The Fix Live

Jun 28, 2013

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

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Good morning everyone!  It's been a pretty quiet week in politics, so not much to talk about.  Let's try to make it through the hour.


Two obvious problems for the immigration bill in the House: Few Republicans have any political reason to support it. Few Republicans like it on the merits.

Yes and yes.

People forget that the majority of Republican-held districtsare  less than 10% Hispanic, meaning that it won't impact them in the least if the GOP loses Latino voters forever.

Of course, as a national party, it will be hard to sustain that approach. And therein lies the rub.

It doesn't seem like Rubio has used CRI to launch a 2016 bid. Without that feather in his cap, he seems empty. Not sure why people still think he'd win a GOP primary.

Well, he does deserve some credit to helping to shepherd a bill to passage -- with the votes of 14 other GOPers -- that includes a pathway to citizenship.

Whether or not that bill has any chance of becoming law, Rubio was the critical player in the Senate and he delivered.

I think the politics are very complicated right let's see what the future hold as to whether this was a good, bad or neutral thing for Rubio's 2016 chances.

I predict that the 2016 Republican presidential nominee will oppose same-sex marriage, but will mostly avoid talking about it, except to: (1) Support a "states' rights" approach, opposing any national support for same-sex marriage. (2) Defend opponents of same-sex marriage against charges that they are "bigots."

Agree on alll fronts.

If you looked at the statements coming out of people like Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, they were very much focused on the need to return power to the states and much less focused on "traditional" marriage.

That turned into a Generic Democrat vs. Generic Republican race. And, shockingly, the Generic Democrat won easily in Democratic Massachusetts. In the end, it most closely resembled the Scott Brown / Elizabeth Warren race (of course, with much, much less public interest). Except in this case, the Generic Republican didn't have the advantages of incumbency, and had less convincing credentials as a moderate.

An excellent analyis. Agree on all fronts. Check out the piece Fix Sean wrote yesterday on the lack of special-ness in this year's special election:

Which Republicans in the House are willing to be point people on CRI?

That's Paul Ryan who has, behind the scenes been working to find common ground with Democrats.

We really haven't heard much from DeMint since he left the Senate, have we?

No, we have not.  DeMint made the calculation that he could have as much influence and as high a profile out of office as he had in the Senate.

To date, that doesn't appear to be the case. But we are only six months or so into that experiment.

Bold prediction time: What Senate race do you see being potentially close that isn't really on anyone's radar right now a la Johnson/Feingold in 2010, Allen/Webb in 2006, and Bunning/Mongiardo?

Not a lot of good options.

I'll pick Al Franken's re-elect race in Minnesota for the sole reason that he narrowly won in 2008 and there is a self funding GOPer in the race.

Any chance she decides to hang it up like Olympia Snowe? She did just get married.

Possible but I think unlikely. if she does, that immediately becomes Democrats' best pickup chance of 2014.

Gut -- running for president or not in 2016?

I think yes.  Here's why: If she has ANY desire left in her to be president (and I think she does), it's impossible to pass up a race where you start as such a clear favorite to be your party's nominee.

Does Graham get a serious primary challenge or not? Who has a tougher Democratic opponent in 2014 -- Tim Scott or Graham?

I keep waiting for conservative Republicans in the state to find someone really serious to take on Graham but it hasn't happened yet.

His support for the immigration bill may finally flush a contender into the open but remember this: Gragham is an absolutely terrific politician who knows the electoral danger he has put himself in. He isn't going to get surprised.

Either Udall in trouble? Does either have national potential?

Neither in trouble though I could see a case made for Mark Udall facing a tougher-than-expected fight next fall.

As for national potential, I don't see it. At least not yet.

What year will Democrats win statewide in Texas again? And what office -- A) president, B) governor, C) senator, or D) some other statewide office?

I think 2020 is the earliest the party can compete presidentially.

I could see a Democrat running somewhat competitively for governor in 2018.

Of course, if Republicans nominate someone really flawed then a Democrat can win...but a generic R vs a generic D is still the GOP's race to lose -- and will be for a while.

Are you a fan of Springsteen's song Red-Headed Woman?

Since Mrs Fix is a redhead, yes, big time.

What's the fascination with Warren running for president in 2016? I mean, the Democrats aren't gonna nominate another liberal academic senator from New England. I mean, we're dumb, but we're not that dumb.

Well, if Hillary doesn't run, then I think there will be a clear spot for a prominent woman to run. And Warren is the most prominent female politician not named Clinton I can think of. And she has demonstrated an ability to a) appeal to the liberal base and b) raise a ton of cash.

Gavin Newsom, Kamala Harris, Antonio Villaraigosa, and Hilda Solis all have designs on being governor of California. Who gets it in 2018? Do you see any primarying Barbara Boxer in 2016 or Dianne Feinstein in 2018 instead? Or I suppose primarying Jerry Brown in 2014?

Hard to say.

I think Gavin and Kamala are definitely in. Villaigosa definitely wants to run for something else.

And my guess is they will hope that DiFi decides to retire in 2018, so that they have two office to split...

And, no, they ain't primarying Jerry Brown next year.

Who is the next Republican Speaker after John Boehner (whenever he leaves)? Cantor? McCarthy? Ryan? Someone else?

If I HAD to guess I would say either Ryan or Cantor.

Massachusetts governor's race, Massachusetts Senate race, New Hampshire Senate race, or Fox News contributor in 2014?

Mass governor's race makes BY FAR the most sense if he wants to get back into public life...and I am not sure he does.

Who is more likely to be back in 2015? Are the odds in either one of their favors for re-election?

Landrieu.  Arkansas is very tough sledding for a Democrat. Even one with a golden last name like Pryor.

Please change your shirt or tie before your next TV hit today. It is brutal.

I got compliments on it!

Wendy Davis is impressive in interviews. She looks like the real deal. Why would Democrats run her now and lose instead of waiting a cycle or two when the demographics have changed more?

Agree. Like I said above, it's very hard to imagine aDemocrat winning the govenorship in 2014. I would circle 2018 if I was anambitious Texas Democratic politician.

Will the addition of OP2 (sorry; had to) give you some incentive to pay attention to the professional ball being played at Gallery Place this winter?


I love Otto Porter Jr and was thrilled he went so high and that the Wizards got him.  You have to root for the guy.

Loved the twitter political draft last night! Did you have a favorite? I have one- Martin O'Malley- "great motor, moving all the time. Great moving to his left but needs to work on driving to the center. A little unknown outside the hotbed of the Washington/MD area."

Thanks! I was home alone -- Mrs Fix was busy -- and Fix Jr and Fix III were in I was watching the NBA Draft and though "Why don't we have a political draft".

If you care, search for the #politicaldraft on Twitter and see all the cool (and funny) nominees.

The obvious questions. What are you drinking and listening to?

Water. (Been up since 6 am so have to hydrate)

New Vampire Weekend. Album is absolutely incredible.

I hear lots of comparisons between today's GOP and the Democratic Party of the 70s and 80s (party and candidates too ideologically "pure" to win elections). Clinton reversed the Democrats' fortunes and steered them toward the center. Is there a Clinton in the GOP who could do the same for them?

Christie? Rubio? Jeb? Rand?

I think all of them have, at least in theory, an appeal that extends beyond the traditional R base. The issue? Can any one them get through a Republican primary?

Dont really see how the bill makes it through the House. Boehner simply cannot pass it with a caucus that gives him headaches all the time

Unless he decides he is going for his legacy and retiring at the end of the 113th Congress...

I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

Can he even be relied on to whip the votes for immigration. He has had a hard time counting votes.

Well, he won "Worst Week" last week:

Dont really see why he is now feuding with Brock Lesnar. They are reaching

Punk is the best thing to happen to wrestling in the past 15 years. Lesnar is among the worst.

Who do you have on Sunday. Just cannot see Spain losing.


Though I was proud of how Italy played. I thought they asquiited themselves quite nicely and I am excited (or even more excited) for World Cup now.

Good replacement for Jon Stewart?

I say yes...though I had someone else in mind....wait for it...wait for it...Me.

Given your response to an earlier question about a Clinton candidacy, does she benefit from a primary battle or would it be better to have a clear path to the general election? And, by "better," I mean make her election more inevitable.

I think she would be helped by a semi-serious challenge from her ideological left in the primary to show general election voters that she is not a reflexive liberal.

Are you going to see Paul in a couple of weeks?

Nah. I only go to see "The Fresh Beat Band" live in concert nowadays.  

Great job hosting The Daily Rundown these last few days. Who was the guy you gave a shout out to at the end today?


A great guy who used to work on the show named John Bailey. It's his last day at NBC today because he is going to Duke Law School in the fall.

And, yes, I am well aware that there is a 50-50 chance John Bailey asked this question to get his name mentioned in my chat. If so, well played sir.

Could you ever grow a goatee that comes close to Chuck Todd's?

Never.  If I ever grow facvial hair, it's going to be something like this:

How are the subscriptions going?

I think pretty well!  I don't keep all that close tabs on it since I am really focused on getting "In Play", my new political show with Jackie Kucinich, launched! (Coming to a computer near you next month!)

But, I think well. If you haven't read my thoughts on the paywall, you can here:

Does the GOP have the muscle to keep him or Santorum-like candidates (religious, very right-wing, not a snowball's chance of winning the general election0 out of the primaries in 2016?

Keep them out of the primaries? No.  Anyone can run and my guess is the 2016 GOP field will be crowded.

But, for all the focus on the power of conservatives in 2012, Mitt Romney, who wasn't close to their first choice, wound up as the nominee. Ditto John McCain in 2008.

The conservatives in the GOP matter but they don't have a determinative influence on the identity of their party's presidential nominees.

How serious is he about running in 2016? He seems ornery enough to run just to spite the Clintons.

Well, he fits the profile -- someone with a committed following on the left -- who could make a case against Clinton. Russ Feingold might be another name you hear about...

Chris Cillizza : I think she would be helped by a semi-serious challenge from her ideological left in the primary to show general election voters that she is not a reflexive liberal. Those semi-serious challenges from the left can prove more problemmatic than expected . . . .

