The Fix Live

Jun 21, 2013

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

Follow @TheFix on Twitter.

Good morning everyone. It's Friday. It's 11 am.  I am slugging down a grande mocha and listening to Jason Isbell. It must be time to chat.

In or Out?

Oh, in.

But for people who say that him running for Senate means he won't think about running for president in 2016, I have been told that is not right.

There hasn't been much talk about who will jump in the race against Mark Warner. Any names? The congressional delegation seems likely to stay out of it.

Warner is VERY popular in Virginia.  Republicans won't waste the money/energy.

Is Al Franken really going to win a second term to the US Senate?

Well, hes got a better chance than most people thought he would when he got elected in 2008.  There's a self-funding Republican running against him which is always worth keeping an eye on but for the moment I think Franken is relatively safe.

Does Shaheen run for another term? What Republicans do you see getting into the race?

I hear a whisper every once in  a while that she might not but her camp knocks those rumors down vehemently.

Assuming she runs, I am not sure how seriously Republicans challenge her.  Scott Brown is an intriguing name but would obviously have to deal with the carepetbbager issue.

Do you foresee any other Senate retirements for 2014? Collins? Cochran? Warner? Landrieu?

Cochran always mentioned.  Collins maybe. I don't see Warner or Landrieu retiring,

Will Democrats even put up a candidate? Can Democrats just clone Joe Manchin?

They will find someone but man oh man have they struggled to find a good candidate. Shelley Moore Capito is a very clear favorite.

Sestak v. Toomey in 2016. Odd to have a race known three years in advance, no?

Yes!  But I think Sestak announced that he was running for Senate in 2016 because there was a lot of speculation that he might run for governor in 2014.

Does Ron Kind run for the Senate against Ron Johnson in 2016?

I doubt it. I feel like Ron Kind loves to have his name mentioned as a statewide candidate but doesn't really want to run for it. He wants a statewude office on a silver platter, which of course doesn't happen.

That said, RonJon is going to be a top target of Democrats if he does decide to run again.

Assuming Secretary Clinton doesn't run, what does the field look like by tier? First: Cuomo, Biden, Gillibrand Second: O'Malley, Patrick, Booker, Kaine Third: Klobuchar, Hickenlooper

Top tier I think is Biden, Cuomo and Elizabeth Warren if she runs.

2nd tier: O'Malley, Gillibrand, Deval Klobuchar

Excluding Jeb Bush from 2016, how would you rank the potential Republican candidates? 1. Marco Rubio, 2. Rand Paul, 3. Scott Walker, 4. Ted Cruz, 5. Chris Christie, 6. John Kasich? Thoughts? Anyone I've left off?

In order of most likely to least likely to win nomination

1. Rubio

2. Rand

3. Walker

4. Christie

5. Kasich

6. Cruz

And there are plenty more names....

Is he just looking for an excuse to bolt from the immigration reform talks? It seems like every other day, he's releasing a new statement about how he's voting against it, how it doesn't have enough votes, if this or that is included, then he'll vote against it. Is pressure from the right getting to him?

He has a very tough political task. He needs to make sure that if a bill does pass that conservatives believe he fought like hell to make it the best bill it could be when it comes to broder security.  

To do that, Rubio has to do everything he can to make clear that he is not simply a "yes" vote and that he can and will walk away if the legislation doesn't suit him.

I watched all 10 episodes. It's really, really enjoyable. Watch it while it's still somewhat unknown.

Will do.

Almost through the 1st season of "The Americans". 2 thumbs way up.

Of the many Republicans swept into office during the 2010 wave, rank from most likely to least likely to be out in 2014? Corbett, Kasich, Walker, Scott, LePage, Snyder, and Haley








McDonnell's political future is A) unharmed by recent investigations, B) done with elected office -- maybe a Cabinet spot in a future Republican administration, or C) completely over.

It's somewhere between B and C....and I leaning toward C.

Here's a name for 2016 to consider -- Tammy Baldwin. If you think about it, it sounds crazy. But then if you think about it some more, it kind of makes sense for where the Democratic Party is politically right now.


