The Fix Live

Jun 07, 2013

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

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Good morning everyone! It's raining in Baltimore. Also in DC.

I am drinking a venti Mocha. (Oh yeah.) I am listening to Josh Ritter. Let's do this thing.

Politically speaking, what does this controversy mean for the Obama White House?

Golly,it's tough to know.

I think in a vaccuum the FISA controvery wouldn't be a huge political deal since there has been bipartisan support for/authorization for the oprogram.

But, coming on the heels on Benghazi, IRs and AP/James Rosen, it's likely to add to the distrust with which people regard government and its motives.

School of Thrones. Prom Night is coming.

Oh, I have seen.  I am struggling to deal with the Red Wedding...still.

What did you think of the 'red wedding' episode?

Um, haunting. WAY too much throat slitting.

The Starks have had a bad last few years.

I guess this setsup the Lannisters vs Targaryens going foerward, which I am cool with.

What does he do? What is the right political decision here?

Well there is no great political answer. We wrote on this this week:

When is someone from the business side of the Post going to do a Q&A on the paywall that's coming up next week? There are lots of unanswered questions about how this is going to work.

Not sure. I agree it would be good for us to do something like that. 

In the meantime, here's the letter from our publisher explaining the changes.

Did you see The National last night at Merriweather? If not, why not? Come on!

I have never gotten super into the National. Is that bad?

Which one is the worst for the president?

IRS. Not close in my opinion.

Will you be chatting behind the paywall?

I am not sure if chats are behind the paywall but my guess is they will be. I will have more to say about the pasywall sometime soon on The Fix. I want to make sure I gather my thoughts first.

Many scandals this week...Any boost for Rand Paul? I think so

The strain of civil libertarianism that Paul represents definitely got a boost this week. The idea that the government is not to be trusted is now likely to reach a far wider audience than it might have if these revelations didn't comne to light. And that streengthens Rand Paul's hand going forward.

Which books could you recommend to someone who is interested in your line of work?

Check these out.

What are the odds that Cory Booker passes on the special primary election, serves out the remainder of his term as Mayor of Newark, and runs in 2014, most likely against a Democratic incumbent? He was willing to run against Frank Lautenberg. I doubt that he would have any qualms about running against Rush Holt or Frank Pallone.

VERY unlikely. Why, as the frontrunner, give the chance for some other Democrat to get elected and be the incumbent for a year?

Makes no sense. Booker will run -- and likely win -- in October and then again in November 2014.

When it starts playing in the background, make sure you get out the heck out of dodge.

Um, yeah. And, when you see a dude with chain mail under his tuxedo, time to hit the exits.

Also, when I score on someone in hoops going forward I am going to run back down the court and say "The Lannisters send their regards."

You're forgetting about Jon Snow and Bran. They're still very much pivotal players. Other than Daenerys' dragons, Bran has the most game changing power on the show.

Not forgetting!

Also, Arya.

I am just saying that they aren't the one who are going to bring down Joffrey in the near term.

Also, another bad gig: Member of the Unsullied (up until Dany freed them).

My twitter account isn't flooded with people posting the monthly employment data on the first Friday of every month.

Or a sign that the presidential campaign is over...

What are your projections for the 2014 midterms?

I think picking up the House is possible but far from probable for Democrats given that 6th year midterms tend to favor the party out of the White House  and that redistricting has cemented the lines for both parties.

On the Senate, it looks like a jump ball. I handicapped the Senate here:

So, if, in your opinion, this is the worst challenge facing the administration, what do you think the president should do that he has not already done in dealing with this situation.

Who will it be come September?

Holder. End of the year? Maybe Napolitano.

The perfect example is George Allen. I think he was one of the best campaigners in the last 20 years when he ran for governor and his first senate race. Then he gets in the senate, can't explain what he's done, why he wants to be reelected, and why he wished he was governor. Are good candidates like Tom Cotton and Mike Rogers going to skip races because of how miserable the senate is?

I think being governor is WAY better than being in the Senate. (and I think Allen and Mark Warner would agree.)

My guess is that Tom Cotton eventually does run for Senate since being a very junior member of the House majority isn't as appealing as being a very junior member of the Senate.

