The Fix Live

May 31, 2013

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

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Good morning everyone! Armed with a grande iced mocha a blueberrys cone and the NPR All Songs channel playing, I am ready to go. 

Let's do this thing.

Posting early. Who is likely to be the democratic candidate for Senate in GA? I live in Deep South part of state and see no one with name familiarity state-wide. Thoughts?

It certainly seems like Michelle Nunn is their best option at this point. She's the daugher of Sam Nunn, a legendary Democratic Senator from the Peach State.

It's an uphill race but Republicans have the potential to nominate someone who isn't electable so having someone like Nunn in the contest gives Democrats a vbiable alternative.

Happy Friday! Would you like to bet $20 that Eric Holder is still in office on the last day POTUS is in office?

I doubt it...if only because most Attortny generals don't serve for 8 years. Almost no Cabinet official serves for 8 years.

Is it...over? I didn't watch this season and it seems to have been lapped by The Voice.

Read last night that Mariah and Nikki are out the door along with Randy. Best news of the season. I didn't watch it at all this year.

She was, I'm sure, the gift that keeps on giving for columnists and commentators. My question - she kept getting elected - was/is her district (in Minnesota no less) really THAT FAR off the rails?

It's a conservative distrrict  -- Romney won it by 15 points -- and she regularly underperformed in it.

Without Bachmann running, Democrats don't have much of a chance -- as evidenced by Jim Graves' decision not to run again. Graves came within 5K votes of beating Bachmann but saw the writing on the wall that a race without Bachmann in it was much harder.

It'll be Porter if he's there at #3, but Anthony Bennett from UNLV could be the next (basketball) Larry Johnson. It'd be fun to see that sort of player with Wall.

PLEASE let Otto be there.

How many stories have you and your colleagues written about the press being unreasonable? Forget liberal or conservative, the bias from the Beltway press is pro-media. It's so apparent and so self-centered, it's no wonder the public doesn't like reporters.

I missed this question. I was staring at myself in a mirror.

Does Crist have a chance against Rick Scott? If Crist wins next year, he'd be in position to be re-elected in 2018. Florida has gone Dem 3 of the last 5 elections (or 4 out of 5, if you count the true vote of 2000). Dems have a 41%-36% lead in party registration. Having a Dem governor during the 2020 redistricting would be crucial for the Dems' attempt to control the House.

He absolutely has a chance to win although there are lots and lots of Democrats who don't want him as their nominee (hence all the talk about Sen. Bill Nelson running).

If Crist is the nominee, he has a chance because Rick Scott is just not popular in the state. Like, at all.

I am in shock that Holder hasn't pulled the typical, I have become too big a distraction line and faded into the night? Considering all the scandals he is involved in (from Fast and Furious to the current one) I am starting to think he is doing this because he is covering something up. I'm losing faith in a President I used to believe in because the head of his Justice department is no longer someone the public can trust for a full and honest investigation.

I wrote about the Obama-Holder thing this morning in a piece on how Obama's stubbornness has always worked in his favor -- but it might not this time.

Here's the piece:

Al Franken and us deserve it.

I just don't see it.  While she left the door open for anything, I can't see the Senate. A self-funding GOPer just go in against FRanken and I assume he did that believing Bachmann wasn't running.

I don't think she's running for any office in the near future.

Hi Chris - what's up with the Romneys? - Mitt was on the Tonight Show recently for no obvious reason - no book to promote etc. and now Ann is on CBS talking about breaches of trust by the Obama administration. Are they just missing the limelight, or is this the start of a campaign for something - or some office?

They are hosting a summit in Utah...

Does he have the fire in the belly? Ryan has never had a competitive House race. When a prime opportunity to move up to the Senate appeared when Herb Kohl announced his retirement, he didn't jump. Sure, there was talk about running for president, but he never took any concrete steps. He got picked for VP which if Romney had won, would have set Ryan up nicely as the heir apparent without having to break much of a sweat. Ryan's career is full of instances of him not putting in the work and taking the risks needed to be a legitimate presidential candidate. He seems to want it, but he seems to want it handed to him rather than doing the work and throwing the elbows necessary to win. Thoughts?

To run for president? I am starting to think no.

Ryan is a guy who gets excited about policy not politics.  I see no evidence that he is building out a political team.  Scott Walker, Ryan's close friend, seems to be getting more aggressive about 2016 talk.

All of those things make me believe Ryan may be a no.

Scott Walker is making appearances in Iowa. Does that mean he's gotten word Paul Ryan isn't running in 2016? Or do Ryan's plans not impact Walker's own?

See above.  I always thought Walker wouldn't run because Ryan woild. But seems like Ryan is less interested which would make Walker much more interested.

Have you finished the new Arrested Development season yet? Any thoughts?

Haven't started yet...I am getting woried thyat the reviews I hear are lukewarm...

How much damage, if any, have the investigations into Gov. Bob McDonnell and gifts hurt his chances in 2016? Does even the hint of scandal scare off the donor class he will need to woo to run a competitive campaign?

Oh, it hurts.

How much? Not sure. I never saw McDonnell as a top tier 2016 candidate -- the GOP field is LOADED -- and this whole shebanhg doesn't help his chances any.

I am seeing commercials already for both candidates. This seems a little odd to me- I thought major campaigning (i.e. TV blitzes) didnt' happen until September. Does this mean that my summer and fall is going to be more packed?

Well, both candidates have plenty of money....and it's just that people don't usually start paying attention until September (if then).

Living in IA, we are hearing plenty about state rep Kent Sorenson who may have taken payments from Bachmann's campaign (an ethics violation) and the possible theft of an email list by a Bachmann staffer. Two of her former aides have come forward to testify in these cases and there will be a trial starting May 14, 2014 in the email list case. Do you reaaaallly think these had nothing to do with her decision to step aside?

I find it a little hard to believe that it had nothing to do with her decision.

How did you enjoy watching the USA Ultimate College Championships on ESPNU?

Did!  That is good stuff.

Are you excited for this on-line series about four rowdy Republican U.S. Senators sharing a Washington, D.C., house? John Goodman is one of them and it sounds delicious.


Just listened to The Diane Rehm Show, where your colleague Ed O'Keefe was among the guest journalists discussing the week's domestic news. At the end Diane declared that all three of her guests had really good hair this week (with reference to an online video available of the show). It sounds as though Ed's upped the game. So will you now be visiting your hair stylist before your next appearance on DR?


Holy cow. I need to step my game up.

If an anonymous source for a story you run comes out the next day and says that they weren't the source or that the story is wrong, are you allowed to "out" them or is that going against journalistic ethics?

HMMM. Good question. I genuinely don't know. Thoughts?

Hi Chris -- is Franken really likely to run with no real opposition? What a difference 6 years makes. Is the GOP bench in MN really that light? Strange that Michelle Bachmann wouldn't even consider it.

Mike McFadden (self funder) got in this week.

Just be happy the Wizards didn't win the lottery--they would've taken Noel...who has to be the worst #1 prospect (Oden was good in the Final Four) since...Kwame.

SO depressing. I think Otto will be a better pro than Nerlens. Yeah, I said it.

Any chance Mark Pryor gets a Dem primary challenge?

Sure. But he would win.

I think if Tom Cotton runs against Pryor in the general election then that's a really tough race for the incumbent.

Given that it's Arkansas, almost any decent R candidate will get 45-46 just for being on the ballot.


Hickenlooper for Dems

Mary Fallin for GOP.

Do you think Billy Ray Cyrus will or should ever grow his mullet out again?

HUGE question.

Should not.

What's your take on Gibbs, Messina, and Plouffe travelling to Asia to talk energy in Azerbaijan. Does this tarnish the Obama brand at all?

People who leave the White House do so to make money.  That's the deal. Has been since time immemoriam -- through Dems and Republicans.

Have you seen this Biden polling? Down a bunch to both Rubio and Jeb. Are the Dems cooked if HRC bows out?

Not cooked but not in as strong a position.

I think Biden might struggle in trying to run for what would be cast as a third Obama term. Gore struggled with that as did H.W. Bush (to a much lesser extent).

How much have you liked this season so far? Excited about final 2 episodes?

It's been solid but not spectacular.

I need more:





I need less:

Jon Snow

Theon Greyjoy


Being a political columnist,what is your take on House of Cards...How close to the reality the series is?

Shame on me. I haven't watched yet. I got Netflix to watch House of cards and Arrested Development...and haven't done either.

[Hangs head in shame]

How long does John Boehner really want to be Speaker? Each time a pivotal issue comes up (tax hikes, immigration, debt ceiling, etc.), we hear or read about how Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, et al are waiting in the wings to take over for him should he do something to run afoul of the Tea Party element in the House. Has Boehner set a timeline for how long he'd like to run things (assuming they hold the House, obviously)?

I don' see why he would want to be Speaker past this term.  He is Speaker in Name Only, in that he has the burdesn of being Speaker but can't exert his will on the House because of a group of freshman and sophomore members who don't feel any allegiance to him.

It seems like a tough job. Of course, I thought Nancy Pelosi was retiring after 2010 and 2012. And here we are.

Scrappy, resilient, overlooked. But starting to be appreciated for the dominant force they're becoming. Saying the answer is Paul George when he decides to run for IN Senate is acceptable. 


Mitch mcConnell?

With so many political overtones on the show, how come no one has done a comparison of the dynamics on Game of Thrones and in Washington?

Well, Matt Yglesias wrote a series of pieces about the economies of Westeros -- which ruled.

I would LOVE to write a series of GoT posts in the Fix. But how do I approach it? Ideas welcome.

Would you take over or under 20%?

Over. But not by much.

I don't know what's sadder, that McDonald's is parodying "Vegas, baby! Vegas!" from Swingers to sell cheap ice cream cones or that no one under 28 knows what Swingers is. :(

Oh, it's the latter, for sure.

Also, this weekend is my 15th college reunion. Good lord.

How many Republicans do you expect will take to heart Bob Dole's moving recent comments re the future of the GOP? He seemed sad over what his party has become in the past decade.

I think plenty of Republicans agree with what Dole had to say. But, as I wrote, it's very hard to put Dole's advice into practice.

Here's that piece:

Is there precedent to have politicians from the same states both be conceivable candidates for the presidency (NY: Cuomo/ Clinton/...even Gillibrand; FL: Rubio/Bush; WI: Walker, Ryan). Would the race only support one of each?

Typically only one candidate from a state runs. Particularly when the two potential candidates are friendly -- like Walker and Ryan.

Is Anthony Weiner a winner?

In a way.

How much is the Sport Guy's refusal to discuss anything that is not NBA hurting your enjoyment of life? I am, personally, 5.8% less content.

I love it! I am an NBA guy though.

Not by competitiveness but by your level of intrigue: AK, AR, KY, IA, NC, LA

I strongly endorse this question.

Most intriguing to least

1. KY

2. AK

3. LA

4. AR

5. NC

6. IA


Make the time. You'll LOVE it. And it has a seriousness of purpose that the "Alpha House" show doesn't seem to be reaching for. It really has something to say about the political process in the US Congress.

Ok, ok. I know I need to!

Has anyone done better than you, career wise? You obviously have the dream job in Washington.

My plan

1. Got to reunion

2. Demand "Do you know who I am?" of every person I meet

3.  Go home and cry self to sleep when response to above question is "no".

Chris, you seem to have become quite knowledgeable about soccer in a short time span. What triggered your interest in the first place? Any thoughts on Neymar joining Barca? (world cup dark horse pick: Belgium)

Clinton Yates -- fellow soccerhead and WaPo reporter -- just said the same thing about Belgium yesterday!

And, I credit Travis Beauchamp, the head soccer coach at Catholic University of America, for getting me hooked. 

We need *zero* Theon. I'd watch the show just to listen to Ygritte say "Jawn Ssnew". And them dragons is expensive. That said, I think Daenerys is going to be a huge part of season 3. Honestly, with all the good characters, the show should be more than 60 minutes per week.

Agree. 90 minutes like some of those British dramas would work for me.  I would watch.

Also, I want more Melisandre saying "The night is dark and full of terrors". I love that line.

Do you think Bachmann's decision not to run in 2014 has anything to do with the level of synaptic disconnect demonstrated of late by Louie Gohmert and Ted Cruz and stealing her crazy thunder?

Not really.

I had the same thought a few months back when you said you wanted to do a post about it. Thoughts immediately turned to: "...but then someone has to be Joffrey or torture victim Theon". Can't do that without scaring off a lot of people


I could do a piece on the politics of GoT -- trying to fit each family into a political party or part of the DC landscape...I am getting more intrigued.

Does it matter?

Almost certainly not.

Biden as Tywin Lannister!

Uncle Joe!  I don't think he is nearly so dark and conniving as Tywin.

Is it ever going to get interesting? Or does Udall cruise to another victory?

With Cory Gardner announcing this week that he's not running, I would say Udall is more likely to be on cruise control than in a real race in a year's time.

Will Ted Cruz' star fizzle out as fast as Michele Bachmann's has?

Not sure.  The record of tea party favorites (Palin, Bachmann, DeMint, Allen West, Joe Walsh) seems to suggest they have a somewhat short shelf life on the national stage.

We shall see.

Whose the best off the radar politician to watch for 2020? Whose the next Jindal or Obama? I need to get my fix!!!


Julian Castro

George P. Bush

Preet  Bharara


Whatever else, begin with "Hey, Nerds!"

Isn't that implied?

Who wins in the Tan-Off? Crist or Boehner?

This lady:

Can't we all -- R's, D's, press, everybody -- agree the one-term limit for VA Governors is stupid? I'm a moderate R. I've been happy with Warner, Kaine, and McDonnell. Why kick them out of office?

Makes NO sense. Only state in the country with a one term limit.

Is there anyway he gets the nod? It is fairly obvious the establishment wants nothing to do with him and 75% of NYC only knows him for his, ahhm, situation.

I don't think so. He has a decent shot of making the runoff. Hard to see him winning a one on one race against any of the other people running for the Democratic nomination.

As a Bulls fan, I have to wonder how anyone other than Pacers/Tar Heels fans could hate Noah more than Hansbrough. He's the annoying hacker from pickup games.

Who's worse: Hansbrough or Birdman?

Real battle for last there.

Here's an interesting parallel for you. A young Rob Stark, whose a little underseasoned rises to the occasion to honor his beheaded father, Ned Stark. A young George W. Bush came out of the political fires a bit raw himself to defend the legacy of Bush 41.


That's all folks! Thanks for spending the hour with me.  Have a great weekend. See you back here next Friday at 11 am. 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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