In 2016, Paul Ryan will be 1) running for president, 2) out of the House, working as a lobbyist or for some conservative think tank, 3) in the House, still as Budget chairman, or 4) in the House, as Ways and Means chairman?

I think 3 or 4. I am growing more and more convinced that Ryan sees the House (and the Speakership) as the ultimate goal, not the presidency.

So, unless its banning abortions, abolishing Obamacare, or naming a post office, can the Republican majority actually pass a bill that actually becomes a law?

It's that the GOP conference can't be led. I wrote about that phenomenon here:

Fix, This was spot on ""But laying the blame at the feet of Boehner etc. overlooks a more basic point: The Republican House conference, as currently comprised, cannot be led." If this basic point is true than does the WH have any ability to get its agenda through both houses of Congress? And if it can't then what ?

That's the problem. And, not really.

Chris, help me, I don't get it. Just as a lawyer knows to never ask a witness a question in a court room if they don't already what the response would be, the majority leadership in congress should never hold a vote if they haven't already counted the votes before hand and know they have enough to win. Boehner and crew got blown out of the water yesterday. It wasn't even close. They can't be this incompetent. How did this happen?

I am not entirely sure. Republicanns tried to lay it at the feet of Democrats for not delivering enough votes...but the majority party is in charge of making sure they have -- wait for it -- a majority on legislation.

You really need to get over him. The libertarian thread is en vogue because the Republicans aren't in control of the executive branch. It's called being reactionary. Most of the country away from think tanks and cocktail parties thinks Rand Paul is nuts.

Not so sure about that. I just think he is someone who has the potential to expand the GOP in a way that very few people operating within the party at the moment do.

And, I think those who pigeon-hole him might be surprised by his ability to escape those attempts to narrow-cast him. 

I wrote about Rand this week:

Any chance of Gabriel Gomez pulling an upset on Tuesday? (Not that I'm hoping for it).

There's always a chance -- especially in a special election where no pollster really knows what the turnout will be.

But, I think it's a small chance that Gomez wins. Massachusetts is just a very Democratic state.

Is Ron Paul done with politics?

I think so. I think the torch has been passed to Rand.

My guess is a certain fairly tan congressional I warm?

Warm but not hot.

You write an entire article about how Rand Paul is "the most interesting politician in the world" and DON'T include a picture of the Dos Equis guy? I don't even know you anymore.

I spent the last few days beating myself over this.

Tony Parker, or John Boehner?

Physically or emotionally? Either way, Parker.

What are the chances congress investigates whether Manu Ginobili wanted the Heat to win? He should have been the series MVP for Miami.

It's a fair point. Any time a player reminds me of myself playing basketball it's a VERY bad sign for said player.

For each man, what's the percentage chance that he actually runs for president?

Jeb 50-50

Ryan 30-70 (against)

Any chance Cuomo faces a tough race? He's becoming more partisan and his poll numbers are falling.

Not even a little.

...from a feckless, toothless bill if he wants another term. We didn't vote him in just to have him turn into a younger Charlie Crist.

I don't think he is all that focused on his re-election to the Senate at the moment....

How do you see Rand Paul getting the GOP nomination in 2016? I know the GOP moves slowly, but didn't the last election teach them that far-right views won't win in the 21st century? And if Paul moderates, then he's a flip-flopper. But back to my question, why only 4 for Christie?

I could see Christie anywhere from 2 to 4. But, I do think he is going to deal with the "he's not conservative" narrative all the way through the primary process. And that won't be an easy critique to beat back.

Any sign that the NSA/IRS/AP controversies are affecting these races?


We are more than a year away from the Mid Term and we are already declaring Ron Johnson the most vulnerable Senator in 16'.

Well, he is going to struggle to win -- based on what we have seen thus far. Of course it goes without saying (or so I hope) that what is tru in 2013 isn't always true in 2016. But, Wisconsin is a swing state and RonJon is going to be a target almost no matter what.

Were you and some other reporters in a mystery novel/thriller (can't remember) that took place in DC? If so, did the author have to ask for permission to use your name?

I wish!

Who's most likely to run against Walker for Governor?

That's the problem -- there aren't a lot of good options for Democrats. Feingold just got appointed as a special envoy to Africa, which preusmably means he isn't running.

