The Fix Live

Nov 01, 2013

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

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Good morning everyone!  

IBefore we get started:

Soundtrack: "The Way We Move" by Langhorne Slim

Drink: Grande Mocha

Food: blueberry oatmeal

Let's do this thing.

In the end, do you think McDonnell's problems hurt Cuccinelli? I thought polls had McDonnell rebounding. Why not have him out campaigning with the Cooch? At this point, it can't hurt? Time to throw some hail marys.

They didn't help.

I think the GOP brand is damaged in nationally and in VA and that made Cuccinelli's task that much more difficult.

That said, Cuccinelli struggled to change the subject from his own positions on social issues and didn't run nearly as disciplined a campaign as McAuliffe did.

In recent years, we've seen several states drift politically. Virginia, for example, has elected three Democratic senators since 2006 and a Democratic presidential candidate in 2008 and 2012. It's gone from a red state to a purplish-blue state. Over the next decade, what states do you see shifting their political orientation in the same manner?

Good question!

I wrote about this right after the election.

Here are the 10 closest sates by margin:

And here are the next 10 closest states:

I think GA is quite clearly moving toward Democrats. Minnesota is a surprisingly swing-y state for one that Democrats alsmost always win.

Do Democrats have a chance in the Georgia Senate race, or just a red herring?

Yes, if Republicans nominate Paul Broun or, maybe, Phil Gingrey.

This Missouri 2012 or Indiana 2012 all over again.  The Republican SHOULD win ina  GOP-leaning state but if the party nominates someone who is a favorite of the base but can't appeal to the middle, they could lose.

If you had to take a guess, what three issues do you think will animate the primary electorates of both parties in 2016 besides a generic economy/jobs message?

Good question!

I think unions/labor will be a major divide within the D party in 2016. For Republicans, health care will "animate" them most but I think the broader fight over pragmatism vs principle will continue at least that long.

If Republicans don't win back the Senate in 2014, do you think that means McConnell never becomes majority leader?

2016 and 2018 are far worse -- in terms of raw numbers of seats -- for Republicans than 2014. So, it would be very hard to see a GOP Senate majority in those years if they can't get to it next November.

Seriously? Are we somehow shocked that teenagers were drinking? Are we really so puritanical to be scandalized by that? Here's a clue, parents -- not only are your teenagers occasionally consuming adult beverages, there's a good chance they're engaging in premarital sex and/or experimenting with marijuana. You know, kind of like a lot of you all did when you were that age.

1. I am not the top law enforcement official in a state.

2. I am not running to be governor.

If he loses on Tuesday, what's his future in politics? Can he turn around and run against Mark Warner for the Senate in 2014? Primary challenge to Frank Wolf (or attempt to nudge him into retirement)? Or does he go the way of past Virginia gubernatorial losers... nowhere.

Good one.

I don't know but I find it VERY hard to believe Cuccinelli is done running for office.

Running against Warner is a fool's errand. He is too popular to beat. Primarying Wolf -- or waiting until Wolf retires -- is an option.

More likely to run for reelection in 2016: 80-year old John McCain or 83-year old Chuck Grassley?


Do you foresee the laws in Kentucky and Florida being changed so Rand Paul and Marco Rubio can run for both senator and president if need be?

My guess is yes. If past is prologuem, friendly state legislatures tend to that for favorite sons. 

What kind of future does E.W. Jackson have in Republican politics? :-)

Good one.

I already asked Aaron, but figured the Fix himself should weigh in on such an important question. When Christie runs for president, does Bruce Springsteen allow him to use one of his songs for the campaign? If so, which one does Christie pick?

I don't think he does.

If he did, "No Surrender" or "Born to Run".

She's the frontrunner. Top tier opponents are unlikely to jump into the primary because of her dominance in the polls, desire to win in 2016, etc. But this was similar to the situation Gore faced in 2000. And the media nitpicked him to death. Are there any fears the same thing could happen to Clinton?

Sure. But is anyone more ready for that than Clinton?

Does Obenshain pull it out? If not, does that provide an opening for the return of Tom Davis in 2017?

I think if Cooch loses by 7+, Obenshain probably loses.  And that means a D sweep, which opens the door for the more moderate wing of the party (Davis, Bolling etc) to try to reassert themselves.

Why all the lefty love for Elizabeth Warren in 2016? She's not a good candidate.

1. She is the populist that Democratic base voters always wanted Obama to be

2. She raised a massive amount of money for her 2012 race

Over/under 60% for Chris Christie in his reelection bid?

If he gets to 60, that is absolutely amazing. The last Republican to get over 60 was Tom Kean Sr in 1985!

I think he will get bored very quickly in the senate. What percentage do you give Booker running for Governor of NJ in 4 years?

I think he runs for president at some point between 2016 and 2024. I think if he wanted to run for governor, he would have done it in 2013.

The media is way overplaying the "Obamacare cancelled my policy" story. This happens every year in thousands of companies across the country. It's called open enrollment season. Policies change, prices change, everybody has to make their choices for the upcoming year. Get over it already.

Here's the problem: when you say and say and say and say that if you like your plan, you can keep it and then it turns out that, at least for some people, that's not true, it's a big political problem.

Kathleen Sebelius. Not only she is making a very strong case for Worst Week in DC, but she is making a late push for Worst Year in Washington.

It's not been a good week. But, I think there is one person who had a wors-er week.

If the Cooch loses on Tuesday, is it more of a statements that Virginia has now officially moved from a center right/purple state, to a solidly center left state, or does it say more that Cuccinelli is just a very flawed candidate for the year 2013?

A little of both.

And a testament to the fact that campaigns matter. McAuliffe, no matter what you think of him, has run a very disciplined effort and he and his team deserve a huge amount of credit for that.

If the early tidbits are the best bits, all I have to say is, "what a boring election." Just not much of interest there, at least in terms of surprises. What a difference it makes when you don't have an election in the middle of an economic meltdown and no one has invited a dim narcissistic opportunist onto the ticket.

Well, we all knew/know that 2012 wasn't 2008. A 2008 election comes along very very rarely.

Still, I am looking forward to Double Down.

Which model does he follow: Hillary Clinton's ease into the august body of Senators with all proper respect or Ted Cruz's march in with six-guns blasting every target?

The former. I think Booker is quite cautious as a politician...and fitting in is his goal right now.

What's your take on the 4 senate races in AR, LA, GA, and KY?

In order of likely R pickup





It's clear that the leader of one wing of the Republican party is Chris Christie. But who is the leader of the other wing at the moment? Apart from inheriting his father's supporters, does Rand Paul have any advantages over Ted Cruz? And is Marco Rubio now caught in no man's land between the two wings of the party?

Rubio is stuck in the middle at the moment.

I think Rand is more a libertarian/conservative while CRuz is a much more tea party conservative.

I also tend to think that Rand has more staying power than Cruz since, for one, he is not openly hated by everyone in the party establishment.

When are you going to do a West coast PnP?

I would LOVE to take Politics and Pints on the road. Just need a sponsor, a bar and a crowd!

There are many Americans, you think it is silly that 18-21 year old (which I think most at the party were) are expected to act like adults in every way except consuming alcohol. However, if you are AG, you don't get to decide which laws you like and which you don't.


Jay Carney, every day since Oct. 1 he's been forced to defend the O-Care rollout. Impossible.

Well, that's his job...

I think he hits 62...there's just no love for Buono

That is a REMARKABLE number if he gets there.

Too bad you don't include Canada. When your lawyer has to use the it may have been pot, not crack defense, Rob Ford has to win it somewhere.

I mean....

Were there cute costumes for the youngest Fixes last night?

Fix Jr: Firefighter

Fix III: Pumpkin

Mrs. Fix: Witch

My family rules.

You are right. I expected McAuliffe to make at least three tremendous blunders during the campaign and he has not. I should have bet the under.

Yes. He deserves credit. He has reined in his "Terry-ness" remarkably well during this campaign.

Just finished binge watching Friday Night Lights (on the Pivot channel). I actually cried when I realized I was recording the last episode. Never wouldl have watched it without your recommendation. Oh, and thanks for The Fix. It's the first thing I read every day. And this is not your mom.

Mrs Fix and I left the series finale on our DVR for more than a year because we coudln't part with the show.

And, I think about this Coach Taylor quote almost every day.

"I said you need to strive to better than everyone else. I didn't say you needed to be better than everyone else. But you gotta try. That's what character is. It's in the try."

I hope they will address the speech that Clint Eastwood made to the empty chair at the Republican Convention. It was a moment that stood out for me in its simple inanity.

Oh, I am SURE they will.

Rep. Mel Watt, who was humiliated to a historical level by the Republicans.

Good nominee. But not my winner.

If the WWIW winner is anyone connected to Obamacare, it's got to be the President himself, because of the "you get to keep it" promise. He has got to explain why it's not true. But I frankly think that Cuccinelli is the better choice because the campaign is crashing.

You're getting hot...

One is your own answer, "I am not running to be governor." I get that the idea behind it and it's the easiest way for a reporter to defect when a pol is trying to change the subject, but it's a bit of cop-out by the reporter, no?

Well, the reality is that when you put yourself forward to REPRESENT people, there is -- and in my mind should be -- a different standard of conduct.

If you had to guess what would poll higher in PA, radioactive waste or the governor? I just saw that 19% want him reelected.

The party would be WAY better off if he decided not to run. But, he doesn't look like he is going to do that.

Do you expect Terry to be back to normal once he is in as the term limited gov? Will he be going to fundraisers leaving his wife in the car and wrestling alligators in the governors mansion?

My question is what does he do NEXT?  Is he satisfied with a single four year term as governor? Or does he look to another office? Which one?

I agree that saying you can keep your plan is a political problem, but it's less of one each time the press points out that we're talking about 3% of the country and that they have to change to a plan that is not an insurance-company rip off. Yes, I'm trying to help establish a trope, but really, is Marsha Blackburn the country's new voice of reason?

It's a big problem for those people.

And, I would add, that politically it doesn't really matter how many people are affected.

If 1 person likes their plan and can't keep it then what Obama said isn't true, right?


Getting VERY hot now...

Where do you get all of your music selections? Are these downloads from iTunes? How do you know about all of these different groups? Inquiring minds (that are technologically behind) want to know!

Spotify. And LOTS of people recommending me stuff on Twitter.


What do you figure the person who asked this is: government employee or tenured academic? For the rest of us who don't have taxpayer-paid Gold plans, this stuff matters.

When a story is too hard to simple down to one sentence, why is that a problem? It's a problem for the press, but c'mon, try hard. Hence the big bucks you get.

In this "question" on not streamling thing, you wrote "c'mon" rather than "come on".

I wouldn't be so sure about the "run for two offices at once" thing becoming law. Right now you have to resign from some positions to run for other positions--which is great for getting rid of some of the real opportunists who just run for anything that comes up.

Charlie. Crist.

And, good point.

I just read Dan Balz's "Collision 2012" last weekend and had no idea that "Double Down" existed until this morning. Can you elaborate on the differences between the two books?

Haven't read "Double Down" yet but I would say READ BOTH.

The new Los Lobos "Disconnected" live (mostly) unplugged album might be just the thing for you. It's like that Mumford snoozefest, except with a beat, some spirit, and actual songs that go somewhere. It's more accessible if their usual roots-blues is too aggressive for you.

Unpopular opinion alert: I don't like Mumford and Sons all that much.

Is it Gansler? I think that he's doing himself a disservice by trying to make the story into "my character is being assassinated." This has the potential to stick with him for twelve months -- or maybe only six, until Mizeur starts outpolling him.

He got it last week.

If she decides to run, what do you think she'll do differently from 2008?

Watch her left flank.

Build a small donor fundraising base

Put the fact that she would be the first female president much more front and center

Does Reid care that Tom Coburn, who seems to be respected by all in Washington, felt comfortable to openly call him an a-hole?

God no.

I think Reid loves it.

What was your take on where the VA governors race actually stands, after the recent polls that varied fairly widely? I read the piece where you noted that much if not all of the difference in the Quinnipaic poll (which seemed to be the outlier) could be ascribed to differences in the party ID of the sample. But which poll(s) do you think have it right?

My educated guess: McAuliffe wins by 6-9.

If I am doing my math correctly 3% of the country is nearly 10 million people, we are supposed to just dismiss that many people being thrown off of there health plans???


I'm sure you will apply the same standard and comparable reaction the next time a Republican *technically* lies. Give me a break. 1 person being screwed over is not how we make policy and you're just sensationalizing things.

I don't mean to sensationalize anything.

The fact is that President Obama made the "if you like your plan, you can keep it" mantra the centerpiece of how he sold the law.

So, if that's not exactly accurate, it's a major political problem.

Aren't people who actually go and look for a new plan after their ACA non-compliant is cancelled find out they can get a better plan for less money?

Better plan in terms of more comprehensive? Yes. Cheaper? Not in all cases.

I was wondering if the push to have a convention rather than a primary hurt Cucchinelli so he couldn't recover as it is possible that in a primary he wouldn't be saddled with a Lt. Governor candidate who not electable--or why didn't he work the convention to get his nominee for the number two office?

Cuccinelli wanted the convention and he got the convention. he isn't losing this race because of EW Jackson. remember that in VA they don't run as a ticket.

It's the President. I don't know how much hotter we can get. Between the ongoing NSA revelations and fallout, and Obamacare problems (the website problems are much smaller than people losing their plans), he's the one. Who else can share responsibility with him?

You're burning up!

Hey, Chris, how about you correct that lie? The % of people affected by the "canceled" policies (happened before Obama was ever in the Senate much less the White House) is a tiny %, not "everyone who's not in the government or academia." That was misinformation and you should have corrected it.

Again, it's a tiny number if it's not you.

How does it help the implementation of health care (for all of their scared constituents) to ask Sebelius if she should ask someone to resign, if the President is to blame for the web site, or if she'll enroll in the exchange?

If you thought that hearing was aimed at helping people get covered, you haven't been paying attention to how Washington works since, well, ever.

Is he seriously going to run in New Hampshire against Jeanne Shaheen, or is this all a ploy to increase speaker fees and/or sell a book?

In my opinion, running for governor in massachusetts in 2014 was BY far his bestv chance of getting back into office. 

My guess at this point is that he wants to up his speaking fees etc and won't end up running for anything in 2014.

If McCain runs for another term in 2016, where is he more at risk -- in a primary or the general election?

Primary. Not close.

But is there a chance that Tuesday could turn into 1989 again in VA, that the polls are wrong, and on election night, McAuliffe, like Wilder before, wins by a few thousand votes???

Sure. Always possible. (And I was 13 in 1989!)

But, I think the bulk of pollling has shown for some months now that McAuliffe is ahead by a comfortable margin. Always possible for momentum to shift in the last few days but it would have to shift for Cooch to win .

He cancelled his last two chats - okay, busy, or just cannot handle our tough questioning?

Oh, definitely the latter. That dude crumbles under tough questions. Also, he's given me plenty of fodder for my campaign against him.

"Aaron Blake has canceled his last two online chats. What's Aaron hiding?"

3% of the country is roughly the difference in the popular vote. But then again, I'm sure it's fine. The president knows what's best after all. So excuse me while I try to understand why as a single male I now need maternity coverage and pediatric dentistry.

I see what you did there.

WaPo reports that Maria Shriver and Matthew Dowd are dating. Why can't she find a nice Democratic guy?


Do you think Bill has checked the Constitution to see if there is anything that bars him from being Hillary's VP running mate?

HA. If anyone has, Bubba has.

I'm an Obama supporter, but I completely agree with you that the conflict between his unequivocal statements and the reality of some people losing their plans is a significant political problem (as is, possibly to a lesser extent, the incompetent launch of the website). And it's not an answer to say that Republicans do bad things. My question is: what can he do politically to get out of this mess? Any ideas?

Hope that it passes, the website gets fixed and the law starts working.

Maybe it is a covert prez campaign?

I mean, it's possible. But I am not sure a professed moderate is going to win a R primary in 2016.

Why can't I drive my car with no seatbelts or catalytic converter?! Socialism!

Wait, you can't drive without seabelts? Uh oh.

I guess Mr. "I don't need maternity care" also refuses to pay school taxes since he doesn't have children. Has half the country turned into survivalists?

Do you have any sense of how the rapid-fire reversal of the injunction against some of the abortion restrictions in TX helps or hurts Wendy Davis? My best guess is that the less that's said about abortion, the happier Davis will be.

That is correct.

We wrote about it here:

Please tell "3% OF THE COUNTRY" that although I don't have young children, I pay taxes for schools. That's how life works.

I will pass along your message.

So how would you have worded Obama's statement?

"For most of you, nothing will change. For some, change will mean a more comprehensive plan usually at no additional cost."

Not as catchy. But he wouldn't be in the problem he is in  now if he had said that.

To the questioner: By the same score, excuse ME as an older female who doesn't need prostate exams or Viagra or hair-growing meds, either.


How could anyone have a worse week than the Mayor of Toronto who was caught on police surveillance video urinating in public?

Well, he's not in  Washington. Or, this country.

That's all I have time for today, folks!

Remember that we do this 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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