have today folks...I have to make ANOTHER media appearance. BOOM.

Thanks for spending the hour with me. I'll be back next Friday at 11 am. Spread the word! Tell your friends! Tell your enemies!

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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