The Fix Live

Nov 08, 2013

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

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Good morining everyone.

Let's chat!

Chris, if last night's interview was an example of the President at his lowest point, he should stay there -- the interview came off great for him, I thought. Although he does need to shine more of a light on those millions who are getting access to the market for the first time. I think he should be having interviews like this all the time. It plays to his communications and empathetic strengths.

I am not sure I took empathy from that interview.

I saw a president frustrated that the website doesn't work and that there is nothing he can do at this point other than wait and hope the technical glitches get fixed ASAP.

Also, this is what I wrote about his interview with Chuck Todd:

Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and ... Terry McAuliffe?


I actually think -- and wrote -- that Terry deserves a lot of credit for the campaign he ran. He realized he came across as too much of a used car salesman in the 2009 race and came back this time much more disciplined and measured.

How about all the political reporters/analysts and DC pundits who said Cuccinelli had already lost a week out from the election? Or is it weird to award it to yourself...

No question that most polling -- including WaPo's -- predicted a bigger win for McAuliffe. 

As for declaring it over, not sure I saw any coverage that did that.

Is another reason for your personal dislike for "House of Cards"-US version that the young politics reporter Zoe Barnes (played by Kate Mara) also graduated from Georgetown University?


My dislike is because caricatures like that make it harder for great female reporters to do their jobs.

My full House of Cards takedown is here:

Scott Brown? Really? They have nobody else to run there? Sad. Call up Alan Keyes if Brown passes.

I think Brown wants to run in NH but is still trying to figure out how big a problem the carpet-bagger thing would be.

Brown knows that NH is a much more closely divided state along partisan lines than MA, where it is extremely difficult to get elected as a Republican particularly in federal races.

Who pulls it out in the AG race -- Obenshain or Herring?

I have NO idea. But, it looks like it's all going to come down to Fairfax County:

With Rick Perry about to be the former governor of Texas should he run for president in 2016 and the embarrassment of his 2012 run, do you think he'll find much financial backing? Texans might favor Cruz and no longer need Perry's backing to get stuff done in Texas since he'll be out of office.

I think Perry plans to run because he believes he knows what he did wrong in 2012 and he can correct those mistakes. I am not so sure.

As for money, I know Perry and Cruz are both from Texas but I am not so sure they share a similar donor base ultimately.

Money, money! (Ok, unforgivable misspelling of the song, I know) You, sir, are on the spot! If the RNC had given an additional $6 million and the Chamber of Commerce $1 million to Cuccinelli a month ago (like they gave McDonnell in the last election), would we all be talking about a Cuccinelli administration and the staying power of the Tea Party today?

Not sure. I will say that mcAuliffe pummeled Cuccinelli on TV in northern Virginia over the final month of the campaign.

Judging from McAuliffe's margins in NoVa, it worked. Would $6 million more in ads pushing back on the "Cuccinelli as radical extremist" narrative have helped? Probably. Would it have put him over the top? Who the heck knows.

Any insight into the timing by which counties or precincts release their vote results? It often looks like some heavily partisan areas sit on their results until late in the evening. Unfortunately, that sort of timing leads suspicious types (and yeah, I guess that includes me) to think that the vote-counters are waiting to see how many votes their side needs.

NoVa always reports later -- as they did on Tuesday night.

Has it come to the point that a pro-life candidate can no longer win a statewide election in Virginia.

I don't think so. But I think a candidate who is defined by conservative social views -- as Cuccinelli was -- will struggle because that message doesn't play well in the population rich NoVa suburbs.

Hey, I hope you'll take an early-bird question from someone who unfortunately works during Fix chats. Which I love, and I'm not your mom, I'm pretty sure. Anyway, I'm from the other Washington and I always see my rep, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, in the wings when Boehner is speaking. Do you see her as speaker (or more) someday? I can't see her losing her seat anytime soon, but she seems like she'd be a good VP pick. Her bio is sort of similar to Palin's, though she's professionally more polished. Your thoughts on her prospects?


I think she is ambitious and would like to move up the chain of command. I hear mixed things about her on Capitol Hill...ideally she would run for statewide office but Washington State isn't exactly friendly territory for Democrats.

Is he done nationally? I mean, Biden paid a price so why wouldn't Paul? If so, Is there someone who steps up as an alternative to Christie and Cruz? Rubio would've made sense prior to immigration but I wonder if there's someone else under the radar.

Not done. Rand's stuff happened three years before an election not during the actual race. Big difference.

I also genuinely believe Rand had no idea that his staff was putting plagiarized materials into his speeches. 

This should be a wakeup call for him. He needs to upgrade some parts of his staff if he wants to make a serious run at the presidency.

How is this not good for President Obama? It's not like it gives attention to something that wasn't being reported and he shows he cares.

Because his central accomplishment of his presidency is not currently working and his personal approval and job approval ratings are sinking?

Deader than immigration reform?

I think so.

the Post Editorial board came as close as I've seen to nailing down why the Cooch lost - it's the beliefs of the far right GOP and TP! Virginia is changing, even in 'the Valley' where generations have always voted GOP. Thank good ness for Northern VA and getting McAuliffe in. Second, re ACA, do you think that the health companies are taking some advantage of the situation and raising rates as much as they possibly can to show that they can, even with the new law? They sure don't want to actually pay out money, even with the huge numbers of new payers!

Here are three amazing facts:

1. Cuccinelli won independent voters

2. Cuccinelli won voters who said the economy was the most important issue

3. Cuccinelli won voters who said healthcare was the most important issue.

How did he lose? Because social issues mattered to lots of voters and he lost that group by a massive margin to McAuliffe.

I've been on the ground in races. Nationalization of races almost never happens. Voters view things through a local prism. Basically, your guesses are inherently flawed and you need to take it down a notch come 2014.

I always need to take it down a notch.

Rand Paul. Deny, duel, then act like a diva. Not too reinsuring for people wanting to invest in someone who would be given more responsibility as a presidential candidate.

You are getting VERY warm...

Was the President's non-apology last night on NBC enough, or will be forced to go farther in the future? If the House and Senate pass a "If you like your plan you can keep your plan, period!" bill will the President sign it?

It seemed to me he was dragged by Chuck to say the word "sorry".  President Obama seemed set on simply saying that he regretted what had happened but eventually outright apologized.

My biggest takeaway from the interview was his frustration, which was BARELY below the surface throughout.

Win or lose, is he the frontrunner for the republican nomination in 2017? I thought he ran a great campaign in a terrible environment.

Win, yes. Lose, no.

Bolling might have a case to make. Tom Davis, former NoVa congressman, might be in the mix. Jill Vogel, state Senator, is a name I hear.

National media has a tendency to equate independents with moderates. Not necessarily true so to say Christie (or anyone else) is strong with centrist voters because he won independents is just wrong without more info.

He also won moderated hugely. But I totally agree with you that independents ≠ moderate.

Cuccinelli won independents. He lost moderates by 20.

The Republican Party in VA has one person to thank for what appears to be a wipeout in 2013. The selfish egomaniac above. a year of volunteering and hard work blown up by that jerk. UGH!!!

I know people feel strongly about Cruz but I don't see how he is the main reason that Cuccinelli lost.

I have Rand Paul winning the Worst Week this week.

You are a very keen observer of American politics.

I had to write in Kodos on my ballot

Don't blame me. I voted for Ron Swanson.

So how is her Field Hockey Team doing?

Catholic University field hockey takes on ScrantonUniversity for the Landmark Conference title tomorrow night!

This is the FIFTH straight year Mrs. Fix's Cardinals have advanced to the championship game.

So, yeah, she's got it going on.

What do you see as his political future? It was between him and Biden for the VP pick, it seemed like he was a rising star.

He doesn't have one.

I see no way he wins (or even runs for) the Democratic presidential nomination. And, having been a finalist twice as VP and not being picked, I think that ship has sailed too.

If Hillary chooses not to run, will many challenge Joe Biden for the nomination? Would Elizabeth Warren be the best option to energize the Democratic base and younger voters?

If Hillary doesn't run, I think the top-tier looks like this:

Martin O'Malley


Warren or Kirstin Gillibrand


Chris, Where do you assess that Cooch goes from here? Though anything's possible, the purplish-blue tint of VA indicates that while it could certainly elect Republicans to statewide office (or the presidency), hard-right Ted Cruz types face a much tougher environment than they would have 10-20 years ago. (And yes, I know that the final results were closer than polling suggested beforehand.) Could he run again in VA or elsewhere? Or are we looking at another Fox News contributor in the making?

It's a good question because he is still pretty young and undoubtedly ambitious.

I could see him running for Congress or even the Senate down the line. To win, especially statewide, Cuccinelli would have to do a far better job of giving voters an image of him that goes well beyond his social conservative beliefs.

Wait what? You didn't get elected mayor of Pawnee? You are Chris who?

Best. Ever.

How much self evaluation does the GOP in Virginia have to look at. Maybe having state conventions selecting nominees isnt the best way to go.

Remains to be seen. I think that if Cuccinelli had been blown out it would be a different conversation. But the fact that he lost narrowly will embolden tea pary types -- insisting that if the establishment had only lined up behind him he would have won.

Any polls on this Hypothetical match-up?

The New Jersey exit poll!

Clinton 49

Christie 43

Brown running for ma gov or nh sen?

I always thought MA gov was his best bet. Massachusetts has a history of electing Republicans governor and Brown has the name ID, profile and fundraising capacity to be genuinely competitive.

But, he didn't see it that way.

Headline from The Fix on October 29: "7 reasons why Terry McAuliffe is going to win" Quote from the story: "Barring some sort of political catastrophe, McAuliffe will win" and "you see that this race is lost for Republicans"

But, McAuliffe did win, right?

Did I miss something?

Polling Firms. except for Quinnipiac, they were wrong (especially your employer, 12 points!). I just wonder if the bogus 7-12 point number hurt Cuccinelli.

Not sure about that. The McAuliffe campaign's last poll had it 45-42. Yes, some polls missed the number but I wouldn't say all polling had a bad week.

Chattin, Hearin, and Drinkin?

Soundtrack: "Here We Rest" by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit"

Drink: Water. Between election night Tuesday and Mrs. Fix's playoff game Wednesday, this has been a bad week for healthy eating by me.

That lady who ran against Chris Christie. Not only did she lose, but no one could pick her out of a lineup.

"That lady" = Barbara Buono.

And, oomph.

Good to know the boss is no longer accountable for what their staff does according to you!

He absolutely is. Which is why he needs to get better staff if he wants to run a serious presidential campaign.

Interested to hear your take on the Dolphin situation. As an adult, most everyone at one time or another has to deal with the office bully - some handle it better than others & have the make up to confront them, some don't. But what they put Martin through seems beyond the pale. And the people taking Igcognito's side seem simplistic.

As someone who was bullied badly as a kid, I have pretty strong opinions.

The idea that "this is part of the culture" to me seems absolutely crazy.  Dismissing or forgiving bad behavior because "everyone" does is beyond ludicrous.

Bullying is a terrible thing -- more mentally difficult than physically difficult. So, to the people who ask why Martin didn't just punch Incognito in the face, I say to you: You have never been bullied.

Rant over.

Okay, let's say I buy that it's his staff's fault. His behavior in response to the discoveries is not something I'd be proud of. Let him take his toys and go home.

Correct. His quote to the New York Times -- hey, I can go right back to being a doctor -- didn't exactly scream "presidential" to me. 

And his shot at Christie on Sandy ads was a bit of a cheap shot too.

I don't think even $100-million could have turned it around for Cuccinelli in Northern Virginia where he was already extremely damaged goods well before the election campaign began. The voters just didn't like the guy. Period. No amount of money could change that.

And that's the other side of the argument.  If Cuccinelli had infinite money, I could make the argument that an early ad campaignd esigned to present him as a kore than just his social conservative beliefs could have won. But, infinite money isn't a thing in politics -- unless you're Michael Bloomberg.

I would never go to the Emergancy Room in ER I would have simply plead guilty vs. hirer a lawyer from LA LAW I know too much science to believe in CSI - Anywhere House of Cards is about over the top scenery chewing ... it is not a documentary. Much like professional wrestling is a paradoy of fighting / MMA, HoC is a paradoy of Washington DC. If you take it seriously then you are missing the point.

Yup.  I agree.

I think I am too close to this world to be able to willingly suspend my disbelief.

True or False. If Mcdonnell is able to campaign with Cuccinelli across the state, Cooch would be governor elect today.

Does that asusme he never has a gifts scandal? If so, I think so.

HI Chris: Do you think Obama, post-presidency, will be covered as much as Bill Clinton is & asked for his opinion as much. I doubt it.

Depends on how much of a public profile he wants to have. I think part of the reason Clinton is quoted so much is he does things that put him in the public eye.

Is that the life Obama wants post-presidency? Who knows?

Hey yooze, stop chewing yoose lips off bouts how independents ain't important, youze makin' people mad. Nice column youze has, it'd be a shame if the post moved you to tumblr or blogspot.

I am not sure if this is genuine or mocking praise. Either way, I am taking it.

I agree with you that he doesn't have a political future, could he be a cabinet pick for a future administration or has that ship sailed too?


You hit upon a truism that gets overlooked - moderate and independent are not the same thing. There are plenty of left and right leaning "independents", leaning a little more right at this point due to the GOP's difficulties nationally over the last 5 yrs. Moderates are more likely to support candidates from either party since they cannot as easily be pigeonholed-holed .

The matchup between The Cillizza vs Fix Aaron looks to be an epic battle.



His approval rating is down (it's been gliding downward all year), but approval of Obamacare is essentially unchanged. What's up with that?

I think opinion on Obamacare is cemented in place. Nothing external will change it.

Assess the VP chances of Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.

I think kaine is slightly more appealing on a national ticket than Warner but both would be in the mix in 2016 I would think.

whether Obama did or didn't consider replacing Biden with Clinton? Come to think of it, this whole business of going back and doing autopsies on past campaigns has gotten a little old to me. Or am I just being a Friday morning curmudgeon?

I care. I find that stuff fascinating. As do lots of people who have made Mark Halperin and John Heilemann rich.

Will save yu a lot of time and energy. Biden talks himself out of nomination, Clinton and running mate Cuomo lose to whoever heads the GOP ticket. Christie is VEEP.

Thanks! That was easy.

More detail? You seem able to fit in just about anywhere. Sorry, you went through it. Let's just say being short and scrawny while also being the smartest kid in class wasn't fun growing up.

Not worth going into. Let's just say it was a really, really awful experience and shaped the rest of my life.

Per the Toronto Star's reporter at the mayor's office "Mayor Rob Ford is taking the day off today for personal reasons, CTV and CBC say." Probably a good idea.

Yeah. Hey Rob Ford, why don't you just sit out the next few plays...

It's " youse" not " youze " you dummy...

isn't it "youse dummy"?

"But, infinite money isn't a thing in politics -- unless you're Michael Bloomberg." How much good did that do in his support for federal gun legislation or his opposition to the Colo. recall elections?

Fair enough.

Not to make you relive something painful, but I've seen studies that suggest kids that are bullied are more likely to bully themselves. Was this your experience?


It made me more aware of how you treat people. And how we all have our own stuff that we deal with every day -- whether or not people see it.

Anybody taking bets on the 2028 presidential race?

Whoah whoah. You are saying Carter edges out Chelsea Clinton for the D nomination?

How common is it for the losing politician to not give the winner a congratulatory call? I thought that's the way it's done.

We did a piece on sore losers! It's awesome:

Totally affects the rest of your life . I found two of my former bullies on Facebook 20 years after the fact. Demanded apologies (terrifying!) and got them within 10 minutes (they both apparently had carried a lot of guilt). Tremendous closure, but certainly doesn't erase everything. Could be helpful.

Huh. Interesting.

I always end my drunken stupors with a little crack. Takes the edge off.

Who among us...

Living well is the best revenge: I bet your childhood bullies haven't been anywhere near as successful as you are!

Thanks. I feel the same way.

I would just urge people to be aware of how awful bullying can be and not simply be dismissive of it as "well that's just kids being kids." It's not.

Does Christie have much of a chance of persuading the republican base voters who stayed home last year rather than vote for Romney to come out and vote for him? And if he can't, what does that say about his chances in the general election?

The challenge for Christie is the Iowa caucuses and the South Carolina primary. And he will need to win the New Hampshire primary and hope some other states -- Florida, Michigan -- move up so that he can get some more wins early on.

Not necessarily submitted for the chat, but up to you. I'm a big guy; I'm 6'3" and 250 (now; then, it was 150). And I was bullied in high school to the point where I would puke before going to school. To this day, I dream of getting revenge on the guys who slapped me around and humilitated me. Everyone who knows me now can't imagine that it ever happened, but it did. And the school's administration did NOTHING, just basically told me to toughen up. So I'm sympathetic. It never leaves you; you just learn to put it in a box.


And size/strength etc doesn't matter. The guy who bullied me -- and yes, I still remember his name -- was a little dude. I was 6'2". It was all mental.

Thanks for speaking out. The more people who do, the more people will realize this is a real problem and will maybe be a little more aware when they have kids. 

As a moderate, practical Dem, let me tell you this: Evan Bayh has no political future (in Democratic politics). Too much lobbying that undercuts Dems. But nice to know his family likes your chats too.


And that's a wrap.

Thanks to everyone fpor joining!

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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