The Fix Live

Oct 18, 2013

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

Follow @TheFix on Twitter.

Good Friday morning. What a week.  Chances of me falling sleep while sitting at my desk this afternoon: 50-50.

Dirnk of choice: Grande mocha

Soundtrack: This --

Let's do this thing.

Did anything interesting happen this week?

A monumental week in American politics and governance. I think we will be talking about the 16-day shutdown -- and its political impact -- for a very long time.

I was shocked that the GOP and Susan Collins brought the President a proposal that dinged Obamacare, cut spending all the things Obama has spent a year saying he would not accept. Then they voted AGAINST lifting the debt limit cleanly. Do the past Obama compromises hurt him now in getting them to come to the table with honest offers?

I think Republicans expected Obama to give more as the shutdown went on and the debt ceiling approached.

He didn't.  

Hey, you might want to tune in to ESPN's Midnight Madness coverage tonite. They're going live from FGCU in Fort Myers.

I hate them so much. Dunk City is NOT a real place.

What can be done to keep Pumpkin Spice Latte on at Starbucks after Halloween. And btw, where the sponsorship deal with Starbucks for this chat?

I keep waiting for Howard Schultz to email me and offer me a sponsorship. Maybe he is misspelling my name so the email isn't going through. Yeah, that's the ticket.

As for the PSL: I believe you CAN order it all year round. You just have to have a barista friend. (And, yes, the people at the Starbucks near WaPo know me by name. That's what you get when you spend $10K there a year.)

Is the Hastert Rule now completely done since Boehner has now ignored that rule for at least 4 votes.


We even did an obit for it:

Today Carolyn recommended watching Friday Night Lights to a letter writer who was struggling with marriage issues. Was there some kind of Freaky Friday switcharoo last week?


Bob Filner, he went from just a creepy old man to pleading guilty to a felony.

Good one.  Other nominees?

Is it obvious that "Worst Week" went to Ted Cruz?

Not obvious to me...Watch this:

Cory Booker..... He is going to the Senate.

Oooh. Intriguing.

Do you think blogs like The Fix blow stuff out of proportion to fill the news cycle, thriving on or creating conflict to do so, or that the "nonpartisan" media is above criticism?


Ted Cruz almost certainly will run, so is there room in the field for two Texans?

I think we are going to find out.

Time to write him off for 2016. He has no juice left.

Not sure about that. I don't think he hlped himself any on immigration  but it's a really long time between now and when voters start paying attention to 2016.

And Rubio is still one of the most talented and charismatic candidates in the GOP field. Or the Democratic field.

Mr. Smith. He came here thinking that one man with integrity could change the world. Now he's just another has-been at the bar.

Does that fact that ~500 out of 535 people in Congress hate him and would love to see him out of a job have any bearing on his inevitable run for President? (Asked another way: If you have an approval rating of less than 10% in a body that itself has an approval rating of less than 10%, is that good or bad for your political career?)

It has some bearing. I think the party establishment still  matters  and when that establishment LOATHES you it can be a very bad thing for your chances.

That said, I think Cruz has a following outside of Washington and will be able to raise money online. He needs the establishment less than most people who are planning to run for president.

According to reports, Brian Schweitzer is seriously considering a run for President even if Hillary runs. His chances of getting the nomination are probably slim, do you think he's trying to raise his profile for a potential VP nod? If not, why is he doing this?

He wants to be president is why he's doing it.

And, no, I don;t think he winds up as VP. Look at how his consideration of the Senate race played out. That's not exactly a confidence building exercise is Schweitzer.

Do you get the sense that Christie is looking better and better these day in positioning himself for 2016?


He was one of my winners from the shutdown. Check it:

Have you had the pumpkin cream cheese pastry or whatever snappy name it has? Weird name, but scrumptious.

I am a BIG fan of the pumpkin scone. It's so good it must be terrible for you.

Why are you not covering what the RCMP is doing to the Natives in NB. It is against their human rights... and Since when does the Canadian RCMP work for Texas Oil corps... ??? Get with the real issues and become an honourable man Chris,.. and remember .. we all stand in our own liability,... do what is right for Humans worldwide

There are so many acronyms I don't know in this "question".

Any reaction to Charlie Cook moving 14 seats towards Dems in his ratings today? (Or moving WV-3 to tossup from Lean D?)

Republican did near-term damage to their brand. Question is whether they can fix it in the next year. And I don't question Charlie's calls; dude is good.

I guess the competition was too much to be going up against Hax chat. Are you still answering relationship questions?

Hax asked that I be moved back to 11. Things got a little too heated.

She is the LeBron figure. I am the KG figure.

What was the untold story of how you drove Dana Milbank from his chats?

Two men entered. One man left. That's all I am legally allowed to disclose.

What is Cruz's goal? Your post this morning pointed out he can't win the presidency

To be the new face of the GOP and to re-orient the party to first principles again. Also, to be the Republican nominee for president in 2016.

So exactly how do you tell 800,000 people it's time to get back to work -- after 11:00 PM the night before?

The Office of Management and Budget sends them an email of course!

I know the GOP is obsessed with Obamacare, but after another defeat why don't they turn to something like deficit reduction or balancing the budget? Is it because they know Obama's doing a pretty good job in those area, or have they lost the ability to move on multiple fronts?

I am taking this as a subtle Mario Balotelli reference. If so, well done sir/madam. (

I think that focusing on the problems of the Obamacare rollout is actually smart politics by Republicans. What's not smart is linking Obamacare to keeping the government open, which they just spent the last 2 months doing.

Is all the enviable next Pres. Clinton worry the Clinton folks? It seems a little Groundhog Day ish. I am guessing the next Prs. Is a non-DC insider See: Christie, Jindal, Walker, O'Malley, and apparently Schweitzer.

The inevitability narrative can help keep other candidates away from the race but, if someone formidable gets in (see Obama, Barack), it can become an anchor around the frontrunner's neck.

I don't see someone with the upside (NBA Draft homage)of Obama in the current 2016 field but who knows. People catch fire. That's what makes these races interesting. 

Of course your generous WaPo expense account most certainly covers this. I'm surprised you only hit $10K.

True. I just give them a $100 bill everytime i go in and tell them to keep the change. I also wear a top hat, sport a cane and have a monocle in one eye.

A little insider here, but NRCC and NRSC.

Yup. Not great weeks. And really nothing they could do about it. Best thing for them? It's October 2013 not October 2014.

Chris Christie ought to be a shoo-in for reelection as Governor of New Jersey, but I wonder if tea-party types won't be funneling campaign funds his way because of his more moderate-Republican views?

They might not. But Christie is going to win going away in NJ next month. And he will have plenty of NYC big money people on his side in 2016. I don't think money will be his problem.

How much does Ted Cruz care about what the GOP establishment thinks? (a) Not at all (b) Not even the teeniest little bit (c) Nuh-uh


The guy who got to control the shutdown clock on cable news, what will he do now?

Wait....the shutdown clock will be needed again.

Do you have a link to any very recent polling on Ted Cruz in Texas, such as whether people would vote for him again for Senate if the election were held tomorrow? I know that nationally, he's not popular, but I'm wondering whether that matters, as long his voting base adores him (true for any politician, of course). Thanks.

Um, they would. Texas is among the most conservative states in the country (still) and attacking President Obama and Obamacare is good politics in the state.

Last week the missus and I drove straight north from the tip of America's Wang to the Carolina mountains. As the temperature dropped, my fabulous mountain-born wife began craving pumpkin spice. We tried a Quik Trip latte, but it was only a diversion. Finally we hit the mother lode: at Ingles Supermarkets (American Owned! says the neon) in NC, you can get a Starbucks P.S. latte on the way in and buy fresh-baked pumpkin spice muffins too. Even though it's still 85 degrees back here at home, it smells like autumn.

This brings me to something I have been thinking about lately: It needs to start getting colder. It was 75 in DC yesterday. I need it to be in the 50s -- crisp and cool -- to truly enjoy the PSL.

An avowed advocate of pumpkin flavor in your latte, how do you feel about pumpkin beers? If a fan, any favorites? If you haven't had any, why the hell not?

BREAKING: I am not a beer guy. Or wine. I am something of a teetotaler. 

Don't act surprised.

2010 they nominate Carl Paladino, now they want Donald Trump... Is it time the state GOPmjust say "ok, we are pathetic, we are folding"

NY GOP is a disaster. Which reminds me, we need to do a "10 best state parties" and "10 worst state parties" for Fix.

Looking at the list of conferees chosen to come up with a solution before the next national fiscal impasse, I am not hopeful that we won't be on the same crazed carousel come January. Any chance this group comes up with a workable plan?

Read this:

Did the Houston Chronicle take back hurt him at home?


US winning the other day was great vs Panama. Too bad it also assisted Mexico.

AMAZING game. TWO goals in penalty time. Sir Alex would have been pleased.

Assuming he wins, what are the odds of a Clinton/McAuliffe ticket?

Is there a number less than zero?

And cruz is not anywhere near the whitehouse. Does he become a 1 termer?

I can't imagine he would stick around. Maybe governor in 2018?

The most ignored story in the shutdown was the complete disappearance of Joe Biden. No GIFs, no memes, no nothing. Can we assume this was Hillary's doing or was he just furloughed?

Whoah whoah.  I give you Joe Biden, the Muffin Man:

Last night on Hardball, Chris Matthews was asking people if they considered the Tea Party part of the GOP or its own party. Even a Republican representative (admittedly not a TP member) said he thought they were. If anything, it seems these past two weeks served to highlight very real distinctions between the two. From articles I have been reading in your paper, it seems some businesses want to run folks (conservative R's) against the far right TP folks--and many of the "regular" R's worry about being 'primaryed". Do you think there might eventually be a split where one group or the other splits from the other and they end up creating a third party (at least through one election cycle) and we see people identified on the ballot as "Tea Party" candidates?

A MAJORITY of Republicans said the tea party is not part of the Republican party. READ:

My kid is a Political Science major at FSU and is heading out to Clemson today. So what is your prediction. I hope Clemson doesn't look past FSUtoward the big showdown next week with the Terps.


RCMP = Royal Canadian Mounted Police; NB = New Brunswick

Thank you. If it doesn't have to deal with shutdown/debt ceiling/field hockey/new Avett Brothers album, I am woefully out of the loop.

Aha! I knew you were Mr. Peanut!

My secret identity revealed...

Who is the most powerful politician in Washington other than Obama at the minute?

Harry Reid

If 2016 ends up as Christie v. Clinton, which looks increasingly likely, would not Clinton's decades in DC be her biggest liability against someone as anti Washington as Christie? (Or any GOP governor for that matter)

Yup. That's a great matchup -- on paper -- for the GOP given what I expect will be an electorate that still hates Washington and everything in it.

Can he beat Hillary in a head to head match-up if he remembers to bring enough muffins for every single person in Iowa/New Hampshire/South Carolina?

Ah, God bless ya.

And, no.

Isn't the real question, how much pain can the Republican establishment inflict on Ted Cruz? Can't they render him powerless, especially with money from business interests supporting the GOP establishment?

They didn't render him powerless over the last few months...

I think the idea that the "establishment" -- in either party -- is all powerful is a remnant of an age that has passed. 

Ron Paul raised $50 million to run for president. And not a dollar of that came from the "establishment".

How are you posting on your FB account at the same time you are doing this chat? Or is that The Fix minions at work?

I can juggle many balls at once. 

Not really. But I can type and then click a new window and post something to Facebook.

Your take on Tottenham the rest of the season and your prediction for their final place in the table. Go.

3rd. We make Champions League. Bill Simmons changes the "Ewing Theory" to the "Bale Theory".

Also, Arsenal stinks.

So here I am, an non-essential Fed and soccer nut, and they schedule this stupid shutdown during an international week! I could be watching Arsenal and Chelsea, but all I get is England vs Montenegro. Yeah, the two US stoppage time goals over Panama were cool, but still, a desert, I tell ya. Still, glad to be back.

Agreed.  Kind of a boring week -- the international break leaves me cold.

They are called negative numbers. Math yo!


You have been a prolific writer this week! Every day there was a new analysis! Wonderful! I hope the WP realizes how much work they get out of you and compensates you accordingly!

Thanks Mom!

Was Ken Cuccinelli's campaign hurt by the shutdown?



You DON'T suck.