Rogers isn't a junior member and his seniority makes him chair of the Intelligence Committee. I can't imagine him giving that up for a Senate bid that's less than  a 50-50 shot.

I nominate everyone who watched HBO's "Game of Thrones" on Sunday without having read the books first.


Walder Frey is a bad dude.

Are you worried that it will affect your readership? Your blog is geared toward generating traffic. Do they tell you guys about projections of how instituting a paywall might diminish the number of readers you have?

My blog isn not geared toward generating traffic. It's geared toward providing the best information possible for our readers.

And, like I said, I'll have more to say on the paywall once I gather my thoughts.

I notice in your columns you are more middle (left of) than on Facebook. There you seem to be much more left leaning. or Progressive if you prefer. Is it just the bulk of your questions and discussions lean that way because of the people that are on your comments list?

Not sure what you mean.

What I post on Facebook tends to simply be the stuff I write on the blog.

I am not sure why people won't take me at my word: I am just not a partisan. I am drawn to politics for things like the history of it, the personalities etc. Not for any particular issue or partisan view.

Seriously fits within your musical tastes - start with Boxer, then work your way forward, then back to Alligator. Well worth your time.

Got it. Will do.

Is the song by Counting Crows looped where you are? Or just in my head? (Thanks - kind of - for that)

My god I love that song.

Counting Crows are HEAVILY underrated.

Chris, doesn't it bother anyone that there really are no "scandals" here at all? The IRS thing really looks more and more just like standard bureaucratic clown fare, etc. Watergate or Iran Contra these ain' is it just a case of the media needing to fill space and manufacture outrage?

Scandal is in the eye of the beholder.My guess is that you are probably a Democrat and are therefore willing to give the current Administration the benefit of the doubt on this stuff.

But, if it was the Bush Administration in place right now would you feel the same way? My guess is you wouldn't.

Glad to see you're enjoying some Josh Ritter this morning. Have you listened to the new Crystal Fighters album?

Not. But I will now.

I have switched to August and Everything After, which I think is just absolutely amazing.

Is this special election the best thing that could have happened to him. The main complaint of Booker is he is an absent mayor, rich liberals in NYC, who don't have to live in Newark love him, while the residents don't. Now it will be hard for that attack to gain traction.

He is the best known and will be the best funded candidate. So a truncated primary/general election calendar is GREAT news for him, yes.

Please don't give Governor Christie the Worst Week in Washington award since he's not actually IN WASHINGTON. (He may be someday, but not yet.) You could give him the Worst Week in Trenton award, but that seems outside your purview.


Democrats want to pick up 17 seats. How aggressive are they being in recruiting candidates?

I assume relatively aggressive -- like both parties are every cycle. The issue for Democrats is that the playing field, at least at the moment, is quite small. And they need more seats in play to give them the sort of margin for error they are likely to need.

Can they walk and chew gun at the same time, it seems like they can't, also how much more do you think the White House can do (outside of scandal damage control) to push a second term agenda forward or do they just need to win the house back?

I don't believe they can -- not when it comes to IRS/Benghazi/AP and immigration/debt ceiling. To pass immigration or the debt ceiling, you need Congress' undivided attention -- and you ain't getting it when all of this other stuff is going on.

Just saw a horrible poll for him. Could you see him not running for reelection, or will he count on Schwartz being to liberal, and the mid term electorate being more conservative.

Nah, I think he runs although you are right that his numbers are terrible.

As for Schwartz, she looks like the favorite right now. But, I wonder whether a Mainline candidate can win statewide...Ed Rendell did it but he was a sort of living legend in the state.

My guess is that Corbett will go hard at portraying Schwartz as aliberal vote for President Obama, which won't okay all that well outside of Philly.

Do you think he considered appointing a democrat like Pallone, which would look like him being above partisan politics and also make it harder for booker to win?


If Christie has trouble with the idea that he may be insufficiently loyal as a Republican, what would appointing a Democrat do? Make the situation WAY worse.

Does she challenge Rounds in the primary? If not her only chance to move up would be in the House Leadership or Governor. Are any of those a possibility?


I am genuinely not sure. I think Noem has aspirations but is challenging the popular former governor her best bet?

Polling suggests it would be a close race and she showed during 2010 that she is an able campaigner.

I think she could have a future in House GOP leadership but the question is what does she want?

Were having difficulty getting tax exempt status, I'd think that the IRS was doing its job.

Okey doke!

If so, I recommend a Vizsla.

Ah, mrs Fix has terrible dog allergies. So, that's a non starter. And did Fix Jr put you up to this?

but doesn't it seem that all of these distractions are creating a kind of opening for GOP and rubio to do something on immigration... or have you already given up on that

No I think immigration could actually happen.Rubio's statement that he wouldn't vote for it today is simply him trying to get some leverage for the amendment process.

Most public officials (with some exceptions sure) seem to say this NSA program is necessary, nothing new really. I don't sense some larger public discontent about it either. It's tangential, just like Gitmo, or surveillance under the previous administration. People are removed from it, not moved by it.

I think people are uneasy about it. But then when you tell them it's necessary to keep them safe, they seem to understand not be aggravated anymore.

I wrote a piece yesterday on this -- that security always trumps privacy. It's here:

Fix Aaron started his own chat. You better watch your back, the knives are out.

"The Lannisters send their regards."

Sorry, I should have clarified. You guys do phenomenal work. I just meant that readership is a part of the equation and a paywall might affect that. Personally, I don't think there's much choice in the matter. Papers need revenue to function.

Absolutely. It's a necessary decision. I want to address it in a broader way though too.Probably will do so early next week. Thanks for your patience and, I hope, your continued patronage.

I have enjoyed our Friday chats, but I'm not made of money so our time to part have come.

I have a money tree in my backyard. Just send me your address.

What would the sigil of House Cilizza be? Coffee beans? A hockey stick?

Field hockey stick crossed with a thermometer (I ama huge hypochondriac).

Also, I would give my pinky to have my own direwolf.

I think you must rename your blog, Le Fix.


Is it possible Booker and Christie could be running against each other in 2016? It's far-fetched, and would require Clinton to sit out the election, and several other things too, but Obama was relatively new in the Senate in 2008, and Booker is certainly ambitious.

It'snot out of the question. I think Christie definitely runs in 2016 (I thought he should have run in 2012) and Booker wants to run at some point too. My guess is that B0oker is on more of a 2020 or 2024 timelines though..

I guess my sentence structure was not at its best before. I the point I was making concerning Facebook vs column is that you seem to be more middle in the column and even here in this chat. But on Facebook you seem definitely more liberal in your subject matter and responses. I get so mad at times that I can not respond (comment) on Facebook to what you say. I suppose it is really more not being able to comment on what others that inhabit your Facebook page say. I am conservative as you probably gathered, but love to listen and learn from the other side. And sometimes it modifies my thinking.


Again,i tend to post my columns on Facebook and not much else.And i don't tend to comment on Facebook. If you are talking about the comments other people leave on my items, , obviously, have no control over that.

This is almost an exact replay of Robb v. North 1994. Both parties have managed to pick the only guy the other can beat. Where does the race stand this moment?

Very close. if I head to pick, I'd give cuccinelli a slight edge at the moment but not much of one.

And the Robb-North comparison is SO apt. Thanks for making it.

Chris - What's wrong with the WWE these days? Do you think Vince McMahon is past his prime?

It is not good.

I think Cena absolutely needs to go. And we need more CM Punk. 

Cena has run its course. They need to end his run.

What % would you put his chance at reelection at? A really think he has a good chance of going down. Bad economy, liberal state, no Corzine to run against.


His opponent has NO money and Democrats in NJ are now going to be focused on running/winning the Senate race.

And tweet links to new articles?


The Democratic machine in WV is quite formidable (for statewide candidates not named Obama). If they manage to get an acceptable candidate I think they remain in with a decent shot.

We are putting out our new Senate race rankings today on the Fix.

I think there are still a few potential Democratic candidates who could make the race compeittive. But they are definitely not the favorites.

That's all I have time for today folks. Remember to keep your eyes peeled for the latest news on Post TV, which is going to be launching soon.

I am co-hosting a show -- details soon! -- with the one and only Jackie Kucinich. If you like the Fix, you will like it.

Have a great weekend.


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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