And the likes of Tom Barrett seem to have passed their expiration date.  Walker is a talented pol; you aren't beating him with a B or C level candidate.

He's terrible at his job. It's sad reporters aren't more explicit about it.

I am not sure anyone could do his job right now. Read this:

Will it matter at all that if Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker were elected president, he would be the first since Truman not to have graduated college?

An interesting note but, no.

I can't see how he gets credit for CIR when he's jumped ship multiple times.

Because if it passes, it will be due in no small part to his work.

"Thanks for nothing!" -America

Brutal loss. Amazing series.

Is this the beginning of the end of Speaker Boehner?

Not sure.  I continue to wonder whether (or why) Boehner wants to stay on as Speaker given the fact that it appears as thought the GOP conference cannot be led.

But, his aides point to the fact that he has said publicly that he plans to stay on so there's that....

Does he get into the race in 2016 or are bored political writers just mentioning his name because of his long-ago opposition to the PATRIOT Act in light of the NSA program?

He could be the liberals' liberal candidate....if Elizabeth Warren doesn't run and Martin O'Malley doesn't take off. 

What do you make of polls showing him neck and neck with Tom Tancredo?

I am surprised.  But, I would still make Hickenlooper a favorite if for no other reason that Tancredo has proven himself someone with limited appeal beyond the conservative base.

What future do you see for him? President seems unlikely, but he seems like a great fit for Head of the Senate Republicans. Any chance he jumps Cornyn when/if McConnell leaves?

I think he wants to be Senate Majority Leader.  I don't think he can beat Cornyn if/when McConnell leaves or loses but at the moment the Senate leadership track seems to be the one that Thune is most interested in. Remember that he passed on the 2012 race even with a weak field....

Hi Chris -- thanks for taking questions today. The failure of the House to pass the farm bill is getting a lot of attention. How much does this hurt the GOP -- and more specifically, the Speaker?

It doesn't help. It reaffirms the fact that this is a party -- in the House at least -- that can't be led.  And that's a very tough reality to face for Boehner and the rest of his leadership team.

If you're buying him, might I interest you in some bridge property in Brooklyn? He's definitely more Bachmann than Reagan.

I am not buying him. I am simply warning those who dismiss him. I think there is a bit more than meets the eye with Rand.

Two-part question. !) Aren't you glad I'm bringing up Post TV? 2) Will Fix Aaron be taking his talents to it?

1) Yes!"In Play", the show Jackie Kucinich and I will be hosting, debuts on July 8. TUNE IN to

2) We are cooking up a few ways for Aaron to be involved. He is such a diva though -- lots of demands about the kind of water he wants, the temperature in the green room etc.

I reccommend "Magic City" which is just getting into it's second season now.


Leading candidates for Governor of California?

The D primary in 2018 is going to be EPIC. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom vs state AG Kamala Harris.

A great race. Already getting excited. And, yes, I am a giant political junkie.

Not exactly. A lot of us semi-libertarian conservatives are interested in him as an alternative to the ideologically fuzzy and/or rigid-to-the-point-of-lunacy parade.


Hey those Washington Post, " date of your birth ", special editions seem like just the ticket to pull the paper out of the red. Guess that's a load off your mind knowing your job is safe.

I have no idea what this means. Like, I know it's English but I don't know what the words mean together.

Note really that surprised that she came out for same-sex marriage. 1. She's a centrist Republican who, due to her 2010 experience, really has no regard for the party's right wing. 2. Alaska may be a red state, but it's also very secular -- it's in the bottom 10 states for church attendance, strength of religious belief, etc. Mark Begich came out for SSM about a year ago, and people barely noticed.

Yup.  All good points.

You say they can't be led. Is it possible that they're simply being led by the wrong person? A more tea party friendly speaker might be able to keep them in line. It would drive Dems crazy but at least we would actually know where the House GOP stands on issues.

Name someone.

Only person I can think of is Paul Ryan. And I am not sure even Ryan could get all wings of the party to sing from the same songbook.

How likely will he run for re-election in 2014? And how deep is the Dem bench to run against him?

I stopped making predictions about what Rick Perry will or won't do sometime in the fall of 2011.