"Semi-serious" is the key. Barack Obama was a lot more than "semi-serious".

Is Carl Issa considered an embarrassment within the Republican Party?

Who is this Carl Issa you speak of?

Chris, rank these sports in the order that you'd like to be a pro in them in some hypothetical fantasy world. Your choices are basketball, baseball, golf, hockey, tennis, football, race car driver, boxing, billiards, & soccer.

From most want to least

1.Basketball (Obvs)

2.  Soccer

3. Baseball (season is too long to rank higher)

4. Golf/Tennis 

5. Billiards

And I would never drive a race a car, play football or box. No chance.

I agree that it is unlikely any 2016 Republicans will endorse same-sex marriage, or even the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. But they will have to find some way to show that they are not personally hostile to gays. How will they do that?

By emphasizing that:

1. The rhetoric needs to be toned down by some voices in their party

2. By emphasizing the need for states to make their own decisions.

Never mind. I get it now. Glad it's Friday. But doesn't Texas strike you as the sort of state that would have a President?


The Fix In Laws all live in Texas.  I love several things about Texas:

1. Rudy's  BBQ

2. Brahm's ice cream

3. Rudy's BBQ 

What's the juiciest general election matchup. HRC vs Rubio- we would either have the first women or first hispanic in office. Although- Jeb v HRC would be Clinton vs Bush again.

Oh, Jeb vs HRC. Epic. Clash of the titans.

Who you got? Should be a fun game Sunday.

I'll take Spain because of Iniesta and Xavi.

Soccer, tennis, and hockey players do unbelievably well with the ladies. Just saying. You might get your teeth knocked out in hockey and you travel a lot in tennis. Soccer seems like the best call. I mean, being rich and dating models while living in Spain seems OK...

Agree. Also the best paid.

I view myself as the Fernando Torres of political journalism. (And, yes, I understand that 10 people -- maybe -- will get that reference.)

the fact that john oliver is so good is a testament to the writing staff, yes?

And to the fact that he is really talented too. Having hosted some TV -- I have many leather bound books -- I can tell you that sitting in the anchor chair is no easy task.

If we were to put the Capitol under an invisible dome that bi-sected cows and cut off cell phone long before they would actually make decisions on the Debt Ceiling and Immigration?

Hollywood writers currently figuring how to write this into "Under the Dome" 2nd season plot.

Where is he now?


Saw him coming out of Penn Station, New York the other evening. Dude travels by Acela?

Apropos of very little, here's my fav song about Penn Station:

Does she turn into Ann Richards (wins statewide office in Texas) or Cecile Richards (head of national feminist organization)?

I think she would prefer the Ann Richards route since she is already in elected office.

It's like the stuff you usually listen too, but with fiddles and/or accordians instead of mumbling neo-hippes.

So true. Most unlikely Texas musician? Roy Orbison. Also, you would be STUNNED by how many musicians were born in Texas. It's remarkable.

What do you think of that tv show? I think It shows very accurately how DC works True? It's amazing

I can see you are new to the chat. I LOVE the show. Mrs Fix and I ordered Showtime just so we could watch it.

Nicholas Brody represented me in Congress.

Nice conversation this morning on how hard it is to turn the House around. Rep. Reichert wins in the WA-8 District because of a iconic video of when he was Sheriff during the WTO riots, of running up to a couple of anarchists and scaring them away while brandishing his nightstick. Also, the section of King County suburbs he represents has always been swing. It has Jennifer Dunn (R) there for awhile.

Yup.  Members who win seats that vote for the other party almost always do so because they have been able to distinguish themselves from their national party. They have carved out their own identity...and Reichert's role as King County Sheriif and his role in capturing the Green River Killer means people there know him as being more than just a Republican in Congress. 

How do DC reports best gauge the rest of the nation's interest in political stories during the summer of an off-cycle election year? This week *seemed* huge but do you think anything outside of SCOTUS rulings are resonating with the public?

SO hard to know. My general approach is to assume all of the things that seem like mountains in DC tend to be viewed as molehills by the broader public.

After this week, how eager are Democrats for her to challenge Mark Kirk in 2016?

She will certainly get lots of mentions...

Every Fixista knows your obsession with Rand Paul. After his gay marriage comment, maybe his stock finally will go down because, ya know, young people won't vote for anti-drone, anti-gay Republican.

Not obsessed at all. But, do I think Rand Paul is underestimated by much of the political establishment when they handicap the 2016 race? Absolutely yes.

Where has the Artist Formerly Known as Fix Felicia gone? The political world turns its lonely eyes to her.

She moved to China! Follow her on Twitter @feliciasonmez

I want to see her succeed as much as anyone, but the Democratic Party in Texas is more or less nonexistent. It seems there's a lot of work to do on the operational level in terms of laying a foundation before she can become anything other than Fort Worth's woman in Austin.

Absolutely agree. 2018 is the soonest a Dem can make a legit case to be elected governor, methinks.

Ok, folks!  Thanks so much for joining me! I will be off next Friday, July 5, but back at it on Friday July 12 at 11 am.  Tune in. 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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