The Fix Live

Apr 26, 2013

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

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Sorry for the late start. I accidentally picked up Mrs Fix's computer this AM...hijinks then ensued.

Anyway, I am here. Let's do it.

The MD Governor won't be president in 2016, so what are the array of possibilities here? Is this a warm-up lap for 2020? VP? A comfortable but not too demanding cabinet position? Or is he playing the odds that neither Biden nor HRC enters the race (or has a health problem) and suddenly it's a wide-open field? In that case, Martin O'Malley? Seriously?

Well, I think at this point he figures he will start the process of running and then pivot to other things depending on what the field looks like.

Also, there's no obvious next step for O'Malley. He is termed out in 2014. He can't stay out of office until 2020 to run for president. No one will remember who he is by that point.

This is his best option. It's not a great chance but there is A chance.

Can you unblock me please? I think you were too hasty to block, especially considering the actually mean things people tweet at you. Thanks.


I've got a theory on Senate retirements that I'm hoping you'll weigh in on. Could it be possible that the primary motivating factor behind Levin, Baucus, etc deciding to retire is simply that they don't want to work until they die? It's a bit morbid but since they were all reelected in 2008 they've seen Kennedy, Byrd, and Inouye all die while in office. They've seen Stevens die less than two years after failing to be reelected and they're currently watching Lautenberg deteriorate before their eyes. I know you wrote a story about how the primary cause is the increased partisanship in Washington but given the fact that many of these folks were elected in the Watergate era and had not trouble staying for decades after I'm inclined to believe they just want to get out while they're still in good health.

I think that is a very smart theory.

All of the Senators are infuenced by what happens to their colleagues. It's a small  club -- 100 people - so when you see friends dying in office or losing reelection races, it impacts your thinking. No question.

And don't we all want to retire when we still have our health? That's my plan.

GOP isn't winning. The state is too blue. I hope you move it down or out of the rankings.

If Pat Quinn is the nominee, Bruce Rauner has a real chance. If Lisa Madigan is the nominee, he probably doesn't

I. Hate. This. Style. Please don't write like this.

I will now take to writing in a Kerouac "On the Road" style no stoppages just a stream of consciouness all in one single long sentence heck this could be fun

It is possible that fairly soon we'll see an era of increased bipartisan cooperation in the Senate? You and many others have suggested that one of the reasons for the increased partisanship is that so many of the members are new and unused to working together. Consider the fact that last year every senator elected in 2006 was reelected and it appears that most of the 2008 class is likely to return (Hagan and Begich being the possible exceptions). It seems we've got a recepie for less congressional turnover in the future.

Not sure the "most members of the class of 2008" will return thing. There are already eight Senators retiring prior to their 2014 races.

If my addition is correct, before the 2014 election even happens, we know that we will be losing 198 years of Senatorial experience with the retirement of eight Senators, five of whom have served for 30 or more years. Has this country ever lost that many years of experience through retirement before? What does that mean for the re-elections of sitting Senators? Will voters decide to re-elect experience in the other races?

It's remarkable.

And my general experience in Senate races is that one doesn't tend to have much to do with the others. They are just individual events.

A Democrat?

An agency.

I'm guessing you're Mario Chalmers.

I am not even a starter. I am more like Juwan Howard.

It's the old "I don't really want it...I don't really want it...fine, you convinced me" routine. Jeb isn't affected by his mom's words at all. It is, however, a great way to bring up 2016 talk without doing anything overtly political. Media got played again.

Covering what someone says isn't "getting played".

That said, I agree with you that Barbara Bush saying she would rather Jeb not run in 2013 doesn't mean he won't run in 2016.

I, for one, am enjoying the Joel Achenbach/ The Fix blog tango.


For those who have no idea what we are talking about, Joel Achenbach, one of my favorite writers anywhere, is now doing a week in review piece for the Fix every Friday.

His latest is here:

I'm surprised by how much you underestimate Walker. He has a lot more support and enthusiasm than Jindal, Ryan (poor '12 campaign), and arguably the Florida duo. I'd argue that he, Chris Christie, and Rand Paul are the standard bearers for the competing wings of the GOP.


I don't underestimate him. I just think he would defer to Paul Ryan if Ryan wants to run.

And here's our latest rankings of the 2016 GOP field -- hot off the presses this morning!

Ron Paul has endorsed him, may this help?

I have NO idea.

But, I trust deputy Fix Sean Sullivan who told me this morning it's closer than people think in SC-01.  Check out his piece here:

I have noticed Lindsay Graham try to sharpen his conservative bona fides in anticipation of the 2014 election. Do you have any sense that he is in danger of losing the Republican primary and do you have any idea if there are candidates emerging to challenge him from the right?

He IS in danger of losing a primary but I don't think he will.

Conservatives have had trouble finding a really serious challenger and Graham is a VERY good candidate.

Does he actually run for the Senate in 2014?

Absolutely. I would be stunned if he didn't.  He is out of office, knows in his heart of hearts he's a major long shot in a 2016 presidential race and LOVES the spotlight.

That all makes me think he gets in. And if he does, he's the frontrunner.

Who is advising Mr. Sanford? Standing next to a cardboard cutout of Nancy Pelosi didn't even look as cool as Clint Eastwood's empty chair?

At this point, I think Mark Sanford is listening the only person he thinks truly understands things: MArk Sanford.

That's the problem. He ran a terrific primary campaign. His general election race has been less, um, impressive.

US Senator, if/when Mikulski retires/passes on? Then Pres in 2020 or 2024?

Mikulski JUST got re-elected. So she is in the seat until 2018. And I think O'Malley sees himself as an executive, ideally a chief executive, not a Senator.

Do you think former First Lady's comments about her son Jeb and Hillary Clinton -- that they shouldn't run in 2016 -- will have any impact on either?


One of my students asked me yesterday about Al Gore and any political ambitions he might still have. I said that Gore was done with politics and glad to be out of it. But after class, I got to wondering--with Hillary and Biden both considering running, is it totally out of the realm of possibility that Gore might do it if they don't? He seems frustrated at the lack of progress on climate change (as we all should be), and I'm wondering if he thinks that being the outsider activist is not as helpful to the cause as being able to actually, you know, do stuff.

He is totally out. He just doesn't play the political game AT ALL anymore. I always thought he might get in in 2008. But once he passed on that race, I think he decided he was gone for good.

For governor? Seriously? He just won another term in the Senate -- why would he turn around and run for governor?

I am VERY skeptical. I think it's born of the fact that some part of the Dem party in Florida DO NOT want Charlie Crist as their nominee.

But I don't see why Nelson does it.  Rick Scott is very vulnerable but he is also VERY rich.  And he is going to spend a ton savaging whoever runs against him. Does Nelson really want that?

I think the Bush apologists might hold off on plans to add him to Mt. Rushmore. Watergate is nearly 40 years gone and, despite herculean efforts, Nixon remains under a cloud. I think 2 wars, a tanked economy, and torture will prove even harder to overcome.

As I wrote in my piece on his improving numbers, there is a ceiling (and a low one) for how high his approval can go. Almost 6 in 10 people still disapprove of Iraq and that ain't going to change with history.

Of all the clips from past dinners, how could you not include the skit with The West Wing cast from the late 90s?

Adding now!

And if you missed our Fix post on the 5 best WH Correspondents Dinner moments, it's here:

Who said you could retire?

I am going to walk away.  Koufax-like. Except for being dominant at anytime in my career.

What's the big deal? This happens all the time. "Ohs no, we're losing our elder statesmen and all that experience." Same ol', same ol'.

Yes, Senators do retire all the time. But the # and years of service leaving is actually outpacing most modern history.

Don't buy a dragon if you don't know how they work, and don't insult strangers, even if you don't think they understand you.

I mean, we all knew she spoke Valyrian.

Dany Targaryen is NOT to be trifled with.

Or maybe. You could write. InastylelikeWilliamShatner's.


So he isn't running to succeed Jay Rockefeller? I thought that was the whole reason for his appointment after Robert Byrd died? Seems kind of pointless now.

Agree. I was stunned when he said he wasn't running.

In 2016, does Scott Walker defer to Paul Ryan, or does Walker make a decision about running regardless of what Ryan does?

See above. I think defer but maybe this is too high stakes stuff to do the whole "dibs" thing.

Forget 2016, 2020,2024, and 2028. My son's first presidential election that he can vote in will be 2032. Who are the candidates going to be in that election?

Going to have to deal with Mila Bush Hager, for sure...

Only Twits Tweet.

"These kids think tweet twit themselves." -- Ben Bradlee.

He'd gain valuable experience and stay in the public eye.

If you think a governor of a state thinks running for Congress is anything but a step down, you don't understand how politicians think.

So everyone on the Internet has to conform to your prejudices?


I. Will. Write. howiwant.

Enjoyed the video of Bill Clinton's last days in office. Little known fact -- the red haired kid who was photocopying his face was the older brother from the Adventures of Pete & Pete.

That IS little known.

What do you know about Amash and the Senate? Is he going to run?

Don't know. If he does, he is likely the GOP nominee and almost certainly a loser in the general election.

What do you see next for Deval Patrick? The man can give a speech, and has had a pretty successful run as MA governor.

He COULD be in the 2016 mix.  Not sure what he wants for himself but I thought he was quite good under the VERY diffoicult circumstances of the Boston bombings.

Bigger WTF! ending: Jamie Lannister's unhanding or Dany's dragon beat down?

Oh Jaime for sure. Did you really think Dany was giving up one of her dragons to that dude?

Also, "Tywin Lannister" would be a great band name.

With apologies to Chris Berman, I. Miss. Howard. Cosell.

He. Could. Go. All. The. Way.

How about Colbert-Busch closes with this statement at the debate: "It's pretty clear that Jenny Sanford was the brains in the partnership, and Mark by himself thinks he can do whatever he wants without paying attention to the law, courtesy or decency. If you elect him, you know he will embarass you and all of South Carolina again. Haven't we had enough?"

Not a bad close...

So, Suarez. Any biting comments?

1. He is a maniac. The cannibal of Ajax strikes again!

2. He is an unbelievable footballer

3. I bet Liverpool keeps him -- because of #2.

Barbara Bush said the presidency shouldn't be limited to the same four families. Who are the two besides Bushes and Clintons?

Kennedys...not sure the other...and not sure she was making a specific reference but rather talkin about the dynastic nature of American politics....maybe the Roosevelts?

Or the Frelinghuysens.

God forbid a politician should seek experience in more than one branch of government.

Just not how they think.

Hey, Mike Castle and Bill Janklow did it.

Both came from states with only one congressional district, meaning that as a member of the House you represent the same # of people that the governor or the Senators do.

Will not be old enough to run for POTUS in 2032.

Humor is dead.

Are the latest rankings of the 2016 Dem field and the 2020 field -- hot off the presses - likely to remain the same for the forseeable future... 1) Hillary; 2) Hillary; 3) Hillary


She is the top tier. Period.

Don't forget Mark Sanford!

He hasn't been elected yet.

Maybe #4 was the Rockefellers.

Good call.

You did mention that you had some Irish blood, so I would like to see you emulate the esteemed novelist James Joyce, who was famous for his stream of consciousness writing. One source said, "Joyce’s novels, with their innovative language, use of dialogue, characteristic modernist forms, and social frankness,..." See, that already sounds like your blog postings!

The snow fell softly on all the living and the dead...politicians

Bush, Clinton, Roosevelt, and Adams (or I guess Harrison)


hello chris. love the chat. i believe Del. gov. jack markell is term-limited in 2014. any chance christine o'donnell runs as a republican again and snags this seat for the GOP in an off-year election?

Um, no.

Okay, if it's such a comedown, how about...oh, I don't know...Mark Sanford?

He is kind of a special case, no?

Is Elizabeth Colbert-Busch running an excellent campaign in SC right now, or is Mark Sanford just a caricature in a traveling clown car?

The latter

Despite his assertions otherwise, Gov. Jindal desparately wants to be the Republican candidate for president in 2016. But his in-state popularity just took a big nose dive, and a regressive state tax plan he's been touting was dead on arrival (although it seems he hasn't given up on some aspects of it). What's your current read on the guy?

He is running for president.  His in state numbers are not good but I think he is building a resume that night look better to conservatives in IA, NH and SC than they look to the general electorate in Louisiana.

You can make a LOT more money as Governor of Baltimore than as a freshman congressman. After twenty years, it probably evens out.


Juz change name from Fix. Me dont lik Fix.

I haz cheezburger

Any chance of running in the years ahead? Is she doing anything that hints at building a political future?

She has said she feels the call to public service....hard to come from that family and not be at all interested in politics, right?

If Barbara Bush was referring to the Rockefellers and Kennedys as the other two dynastic families, she should check the date on her calendar. The last Rockefeller presidential candidacy was in 1968, and the last Kennedy campaign was in 1980. Not exactly last week, ifyouknowwhatImean.


Who do you have taking Geno? Te'o?

The last time I followed the NFL Draft closely, Geno Toretta was being picked.

She will be too young to run for President in 2032.

She will?!!? I didn't realize.

Let me reiterate: Humor is dead.

How many national candidates are successful if their home state doesn't like them?

Tends to not make much of a difference. Massachusetts didn't like Romney and he wound up as the GOP nominee.

From your list, which possible GOP Nominee could beat Hillary in 2016?


Rubio. Jeb. For sure.

And anyone else COULD depending on how the race played out.

But she would quite clearly start the race as a favorite.

OK THAT was annoying...

That is something on which we can all agree.

I'm more inclined to go with Kennedys on the political dynasty...what Adams family member in the last 200 years or so has won anything?

Sam Adams? America's best brewer?

You used the difference between approval and disapproval ratings in the polls as an indicator of partisanship levels. That may be an easy metric to calculate, but I'm not so sure that is a good measure. To me, partisanship should be judged by the actions and attitudes of elected officials rather than the public. Partisan feelings have been high for the last two presidents, but they didn't bring impeachment proceedings against them as they did with Clinton!

Um, ok.

What Republican steps up to run against her? It feels like the bigger names are holding off on running.

Race is very slow to develop. But remember that Democrat back in 2008 went througha  bunch of time before Hagan emerged.

No one but people like is paying attention at this point.

You were a serious diehard. Speaking of which, Die Hard was a great movie. The 5th Die Hard, not so much.

I agree with everything in this "question".

Mikulski was reelected in 2010 - not 2012 (that was Cardin) so O'Malley could run for her seat (if she retires) in 2016. He could still not want to if he wants to be an executive.

Ah.  Good point. I STILL don't think he runs for Senate. But who knows?

Public service does not equal politics or running for office. Look at all the second-generation Kennedys in non-political public service (aid foundations, etc.) Chelsea could keep on working the Clinton Global Initiative and take over when her parents retire.

Yes, she could. But she could also run for something.

That's all for today folks! Thanks for joining me. And, I am on vacation next week so I will see you back here in TWO Fridays. 11 am. Be there!


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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