Whoeever is the Republican nominee for governor in 2014 is a heavy favorite to win given the state's demographics.

Even if there's "more than meets the eye", still doesn't seem to amount to much.

Fair enough. We shall see -- because he's definitely running for president!

If he was 20 years younger, would he be a credible candidate for president?

I mean, he did run a bunch of times...

I almost gave up on it, but didn't. Give it a little bit of time, maybe the 1st episode and a half, and it gets there. To paraphrase George Zimmer, you might not have to watch a lot of episodes, but you'll get a lot. I guarantee it.

Tremendous George Zimmer reference.

I have a feeling Aaron is going to "George Zimmer" me from The Fix some time soon.

There is not a lot of enthusiasm for Gomez up here in Beantown, he's not getting the same support/coverage that Scott Brown did. For a Republican to win up here being a very good candidate isn't enough, you have to run against a Democratic candidate who loses the election.

Correct assessment.

I was saddened to see the annual Seersucker Suit day fall by the wayside. Just one more nail in the coffin of Congressional collegiality.

For me, every day is seersucker day.

I am a Republican so this may be biased. But could you or one of the other chat participants explain why Warner is so popular? I get why Kaine is, he has a good personality and is a very likeable fellow. I don't see that in Warner...

People in the state just really like him -- dating all the way back to when he was governor. He is, without question, the most popular/powerful politician in the state.

Is Charlie Crist pretty much a sure thing? I can't see too many people voting for Scott again!

Not sure it's  sure thing.  There are plenty of Democrats who don't want Crist -- which is evidenced by the attempt to convince Sen. Bill Nelson to run.

And Alex Sink, the former state CFO who ran against Rick Scott in 2010, might run again.

Reeves, Reeve, Cain,or Cavil?


You just mentioned AG Kamala Harris in the 2018 CA primary. I've always thought she was would be next up for AG if/when Holder leaves. Thoughts?

Maybe. But I think she would like to be governor whether or not she leaves the state for a few years to come to DC.

Why the seeming disbelief that Franken could win a second term? He doesn't seem to be doing a horrible job in his first... or am I missing something?

It has/had nothing to do with the job Franken did but rather to the fact that he won by an incredibly narrow margin in 2008. Usually people who win narrowly face serious challenges in their first re-election race. That's all.

Who else seeks the Democratic nomination? Not Biden. Not Cuomo (he can wait). No Gillibrand (ditto). O'Malley? Warren? Howard Dean?

O'Malley, I think. And depending on how O'Malley positions himself, maybe someone who is a favorite of the left....Feingold and Dean would fit that bill.

Do you really think that a candidate named after Ayn Rand could win the Presidency?

Folks, I am not saying Rand Paul is going to win the GOP nomination OR the presidency. What I AM saying is that dismissing him as just a clone of his father badly misses the boat.

How tough is Rubio? From his comically bad response to his current public appearances, he always seems like he just can't work without a simple script.

1.VERY talented speaker (the GOP response notwithstanding)

2. Has put a very talented political team around him

3. Embodies where the party needs to go to expand its reach in the Hispanic community.

What about veteran California politician John Garamendi? Isn't his rep still clean?

Maybe. But Newsom and Kamala Harris are major national stars....

Very sad about James Gandolfini. Did you see that Springsteen played the entire Born to Run album in his honor last night? Must have been awesome! I don't even have a question- just wanted to bring that up.

I didn't see that. Amazing.

Beyond the obvious that he is incredible smart and articulate, he also appears to be incredibly pragmatic - which is kind of refreshing conpared to some of the rest in congress who would rather die for their ideology instead of compromise and move on. He is Purple - which is what the state of VA is now


The scoffing and derogation from the lefties on this chat has already begun.


Note that he's an evangelical Christian. Lots of those folks voting in Republican primaries, and especially in caucuses.

Walker has a compelling case in Iowa and South Carolina...

Gift from Kraft to Putin, or Putin stole it?

Oh, stolen. Don't you watch "The Americans"? The Russians are crafty.

That's all folks!

Don't forget to mark your calendars...."In Play" debuts July 8!!!! 

See you next Friday. Same time, same place.

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.
Recent Chats
  • Next: