The Fix Live

Nov 22, 2013

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

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good morning!

Sorry about missing last week's chat. Mrs. Fix's Catholic U field hockey team played in the NCAA Sweet 16. They won that game to make it to the elite 8 and missed out on a final 4 appearance by a single goal. An amazing season.

I am back.  Sipping a grande gingebread latte, eating a bagel sandwich and listening to Josh Ritter. Life is good. Let's do this.

On the strength of a suffocating defense, the CUA Cardinals made it to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history. That has to mean this year is a considerable success. And although goalkeeper Megan Comunale is graduating and leaves large pads to fill, every other member of the varsity should be back, so 2014 looks bright. Am I wrong about any of this?

You are right about every word.

Hi Chris -- how do things look for Liz Cheney in the aftermath of the "I love my sister but" debacle? Does her position help her at all with voters, or is she so far behind it doesn't much matter?

I think voters pay passing attention (at most) to stuff like this so far from an election. (The primary isn't until August 2014.)

But, the drama surrounding the Cheneys is no good for Liz Cheney.  I still don't understand why she is running. Enzi is a conservative who people generally like. I don't see why/how he loses.

Airing dirty laundry in public seems a bit odd for a family so rooted in politics, right? This seems suspicious.

I am not sure it's much more complicated than a nasty family disagreement that has gone public.  But, it's really bad for a family that -- should -- know better.

Is a 2016 bid: 1) unlikely, 2) undeserved? I mean, he really has done an amazing job in California. I think he deserves a serious look and not just columns about 1992.

Um, no.

Are you one? I hope not, and I'm ashamed so many Americans are. Rather than mourning someone's death, we buy books and watch movies that appeal to our imagination. Yes, the truth is the most important thing, but at some point people should respect it.

I am not AT ALL.

But, I am intrigued by those who are. I listened to the Bill Simmons podcast with Chuck Klosterman and Chris Connelly about JFK's assassination and was totally captivated.

The Cooch is talking about taking on Warner in 2014. If he could beat a flower opponent like the Macker in 2013, what makes him think he could beat someone as popular and well established as Warner?

The way he would win: Obamacare is an anchor around all Democrats' necks -- up to and including the uber popular Warner.

Does Terri Lynn Land have much of a chance against Gary Peters?

See my response above. If Obamacare pushes the environment in a bad place for Democrats nationally, then yes. If the national wind is barely blowing, Peters is a favorite.

Who do you think runs for the Democrats in 2017? Northup or Herring?

Maybe both.

On the R side, is is Bolling? Obenshain?

Odds he loses his Senate race? No threeway race or, most likely, a Tea Party wave to help him this time. Shoudn't he be worried more about Florida than Iowa?

Not high.  Possible but doesn't seem likely to me.

Why not change the rules for Supreme Court nominations?

Because that would be seen as a MASSIVE change and Reid didn't want that.

But, as I weote yesterday, Pandora's box is now open. If you think the simple majority rule change will only ever be applied to judicial and executive branch nominees, you haven't been paying much attention.

Here's my piece from yesterday:

Trey Radel, obvs. We've never been more proud of our congressman. In fact, we're going to put up a plaque at FGCU. Have you heard of FGCU?


But, you are right about Radel. See here:

I have a faint memory of a certain Senator from Illinois in 2005 saying that doing away with the filibuster will hurt the country and promote partisanship..... Apparently that senator is very upset with our President.

Every Senate leader has been on both sides of this issue. You hate the filibuster when you are in the majority and gview it as part of the farbic of the Senate itself when you are in the minority.

I tend to think this is a massive change in the way the Senate will do business going forward. But, I guess we'll have to see how far Republicans are willing to push it when they get into the majority.

My pick for Worst Week in Washington was Trey Radel.

You were right.

So this must mean he's going to retire, right? I mean, I can't see him putting up with this when he's in the minority.

Well, I think he hasn't made his mind up yet. I do think it is evidence that he told the younger members that this would jam them to no end if they got into the minority and they were ok with it.

We are in a different age of politics. This confirms it.

Did you get Godzilla jokes when you were a kid?


Likelihood that Charlie Crist is elected Governor of Florida?

50-50?  Maybe slightly better?

Crist has two things that no other "Democrat" has in the state: universal name ID and the ability to raise tons of money.

In a state like Florida where it is so hard and expensive to get known, that's critically important. Rick Scott's numbers are bad but there is SO MUCH to used against Crist.

I don't get how national reporters projecting the Republican 2016 field miss things like Wisconsin Republicans passing abortion bills. You can't say Walker, et al are rebranding when they're doing the same things that turned off the same groups they lost.

We don't miss them.  I just think that if Walker wins, he has a very good resume to present to Republican primary voters in 2016.  

Imagine an assassination today. Half of Twitter would be celebrating. Ugh.

Am glad Twitter didn't exist then. Imagine the misinformatiom? Holy cow.

Didn't the GOP bring this on themselves for constantly holding up everything in the Senate. They even delayed the non controversial picks for the courts.

That depends on how you look at the numbers. I asked the Reid and McConnell offices to send me the one chart that made their case best on the nuclear option. This is what I got:

Mike Shanahan. If there is one thing that unites Republicans and Democrats in Washington, it's that Shanahan has to go.

What about RGIII? That interception was TERRIBLE.

Just heard a conspiracy theorist say Specter was rewarded with a lifetime Senate seat because he came up with the single bullet theory. This is sad.


When you stop in for a McRib, you better not complain. That's all I'm saying.


Will the Dems hold the Senate?

It will be tough if Obamacare remains such a bad issue for them.

Already we have seen polls over the last 48 hours in Colorado and Louisiana that show Democratic incumbents struggling under the weight of the negative impressions of the Affordable Care Act.

If that keeps up, it's hard to imagine people like Mark Pryor or even Mark Begich winning

Does anyone sensible believe the Senate establishment leadership has "the guts" to do the nuclear thing against Dems after 2014? Need new blood.

Oh, I think if Republicans re-take the Senate majority in 2014, younwill absolutely see Republicans use the rule change to their advantage.

McConnell is a traditionalist but also a pragmatist.

Winter is coming?

The night is dark. And full of terrors.

I wish it didn't exist now. No imagining about misinformation needed.

It is a mixed blessing. I love the ability to have so much access to so many people and so much information. The nastiness directed at people you have never met is a little much.

McRib is back? Why are we here???

for the Republicans to have confirmed one or two of the nominees to the circuit court? Then they could have demonstrated how reasonable they were. Did they simply overplay their hand? Or have the Democrats?

It's a big gamble on both sides. I think Reid simply got fed up with the blocking tactics and became convinced that the only way to change things would be to change the rules.

McConnell let him do it, understanding that when Republicans re-take the majority they can use the rule change to their advantage.

How did nobody at that presser ask if he was going to resign? Were all the reporters asleep due to the late hour?

I have NO idea. Why didn't anyone ask him how many times he had used and/or bought cocaine in the past? Or how long his leave of absence might be?

Not exactly one shining moment for the southwest Florida press corps.

Exactly how much worse could the Senate GOP get? Were the Dems supposed to wait until the crackpot brigade regained a majority and tore away this tattered fig leaf themselves?

That's the Reid line of thought.

My answer: People like Susan Collins, Bob Corker, McCain etc. who might have been willing to work with Democrats likely won't do that now.  The well has been fully poisoned. 

Of course, it's possible that those Republicans might not have worked with Democrats regardless of what Reid did...

and put on a red cape, why does nobody recognize you anymore?

I wonder the same..

Could you ever see yourself in the future becoming an opinion writer? I ask because (not to suck up or anything) The Fix site on you seem to be non partisan in my opinion.

Nah. I don't really view politics like that. I love what I do. And we have some really exciting stuff coming...stay tuned.

Does the McRib taste good with mayonnaise on it?

I just threw up in my mouth a little.

I am surprised the Democrats did this. If I'm the Republicans, I now feel free to change the rules on the Supreme Court, or needing 51 votes to repeal Obamacare in 3 years. What do you think?

Yup.  I mean, we don't know what Democrats or Republicans will do going forward -- it's possible they will limit it to non SCOTUS judicial nominees and executive branch appointments. But, probably not.

I'm still reeling from the fact that you blocked me and Tawny Kitaen unfollowed.

Wow. Tough week.

HA! I get it

I thank you.

I don't see him winning. I can already picture the commercials in a Dem Primary, showing his past statements opposing abortion and same sex marriage. He is as flawed as a candidate can be.

But, he doesn't have any serious opposition in the D primary...

Where have your talents taken you this morning?

The 5th floor of WaPo. And, if you are wondering whether I am livestreaming the Christopher Newport vs Bowdoin D 3 Final 4 game while I do this chat, you shouldn't be. Because I am.

I never understood why Liz Cheney didn't run in her home state of Virginia. My sense is that her extremism could never get her elected in a swing state.

Wyoming, generally, gives her a better chance of winning. If she can win the GOP primary, she is a shoo-in for the general election. I am not so sure she can win the primary though....

What is wrong with the Minnesota Vikings?

They have 14 QBs. I am just waiting for Fix Aaron to come tell me he is headed back to his home state to QB the Vikes.

My aunt asked me last weekend what she could get me for Christmas. My answer: A book called "The Gospel According to the Fix"... Was this a wise decision?

Um, very wise. And let me help you aunt. She just needs to click this link and then buy 100 or so:

The mayonnaise question begs this one: Does it taste good under ANY circumstances?

It does not.

Do you have any sense of to what degree the White House was involved in Reid engaging in the nuclear option? Short-term gain for long-term pain?

Oh, I think they were fine with it. More than fine. If the White House had been against it, it wouldn't have happened.

I've never been one of those people who says it's too early to wonder about 2014 (or 2016...), but I have to think that it's actually too early to make predictions because we've reached a point where too much can change between now and then. What if the GOP snatches back the bad-press football with another ruinous blow-up over the debt ceiling? What if Clinton, inexplicably, starts acting like she's not just the presumptive nominee but the presumptive president? What if either party were actually to come up with some sort of good-government legislation on, well, anything? The headwinds shift too quickly these days.

That is absolutely true. Especially now with Twitter and the rapid pace that EVERYTHING moves.

To your "it's never too early" point, I was talking about the 2022 Texas governor's race last night...could be a great one.

Will you be holiday shopping on Black Friday? (Heaven forbid, NOT on Thanksgiving though.)

The Fix will be helping Mrs. Fix do some field hockey recruiting on Thanksgiving. As always.

True or false, this is the worst invention of all time?

True. Golly I hate it so much. Even thinking about it makes me want to vom.

What are the chances Connie Mack IV comes back for his seat?

HMMM. Not bad...

He won't even be a franchise QB in 2 years and the hero worship from last year-up until last week will look absurd.

Not sure it's that dire. I think he remains very good but the Skins seem cursed.

From The Department Of Thank You For That: This week an intern at work asked me where I was when Kennedy was shot. It happened 15 months before I was born.

The people who work with me at Post TV think I was born before the invention of cars.

Doom and gloom of Obamacare in 2014 is overrated. As the next QB of the Minnesota Vikings points out: "@AaronBlakeWP 32% say Obamacare will make them worse off -- the same % as said that in 2010"

Fair enough. I mean, that guy is going to be quarterbacking an NFL team this weekend...

Of all the states that are obviously in play, which one do you think Democrats have the best chance of holding onto? I think Louisiana will be the toughest for Republicans.

Do you consider Colorado in play?

I think Alaska and North Carolina are the toughest for GOPers to win today of the seats that we all expect to have close races.

Are senate states like Michigan, Minnesota or Oregon in play potentially?

Michigan yes. I remain unconvinced in Oregon and Minnesota. Colorado for sure.

Which state do you think Dems have a better chance of picking up a Senate seat?


I must say I'm shocked that nearly 60% of Americans still think a conspiracy was at work. Not even speaking of the ballistic evidence which is overwhelming, but the fact it's been 50 years, and nothing credible has come out that would lead to another conclusion other than Oswald.

I was STUNNED at that poll.  STUNNED.

Clearly there aren't five reasonble Republicans in the Senate, or there wouldn't have been such a problem. Not much respect left for your examples, i.e. Collins, Corker, McCain. Where have they been?

Well, "reasonable" doesn't necessarily mean that they should be requirted to support President Obama's judicial and executive branch picks, right?

What would it take for Hillary to run and the media to consider her vulnerable?

I think the second she announces she's running her numbers startg dropping and all of the old doubts -- is she too cautious, is she too moderate -- resurface.  My issue is that there doesn't seem to be a candidate -- outside of Elizabeth Warren -- who could make a real case against Clinton. At least at this point.

What's your best guess? 50R/50D? 51R/49D? 51D/49R?

Today? I think if election were held today Democrats would lose the Senate because of the toxicness of Obamacare and the President in a lot of the states represented by Democratic incumbents.

But, it's not. And in a year's time who knows what the natiopnal environment looks like then?

on a scale from 0 - 10, 0 = safe, 10 = toast, how vulnerable is Landrieu?

A month ago I would have said 5. Now? 7.5 and maybe 8.

Are the rules governing recruiting for field hockey as stringent as for some other sports? (i.e., limit on number of calls and texts to recruits, when contacts can be made, official vs. unofficial visits) Precisely what is your role in recruiting? This is intriguing.

My role in recruiting is taking care of the kids so Mrs. Fix can do it.

Wise and thinking ten steps ahead, or incredibly short-sighted?

I don't think anyone -- even Reid -- couyld know what all the implications might be from changing the rules. This really is a major moment in Senate history and one that could change lots and lots of things about how legislation moves in the chamber. 

Has Fix Aaron unleashed the nuclear option to get control of The Fix?

Not yet. But he keeps threatening it...

A half hour in, and no 2016 question who are we?

I agree. This is SHAMEFUL!

Though, I did take a few since the half hour mark...

Not a very talented squad and not the competition that previously helped the Hoyas' SOS and RPI. I wouldn't be surprised if Georgetown is playing in the NIT.

Lost to Northeastern yesterday. We are not very good. At all. I am sticking with rooting for the far more successful Catholic U field hockey team full time.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being certitutude, how likely does it seem that the Obamacare debacle will be a huge issue in midterms? How about the Shutdown? I assume there will be some continuing Obamacare issues, but it's hard to think of an issue (other than the economy generally) that stays in the headlines for a year.


I think it will absolutely be an issue. I am less certain it will be  HUGE issue.

The Huntsman is going to be in Nh on Monday, does this mean anything?

He likes real maple syrup on his pancakes?

I keep hearing Ryan Adams' "Nuclear." Which is much more pleasant than reality.

I love that tune.

Paul Muad´dib and his Fremen army overthrowing the emperor? Impossible! this even in English?

Which Republican would put on the best show in the debates if Democrats pick Hillary? (so many good choices here...)

Rand. Maybe Cruz.  Perry?

Yes, it does, provided there's no substantive reason not to.

And you know that they have no "substantive" reason not to?

I have always viewed her as an accidental senator. In that everything had to go right for her to win, like Elizabeth Dole visiting the state a Dozen times while she was in office. Many analyst seem to think she will win in 2014, how do you see her chances?

Less strong than they were a month ago.

Here is the definitive anti-mayo movie clip.

I don't understand how there is anyone who is pro-mayo.

And, scene! 

That's all for this week folks. Remmeber 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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