Is this finally the backbone we've been hoping for? What made him stick to his guns this time around?

I think he truly beliebed that what republicans were doing was wrong. Watch his speech from Thursday again. He's pissed/annoyed. He feels this one.

As a NYer all my life, we've seen this playbook for him since the 1980s... a) someone floats the idea that he'll run for Mayor of NYC/Gov of NY/POTUS b) he goes around saying how much better than X he is, brag some more c) gets a little buzz in the papers d) after the buzz, he decides he's too busy to run for Mayor of NYC/Gov of NY/POTUS It's all about inflating his ego. That's why the 2011 WHCD was interesting - for probably the first time, he actually was in the room while POTUS/Myers mocked him to his face

This meets the "1 Donald Trump question a year" quota for the Fix chat.

So we're not getting your undivided attention?


You have a FB page? Really? How can we find it?

Piggybacking on that last Hotspurs question, do you harbor any harsh feelings towards the 100m Injury Man? Also, Come on You Gunners!

The way it played out annoys me.

Arsenal (and its fans) are just the absolute worst.

I read The Fix first in the morning. Who/what should be my second and third views (now that Nate Silver is gone to ESPN)? And since we're talking about addiction, do you believe Oreos are as addictive as cocaine (per a recent study)?

I'd read Maggie Haberman and Alex Burns at Politico, whatever Peter Baker and JMart write at NYT, the WaPo political posse and Neil King Jr at WSJ.

At this point it has to be Denver vs. Seattle (maybe the Saints)

Denver vs San Francisco.

I have ultimate faith in the Harbaughs. Also, I have Kaepernick on my fantasy team and need him to start playing well.

Remain Speaker?

At least through this election.

Do you think that the shutdown will have any actual impact on how people vote in 2014?

I have no idea. I think a lot depends on what Republicans do -- and choose to focus on -- between now and then.

Dear Carolyn, Fix Aaron acts like a jerk on Twitter. What can I do to get on his good side?

He does? Fix Aaron is a really nice guy so maybe you just caught him on a bad any day after the Vikings played. Or the Twins. 

The American taxpayer. THIS is the government we're paying for? Sheesh

We get the government we vote for. This is ultimately on us, not the politicians.

A little straight talk, my friend.

What about Arsenal fans who are also fans of The Fix? Still the worst? And are they really any worse than people who roots for either club from Manchester? I sense a deep Arsenal anger in you, young Fix-walker.

I CANNOT stand the Gunners -- and yet I love Wenger. Weird, I know.

And rooting for Man City is bad. I am ok with Man U. I like Rooney.

The Americna People are a forgiving sort. How long before the Shut down is ancient history and no one cares about what went on with it? One month? This assumes we don't have anotther one before Novemeber but will it have any effect on the election cycle?

That's the big question at the moment. As I said above, I think a lot of how much the shutdown matters is tied to what happens between now and next November.

It's increasingly looking like a Democratic sweep in the Nov. elections in Virginia. Will the narrative still be that Virginia is a national bellweather, or will the narrative be more about the polarizing Republican candidates?

Some of that might depend on the margin in the gov race and if Dems win LG and AG too.

If McAuliffe wins by 8-10 AND Dems win downballot then I think there will be a lot of talk about Virginia being a very good sign for Democrats. 

It it's a more mixed result, it's harder to see that narrative emerging.

Then you can't complain Chris....

I don't complain, I observe.


The hard truth is that the Democrats need younger, healthier Presidential candidates. Both Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton have had major health scares, plus if either were to win in 2016, by the time their first term ended in 2021 (if they lasted that long), they'd be 78 and 73, respectively -- never mind any possibility of running for a second term.

I wonder if anyone -- Martin O'Malley? Brian Schweitzer? -- explicitly or, more likely, implicitly makes that argument in 2016.

Is Paul Ryan voting "no" the other day any different than then Sen Obama voting against raising the debt ceiling? Seems to me both voted no as a statement, knowing that there were already the votes needed to avoid default.

Agree. I also think Ryan is still thinking about running for president in 2016 and "no" was the safe vote seen through that lens.

That's it for today, folks! Remember we do this thing ever Friday at 11 am. Spread the word and see you next week.

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: