The Fix Live

Oct 25, 2013

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

Follow @TheFix on Twitter.

Good morning everyone!

A slightly less busy week than the last one...which is nice. But still -- Gansler! Haydn! @NatSecWonk!

Soundtrack: "Magpie and the Dandelion" by Avetts

Drink: Grande latte (natch)

Let's make it rain.

Do you ultimately seeing this primary getting competitive?

Good question.

I can see Bevin getting to 40 pretty easily and maybe even 45. I have a far harder time seeing him getting over 50.

But, small primary electorates have a way of being very it's hard to know.

That said, the fact that McConnell involved himself in the debt ceiling/shutdown talks suggested to me that he is less worried about his primary than he might have been a few months back.

...and thought you might enjoy it:

Not funny.

And, I say again, Dunk City is not a real place. I checked the Florida map.

He was already an underdog against the Lt. Gov. Are his chances sunk with the recent reveleations?

Well, it certainly doesn't help. Like, at all.

If you haven't read my Gansler Worst Week" writeup, read it here:

When are you going to appear on Bill Maher or Alec Baldwin's shows?

When they ask me!

Who is the frontrunner for 2016 for the GOP right now? Jeb Bush is not an option.

Last time we did the rankings, we had Rand Paul #1, Chris Christie #2 and Marco Rubio #3.

If I did them today, I think I would put Christie at #1.

Here's the link to the last one:

Without making a joke about forgetting a third thing, what do you think would convince Rick Perry to run for president in 2016?

I think at this point it's about something convincing him not to run. From people I talk to, the general sense is that Perry knows he didn't run a good campaign last time but also believes the mistakes he made are fixable and he wants to run again.

Totally underrated. She might not lose the primary, but I can tell you that the Hillary cheerleaders drown out a decent segment of the Democratic Party (and not even the far left) that is ambivalent about her. Hard to tell in DC with all of the former Clinton people, but it's true. She's electable though and Democrats want results, unlike Tea Party Republicans.

Well, I am not there yet but I did make the case for an Elizabeth Warren candidacy in The Fix today. It's here:


The Senate bill, I think is, yes. I know the House Dems have introduced something similar but I don't see that passing a GOP House.

Of course, I do think John Boehner recognizes that the party needs to move on immigration and so he might find a way to get something piecemeal through the House.

French fries at a meal with real plates. Yay or nay to using a fork to eat them? I saw my dad do it and wanted to cry.

Absolutely nay.

What do you think of Doug Gansler's poor judgment. And I mean in responding to allegations, not the actual incidents which don't seem so bad but seem to be escalated by his responses.

His press conference yesterday was one for the ages -- and not in a good way.

If you missed it, you HAVE to read our recap of the best/worst quotes including this humdinger: "There could be Kool-Aid in the red cups, but there’s probably beer in the red cups."



Hi Chris, At this point it seems that Christie is the runaway favorite for the "Establishment" GOP candidate in 2016. My guess is that the more conservative/Tea Party favorites like Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, etc. once again split the competition letting Christie easily capture the nomination like Romney did in 2012. At this point the more conservative types will grumble and moan but eventually cave and back Christie against Clinton (or whoever) as the lesser of two evils. This seems to be the playbook over the last few election cycles, but do you think the GOP schism between moderate/conservative has gotten to the point where something truly different might happen this time?

Yup. I think that's why I would rank Christie #1 right now. Amnd stay tuned because we will be doing our 2016 Republican rankings next Friday on The Fix.

Is it true you are going to a Halloween party dressed as Fix Aaron?

I'm not handsome enough to pull that off.

I think you're a bit too deep into the importance of DC. Schweitzer would crush it in Iowa and NH with his personality. Democrats might not dislike Washington for the same reason as GOP primary voters, but they still are attracted to people speaking honestly and seemingly less politically.

I think you should talk to some people who were involved in the vetting of his Senate candidacy.

You consistently say you don't take sides in politics. Why did you tweet your agreement with Ezra Klein in his critique of the Obamacare site?

Huh? I thought Ezra made an intriguing argument. I retweet and tweets lots of interesting articles -- many of which I don't agree with and some that even savage me and my writing.

Should the AP have fired Bob Lewis?

Given the facts that have been made publicly available? No.

Bob made a miustake. A bad one. But it was not done with malicious intent. He simply got it wrong. To me, you fire someone when it's clear they had intent to harm. Otherwise, making a mistake is just that.

As someone who has read his work over the years, I have NEVER thought he was biased or was carrying water for one party or the other.

That said, AP hasn't talked publicly about why they reached the decision they did, so maybe there are facts there that i simply don't have access to.

What percentage of vote will he get? It's being a surprising campaign


My guess is he drops slightly going into election day because most third party candidates who are spoilers tend to follow that path.

People don't like to to throw their vote away.

Why has it gotten so much colder recently. I am already missing the warm weather.

Thanks for the question. Winter is coming.

Unfortunately someone this oblivious is going to be stubborn enough to think he still has a chance. I'm afraid we're in for more of him until he finally gives up.

Yeah. My guess is Gansler stays in a for a little while longer then beats a strategic retreat.

Moderate VA Republican here. Ready and prepared to vote for Sarvis even though I couldn't pick him out of a two-person lineup. Is there any chance the VA GOP gets their act together and runs Bolling/Tom Davis types that can actually appear to the ideological middle?

Let's see what the fallout from Cuccinelli losing is -- if, as polls suggest, he is going to lose.

There will be a big reckoning within the party after the election and a battle for power/direction.

Barbara Buono, I had to look up her name because I had no idea who Christie was running against... 2 weeks out of your election is a bad sign.

Correct. Christie is going to roll -- and that is just the latest good thing to happen to him in 2013.

Read this:

FINGER FOOD. Ask any three-year-old.

"CORRECT." -- Fix Jr.

I'm one of those people that thinks it's absurd that we don't let 18 year old adults make the decision for themselves if they want to consume adult beverages or not. That being said, If i'm an AG of any state, and my name is associated with underage drinking, that is a very bad week...



Is it weird that I plan my Friday mornings around your chat?

Nope. Totally normal. I plan my Friday morning around my chat too.

Rate against other famously twisted press encounters: Mark Sanford, Anthony Weiner, Larry Craig, Richard Nixon.

Right. GREAT question.

To me Sanford remains top of the charts. He was so emotionally raw, it was such a rare display of genuine humanity from a politician. I almost still can't believe it happened.

Here's our fill breakdown.

I partied with Larry Eustachy after Iowa State played in Columbia, and Doug Gansler is no Larry Eustachy. Doug Gansler isn't even a poor man's Larry Eustachy. He's a poor man's...wait, I can't think of any adult who would willingly hang with drunk high school students.


Please, please, please, when you put links in, put quotation marks at the beginning and end, so that the links actually LINK. It is annoying to always have to cut and paste your stuff. Thank you,

Ok, got it.

Is Cuccinelli pretty much toast. He pretty much will need a miracle, especially with the female vote.

It's going to be very tough. Polling has consistently shown McAuliffe ahead by high single digits for the better part of the last month. 

To change that sort of solidifying of the electorate, you need something big to move. And there's no sign that's happening -- at least not yet.

Um, if you're bad at your job even though you try hard-i.e., you have good intentions-you should still be fired. Funny to hear journalists close rank on this while writing stories about whether Sebelius should be fired.

I acknowledge as a fellow reporter I probably have more sympathy/empathy for Bob Lewis than someone who isn't a journalist. But this is a guy with decades of a good track record..

In Maryland, not Delaware.

That makes absolutely no difference.

You think he will get 7%....but this would be a great victory for libertarians, don't you think? And, as it has happened many times before, sends a message to the GOP (a decisive % of voters don't vote for people like cucinelli and that make them lose)

Not sure it's about Sarvis. Much more about how much people don't like McAuliffe and Cuccinelli.

French Fries + Mayonnaise = Awesome!!

So gross.

Mayonnaise is the absolute worst.

This guy deserves some consideration: Very proud time to be a Tarheel.

Yeah. Saw it. Absolutely brutal.

Does The Fix foresee a change up in the Dem leadership if they don't take back the House in 2014? Seems like we've seen the same faces and there's no real push for them to get out.

Pelosi has her job as long as she wants it. If she decides she doesn't want it anymore, it's a BIG fight between:

Xavier Becerra

Chris Van Hollen

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Steve Israel

Is a last minute endorsement likely and if so, to whom?

I doubt he endorses McAuliffe and there's no chance he endorses Cuccinelli...

I don't care that he was at a party were kids were drinking, but what I have not seen talked about and does REALLY bother me was he is taking a photo of a young women dancing.


What are the chances that a major GOP candidate will basically skip one of the first four primaries? Why would Christie ever visit Iowa, Cruz visit New Hampshire, etc when it seems pretty obvious they'd only get embarassed

I think more likely in 2016 than ever before. If I wads Christie, I would absolutely skip Iowa and focus on NH. That said, I think you need to either win or surprise in one of those first two states or you run the risk of turning into Rudy Giuliani in 2008.

In Boise, my in-laws mix ketchup, mayo, and some spice for their Fry Sauce. It's seriously gross, and you can buy it by bottled.

That sounds absolutely terrible.

The big four for the nomination in 2016 for Republicans seems to be, in no particular order, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio. Let's ignore Jeb Bush, for the moment. What dark horse candidate do you see as most likely to break through and surprise in 2016? Bobby Jindal has never recovered from his disastrous SOTU response in the minds of the establishment. Paul Ryan doesn't seem to have the fire in the belly. Nikki Haley is in a fight for her political life in South Carolina, while Kelly Ayotte seems to be gunning for #2 on the ticket. Scott Walker seems to be have potential, but he's also got a Tim Pawlenty-vibe as a Midwestern governor.

If you acceopt those at the top 4 (and I am not sure I put Cruz that high but it's absolutely defensible) then I think Walker is quite clearly the fifth serious candidate. Or Paul Ryan if he runs. 

My sense is that if Ryan wants it, Walker will defer to him.

Thought that Kathleen Sebelius had the Worst Week in Washington this week.

It wasn't a good week. But remember she has to testify on Capitol Hill next week...

I assume you will be road-tripping to Juniata this weekend for CUA's pivotal match with one of the Landmark Conference's two undefeated teams. Will the Cardinals be able to overcome the Eagles' suffocating defense (1.65 goals allowed)? (And will you be able to sneak off to catch any of the conference volleyball tournament, also at Juniata this weekend?)

A fair question.

The Fix back is in ROUGH shape and might not be able to withstand the 7 hour trip to and from Huntingdon, PA....

I couldn't quite figure out why McAuliffe was running for governor. It seemed like a job he wouldn't be interested in given his national background and a race used as a stepping stone, what? We have two great Democratic senators who he has no shot at challenging for Senate. But wait...his pal Hillary needs a running mate and nothing says great running mate like two very popular, centrist Democrats from the super purple state of Virginia. Which opens a Senate seat in Virginia, which opens the door to...McAuliffe. Mark it down - she picks one of our boys as her running mate (and I'd tip the hat to the one who speaks Spanish fluently).

Wow. That IS a conspiracy theory.

Is John McCain serious about running again for President? I believe no previous nominee for the Republican nomination could ever be nominated by Republicans in 2016..

No, no. He said he might run for REELECTION in  2016. People seem to have nfused that with him saying he might run for president again, which he didn't say and wouldn't do.

I never want to read the word MAYO in this chat again (vomit)

Agree. SO gross.

No Steny?

Sorry...should have clarified. I think Steny and Clyburn would either move up a notch or battle for the top spot. The race to replace one or both of them is the one I was referring to above. That's the battle for next Democratic leader in waiting.

I'm embarrassed to say that I plan my Fridays around Hax's chat and Chris just happens to be there when I hit the chat page.


I take back everything nasty I have said about your habit of calling the candy you drink "coffee." I love you, man.

I feel like we had a moment just now.

Is there any truth to the rumor that a generic Basset Hound is now polling 20% ahead of the PA governor....

What about the ficus?

I predict the Friday of Thanksgiving Week she announces she is leaving to spend more time with her family. Comment?

Obama is resistant to getting rid of people that the DC establishment thinks he should get rid of. But, if the healthcare webite doesn't start working some time soon, he is going to need to get rid of someone methinks.

Has redeemed himself nicely and is head coach at Colorado State. Would that Gansler looks so good ten years later.

Does he still rock the mock turtleneck? I am betting he does.

I am already excited for the 2016 republican nomination fight to begin. I agree with you that Christie seems like #1, because he occupies a space that no one else is in and because at least some Republicans may be concerned with nominating someone who could win a general election, I had thought that Rand Paul would be his chief opponent, but now it seems like Cruz, who is smarter and a little crazier in a way that will appeal to the Tea Party wing. Do you think it will come down to a Christie/Cruz battle? And won't that be epic?

I think could wind up as a Paul-Christie fight with Rubio in the mix as well.

I am still skeptical that Cruz can make it all the way to the nomination. Let's see if he can maintain his profile (and the energy he drives in the base) in 2 years time.

True or False: He would be up by 7-10 points if he were the nominee?

Hard to know. And the government shutdown would have hurt Bolling just like it hurt Cuccinelli.

One thing we do know: The race would have been MUCH more about Terry than Bolling.

Where are your talents going this weekend?

In search of a new back.

NBA predictions? I'm a biased Bulls fan but think they're deep enough to knock off Miami and beat...? Maybe the Clippers? What do you think?

Give me the Pistons as a dark horse. I love me some Greg Monroe. And Andre Drummond is a monster in waiting.

What's your take on the monument's scaffolding/lights? Should it stay or go?

I love the lights.

Great. Now I gotta go pee.

ALways looking out for number one. I bet you're a real whiz.

If Christie could make it through the primary, he could do well in a general (as independents could be swayed by his pragmatic/moderate views). I don't see an easy time for him getting through the primaries in tea-party-rich states like Iowa. His is really a Northern Republican, not a Bible-best Republican

Here's the path.

Win NH

Win Florida.

Hope a state like Michigan (or some other Midwestern, western or northeastern state) moves up in the process.

I was surprised to read that he hasn't been making a lot of appearances recently. Is this so in the bag that he can coast? How worried are VA democratic insiders about turnout, which seems to be the one thing that could possibly stop him?

They would insist he is appearing all over the place!

But, yes, they are limiting what he says to the press for a simple reason: He is ahead and they don't want to do anything to screw that up.

Cuccinelli would be doing the same thing if the roles were reversed. It's the four corners strategy.

If I have a meeting and miss The Fix live Chat I feel like I did in elementary shcool when I missed out on something at recess. What does this say about me?

That you are a truly great American.

Two Wisconsinites...Paul Ryan and Scott Walker. We should not forget about them. Plus Republicans do tend to pick the next in line over and over again...Paul Ryan as VP candidate last time would be next in line.

Agree. I think people (me included) underestimate Paul Ryan a bit.

Aaron's carrying the flag for all of us Midwestern guys with boy next door charm. If he fails, we all fail.

I don't think you are underestimating the stakes.

Clearly, you did not grow up in a household influenced by French food. No lightly charred hamburger should be eaten without mayonaise and everyone everywhere should have the opportunity to eat a fry dipped in garlic mayo. Love the mayo scene in Whole Nine Yards, though.

I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Note to all politicians- remember everyone has a cell phone camera and can take a pciture of you at any moment. Just ask Prince Harry and his naked pool buddies.

Correct.  When I go out in public, I am CONSTANTLY mugging for the camera.  No one ever takes a picture though.

You need to go to Germany and see that Doctor that has treated the likes of Kobe, Tiger and I think Peyton. He seems to have a track record in making people feel young.

While I am there I could go see Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund play too!

The Hayden twitter story deserved some love! But I guess it ran into its own Dunk City in Doug Gansler...

Nice Dunk City reference.

And, yes, in any other week either Michael Hayden or @natsecwonk would have run away with it. Stiff comp this week.

They have Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings. There is absolutely no way they're winning it all or even getting close. Are you available to join my next poker game?

I like Josh Smith! Brandon jennings, less so.

I'm already seeing that he's right wing in a moderate's suit. In a national election, wouldn't that be a large hurdle? Not that there's a moderate who could actually win the nomination, of course.

I think his much bigger problem is winning the Republican nomination at a time when the tea party conservatives have significant influence over the direction and strategy of the party.

Note to ex-directors of NSA...

Like when Saul Berenson gets told that the strike on 6 terrorists is happening in the atrium of the CIA. Um...

That's for this week folks!

I leave you with 15 minutes of scintillating singing by Jason Isbell:

Remember, 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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