The Fix Live

Aug 02, 2013

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

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Hello everyone! Congress is gone from Washington until September. How will you make it through this long dark tea time of your political soul? Two words: "In Play".

That's the new show Jackie Kucinich and I are hosting on Post TV.  Bookmark this link:

Who is more of a winner in the spat between Christie and Paul? Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz?

I think they, basically both win since they are competing for different elements of the Republican party at the moment.

I have heard a little chatter that Christie's willingness to go after a fellow Republican so quickly didn't sit well with some in the GOP community...

Hi Chris -- thanks for taking questions today. With the House Republicans appearing more dysfunctional by the day, have the odds that the Democrats could win in 2014 just increased? Or despite everything, will the Republicans hang on? Or maybe this is a more basic question -- will voters blame both parties evenly and so the status quo remains?

It's hard for Democrats because redistricting in 2010 made so many safe seats. Of course, national waves are possible -- 2006, 2008 and 2010 were all wave elections -- but it's hard to see a wave building this far out.

So, Republicans are likely locked into their majority -- barring such a major wave -- for much of the decade.

Nancy Mace is set to primary Lindsey Graham, do you sense that she is a real threat?

Yes. We are working on a piece for "In Play" today focused on the fact that Lindsey may be in real trouble now.

Remember that South Carolina has a runoff law. That means that if Lindsey can't get 50 percent in the primary, an increasingly likely prospect as the field gets more crowded, he has to face the second highest vote getter in a runoff.

In a one v one showdown, he could well lose.

Rubio is totally overrated. His one statewide victory was in a weird threeway race. His base is mad at him about CIR. You might've liked his RNC speech but he blew it in front of a more diverse audience with the water thing (which is probably the only thing most people even vaguely know about him thanks to late night TV). Even if you discount the SOTU response, you still have nothing to appeal to primary voters.

I agree that Rubio is a weak #1 in our GOP 2016 power rankings.

But, who should be there? Christie? Paul? Scott Walker? All have at least as many hurdles as Rubio to the nomination.

Here's our latest rankings:

He faces both a serious primary challenge and a hotly contested re-election campaign. How is that going to affect his role in the Senate?

Well, he won't be cutting any more deals with Joe Biden like he did opn the fiscal cliff at the end of 2012.

McConnell remains a favorite to return to Washington but his path got a LOT more difficult in the last 3 weeks or so.

But really, shouldn't the mascot be something like a Chihuahua? You know, it seems ferocious when there's nothing at stake, but it can easily be defeated by a bird like a Gulf Coast Eagle.

This hurts. Bad. And yet I have no comeback.

When I become emperor, the words "Dunk City" will be banned forever.

What's more likely--McConnell loses in the general or Graham loses in the primary?

Graham in the primary. I think he's in serious trouble.

Do you take him at his word that he's not running for president?


I wrote about it this week. My argument: ALL politicians say they aren't going to run until they decide they do. See Obama, Barack.

Snubbed again, eh? Maybe go with contacts for next year.

There must be a glasses-bias. it's the only explanation that makes any sense.

And, I am still waiting for the 50 most beautiful people (on the inside) list. I sure as hell better make that one.

When does it get posted (or Posted, if you will)? How long is each episode? When do the Team Chris and Team Jackie shirts go on sale?

We tape at 3.  Usually by 5 all of the clips for the day are up. We will broadcast live at 3 at some point soon-ish.

And, we are TOTALLY getting Team Chris and Team Jackie shirts made up.

Mark Pryor, he has to announce he is not running in 2014 right?

I think it's a real possibility, yes. The race was already hard before Rep. Tom Cotton (R) got in. Now, it's that much tougher.

A San Diego story? Or one with broader national ramifications?

The longer he stays in office, the more national a story it becomes.

He won in a wave year and didn't win again-people voted against a recall, not the same thing. He only won because of the Koch Brothers, but he'd be on an even (at best) fundraising field in a 2016 primary. Forget him as a serious contender, Chris.

I disagree. Say what you will about his 2010 win but beating back a recall with the entirety of the national Democratic establishment lined up against him was remarkable. And the fact that he looks like a strong favrotie to win nxt November in a D-leaning state like Wisconsin?

I understand people have very strong feeling about Walker. But you shouldn't let those feelings get in the way of the fact that the guy has built a pretty damn impressive political resume.

Obama's job approval has been falling slightly this summer. But there's no obvious reason why. The "scandals" have fizzled. The economy keeps growing, albeit slowly. Do you have an explanation?

Second term's hard for a president to sustain any extended period of popularity in a country thsat is so divided along party lines.

Could he decide not to run for re-election? Could he get a primary challenge? If so, from whom?

He could. I have heard some buzz about Sen. Pat Toomey (R) running but not sure if that is real or wwishful thinking by PA Republicans worried that Corbett could cost them the seat.

Corbett's numbers are abysmal. No question about that.

Who, if anyone, is going to be the social conservative of choice in 2016? And I know Santorum is headed to Iowa, but name a different candidate if he or she is out there.

Scott Walker.

On the off chance you were slumming it and actually taking the Metro, would you help deliver a stranger's baby?

For the stranger and the baby's sake, I would get as far away as possible.

There is such a thing as being too brash. It doesn't seem presidential. Who was the last winning presidential candidate who was the brash, tough talker?

Hey! We wrote about just that question on the Fix today.

I think Christie walks a fine line between brash and bully. Most of the time it works in his favor but I do wonder how his tough guy schtick would wear day in and day out in places like Iowa and South Carolina.

Where have you taken your talents this morning?

PostTV HQ.  It's all Ikea sleekness and creative energy.

My money is on the trio of Mike Lee, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz for bluffing about a government shutdown without counting the votes. Kevin McCarthy would be proud of their vote counting.

Who is your pic?  Tune into "Post TV" for answers!

Is he really still at the top of your list for getting the Republican nomination? Immigration seems to be a huge albatross around his neck, and I'm not sure that being relatively young and Hispanic are highly valued attributes among Republican primary voters.

See above. I agree immigration is going to be a problem for him. But who unseats him for the top spot? I couldn't make a strong enough case to justify moving Rubio down.

Hey Fix, love In Play! Question -- does ALG really have a chance in KY? Vs. Matt Bevin, sure, but vs. McConnell? What do you think?


I think ALG needs a lot of things to go right to win. Bevin needs to be real and spend real money banging on McConnell for the next many months.

And then she needs to be the ALG of her 2nd announcement for Senate, not her first. And hope that the McConnell attack machine hasn't dug up anything really good.

Differences and similarities between McConnell '14 and Reid '10. Go.

Reid actually started off in a worse place in terms of polls. BUT, there's no evidence that ALG is Sharron Angle.

There are way more similarities than differences between the two though.

Is Rick Perry 2.0 possible, or is he such damaged goods that Republican voters won't give him a second chance? It was really astounding the way he imploded last time -- he looked like an ideal Republican candidate (and potentially a good general election candidate) on paper.

I don't think so. But, he does.

Two polar opposite GOP candidates look like they'll announce a primary challenge to Lindsey Graham in SC. Sure, Lindsey's a good punching bag, but do you really think he's going anywhere? -Sam in Charleston

Runoff is the key.  

The more iudeologically diverse choices GOP primary voters have, the more likely it is that it goes to a runoff. And that is very problermatic for Lindsey.

Where are you, Who are you listening to? What are you drinking? What color is your parachute?

Slugged down a grande mocha. Now onto water.

Soundtrack: "Beast In Its Tracks" by Josh Ritter. My fav album of 2013 so far.

I don't parachute.

How can the Hill do this to you?

I have been asking myself that question for the last 72 hours.

Congress is on vacation? That must be a punchline. I didnt know they were actually working.


If Bob Filner were Mayor of NYC or DC, instead of only the 8th largest city in the country, he would be on the national news 24/7?

I think so.

Why does that sound like it's sposored by a breaakfast cereal?

Hey, if a breakfast cereal wants to sponsor us great! Fix Jr is a big fan of Crispix. I am more of a Great Grains guy myself.

Do you think McConnell is in any real danger? Lundergan Grimes has proven that she can win a statewide race in Kentucky... and she has fire in the belly, if this week is any indication.

Yes, he is. And he and his people -- to their credit -- know it.

Fancy Farm is this weekend. Must watch for people who love politics.

May I nominate Mich McConnell, who is 2 points below his democrat opponent oin the first poll?

You may.

Is there a credible Democrat who might run for the Lindsey Graham seat, basically hoping that he'll lose?

I was thinking about that this one that I know of but Democrats would be smart to find someone credible in the event Graham loses and a candidate with appeal to the center wins the primary.

Let him get suspended. What a complete fraud.

Agree. I am done with him.

Speaking of South Carolina drama, how much trouble is Nikki Haley in?

She has a real race and Vincent Sheheen, who ran in 2010, is a proven candidate.

That said, it's South Carolina in a  midterm election year.

How does the sound of Gareth Bale possibly going to Real Madrid strike you?

I just threw up in my mouth a little.

I have to think Pryor is going to retire and work on K Street, or is going to lose as badly as Blanche Lincoln. He's never had a tough opponent, has his own personal issues (divorce), and is getting incoming from all sides.

I think he saw what happened to Blanche and doesn't want to go down that road.  I would not be stunned if he decided not to run.

Does the fact the you want the job automatically disqualify you?

It's like Groucho Marx said: "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member"

Chelsea Vs. Roma at RFK. I will be there!!

So cool. Chelsea is going to be amazing this year.I am already depressed about it.

I am still waiting for the Fix Aaron shirts.

Team Aaron!

Now, now. A peevish attitude isn't going to endear you to the judges.

So true. I need to project magnanimity, which is tough for me.

What party are they? I'm only asking because I never see it mentioned in the news.

I see what you did there.

One big plus for him in 2016: pretty much every Republican faction can live with him. Economic & social conservatives both claim him. And the Republican donor class loves union-bashing.

Yup. And his fight against unions made him a national conservative hero.

I have to think Walker is safe for 2014 for a number of reasons. The dem bench is drained, any candidate thinking of running statewide would rather face Ron Johnson in 2016, and states like PA, FL, and SC will be much better targets to flip,

Dem bench in Wisconsin is remarkably weak for a state with such a strong progressive tradition.

Who's really hot stuff at this meeting? Is there any bipartisanconfabbing or do the Dems and Reps just huddle in their own corners and glare at each other? If they're in Milwaukee, somebody should be drinking beer.

Funny you should ask. Check out Fix Sean's curtian-raiser on what to watch for this weekend.

It's here:

Well, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan had pretty good second-term job approval (except for Reagan in 1987, which was dominated by Iran-Contra), although their days of legislative success were mostly behind them. Both men were presiding over much more vibrant economies than Obama is. (Worth noting that Clinton's high job approval bought him very little from a GOP Congress -- they impeached him, after all!)

Good point.

How about Gov. McDonnell's Daughter, who had to give back all those wedding gifts?

Your nomination has been received.

If Iowans can stomach Steve King's "brash and bully" persona, Chris Christie should be fine. At least in the NW part of the state.

Steve King agrees with Iowa Republicans on a lot more things than I think Chris Christie will. Just something to consider.

I'm intrigued by how well he seems to be holding up so far. He's a Democrat from Alaska who voted for health care reform and he's slightly favored to win reelection. I just can't wrap my mind around it. What's his secret formula?

1. His name is gold in Alaska thanks to his dad/him

2. He was the mayor of Anchorage before coming to the Senate so people feel like they know him.

3. Contested GOP primary

4. It's Alaska. The politics are just different there.

Alexandra Petri says we should stop speculating about 2016 and beyond. Your comments?

Never. Too. Early.

I am having bumper stickers made.

Not WWIW but wow, went from largest contract in sports history to most disgraced athlete of all time (sorry Lance, I think he took the title from you). What politician is the equivalant of A-Rod?

GREAT question.

Off the top of my head I would say John Edwards. Was at the top of his profession and now can't really even go in public.


Blocking questions about Anthony Wiener today? (HA). Does this affect Huma Abedin's being on her team if she runs in 2016?

I am just sort of done with him. I don't think he has any chance of being the next mayort of NYC so covering him now is for the pure salaciousness of what he has done/said.

As for Huma, who knows? I know the Clintons prize loyalty and she has always been incredibly loyal to them.

Who on earth is funding his campaign right now? They would be better off tossing their money into some other heavily polluted enterprise.

Sadly, he is. Why? I have absolutely no idea.

Does the Fix household have a favorite NFL team?

Grew up rooting for the Giants...

How do you watch games? Apparently there's a Fox soccer channel that shows games a lot but I don't get it.

Fox Soccer rules! Saturday and Sunday mornings I am all EPL all the time. Also subscribe to the "Men in Blazers" podcast. It rules.

do you think there's any truth to the whole "Mitt Romney didn't even want to run" story that's been excerpted in the WaPo?

Yes. Because Dan reported it. That dude doesn't get it wrong.

Hmmm, what party are Vitter, Craig and Foley?

I see what is happening here.

Cook has moved KY Sen to a toss-up! Still think Graham is in more danger? McConnell is in a tough spot already while there's no evidence Graham is, right?

I don't believe Charlie factors in losing in primaries. I still think KY is more likely to go D than SC. But I think Graham is less likely to come back to the Senate than McConnell.

When is the competition of Squirrel Chat coming back?

That squirrel chat won't be bothering us anymore.

Do you think he ever gets back into the arena, or is he done with elected politics?

RonJon challenge in 2016....

Shoo-in for re-election in 2014?

Yup. Real race will be in the D primary for gov in 2018. Gavin Newsom, Kamala Harris, Antonio Villaraigosa...going to be a good one,.

My co-worker went to Iowa last week. Should I be worried?

Absolutely.  Assume he/she is exploring a run for president. Only because people keep asking he/she to do so though not because of any sort of rank personal ambition.

New Republic has a profile of Luke Russert under this title. I thought you were the Golden Boy???

Son of a...

First the "Most Beautiful people" snub and now this.

Gary Hart (look him up, kids!) more than Edwards. Edwards lasted longer into the campaign but was never the favorite like Hart was. And he challenged the media to catch him, etc.

Good one.

"Risky Business". That is all.

Looks like Immigration Reform has killed him. Maybe he should win an actual statewide election.

Um, didn't he do that in 2010? 

Do you have any favorites that you would care to share?

Um, yes.

He's not top tier. The Bush name isn't as useful as you think, especially within conservative circles. Why give money to another Bush when Christie, Paul, and Cruz are out there?

We shall see. I think you understimate Jeb pretty badly.

What would you put the odds at at this point?


Not being coy.

Issue is whether they can win 3 of these 4: Alaska, Arkansas, Lousiana and North Carolina. And not lose Kentucky.

That's all folks. Make sure to check in on "In Play" this and every afternoon.  I think you will like. Link here:


Enjoy the weekend. And rememeber: We do this thing every 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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