The Fix Live

Dec 20, 2013

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

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Good morning and wlecome to the last Live Fix chat......of 2013!

We've done all sorts of awesome year end post like the best political books of the year ( and the best pictures of the year (

Now this chat will enter that same lofty territory. Let's do it.

Pajama man/boy.

You win!

Happy Festivus on Monday!!

NO kidding. I have a long list of grievances.

Tareq Salahi running for Congress. Are we officially through the looking glass.

Oh, we have been for some time now. Mark Sanford is in Congress. Anthony Weiner ran for mayor of New York City.  Donald Trump is going to New Hampshire.

I have to take issue with one of your points in this post. I have seen you a number of times around my neighborhood (Stores restaurants etc) so I have to assume you live near me. WE DON'T LIVE IN THE SUBURBS!!! It's a ridiculous notion that people in DC like to make of everyone else still inside the beltway, but not in DC, in any other city in the nation we would be smack in the middle of it. Stand up for your hood!!!

Ok, ok.  I live in Virginia though...

We let this happen, America. Watch real shows, not reality TV.

So very true.  Like "Wallander" which Mrs. Fix and I just watched last night. So good.

What has Franken done badly that makes him the subject of so much reelection trouble speculation?

I don't think he is the subject of much of that speculation. At all. Particularly given how narrow his victory margin was in 2008. I would say he is remarkably safe all things considered.

Does it help or hurt John Walsh to be an incumbent Senator heading into 2014? Also, how long will Republicans in the Senate delay Baucus's appointment (which could minimize the damage to Walsh should he not become an incumbent before the June primary)?

I think at the margins it helps. You could argue that being an incumbent isn't great in this environment but I think the advantages of name ID, fundraising etc outweigh thoose problems.

I don't get the argument that placing someone in that seat will help their chances to win the race. For the next year they will be forced to make tough votes, and will be tagged as a "Washington Insider". Agree?

See above.

I saw that one of your big issues with the show is, "If Frank is so good, why isn't he President?" At the risk of spoiling it... that's the entire plot of the show. By the end of this season, Frank has gotten himself appointed VP, and his sights are set on the President. Your other issue re: Zoe exchanging sex for stories also evolves. A more senior female reporter lectures her on how damaging that behavior can be for her credibility, and she seriously re-thinks her approach. Just some stuff to think about :)

Of course making a judgment based on 3 episodes means I miss what happens next.

But, the Zoe thing was just so offensive to me.  I couldn't get past it.

For those wondering what the hell we are talking about, kick this:

How much did you appreciate the Governor Bush thing? Also, didn't the book go downhill after first 200-300 pages (which were great)?

I am now reading The Twelve.  I like it -- but not as much as I loved The Passage. And the Gov. Bush thin was great. Justin Cronin, the author, lives in Houston I believe...

What's in your Christmas stocking? (hopefully)

This may come off as lame but man I am so blessed. I have an awesome wife, two healthy and happy kids and a job I love (I really do) with people who I respect and like to work with.

That said, I'd love to have a $1 million Starbucks gift card too.

The author of the article on polling seemed to have been surprisd that essentially half the county shares Phil's views on which actions are sinful. I have a hard time understanding how the author could be so sheltered or why the author would think most people would not already know thi.

Disagree. I think Sean was simply putting Robertson's views on homosexuality as a sin in political/polling context. Which seems to me to be a very worthy exercise.

Here's the piece:

Earlier this week Hillary said she will decide in 2014 whether or not she'll run for president in 2016, why does she need to decide 2 years out when Iowa isn't until Jan '16?

Because 1) It takes a very long time to put together a national campaign and 2) she freezes the entire field until she makes a decision.

What is your best political tv show past or present? And which is the best book to read about Pelosi over the Christmas break?

My favorite show of all time is Friday Night Lights.  Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose.

And here's a Pelosi bio worth reading:

Why have a press conference with Mr. Obama? I feel as if I have entered an alternate universe. What is the purpose of asking questions of a man who obviously believes lying is a matter of course when doing business. Are we seriously going to believe anything we hear?

Presidents almost always have a year-end press conference. Trust me -- if he could avoid having one, I am betting he wouold be on a flight to Hawaii already.

Did you ask Fix Aaron for that gift card?

Yes.  Still waiting...

In my opinion it's much better than House of Cards and should be getting much more attention & awards consideration.

Planning to over this break. Also "Top of the Lake" and more "Wallander".

Dear Chris, Please learn the proper usage of "begging the question". You owe it to yourself, your readers, and especially your fellow alums.

Yes, people didn't like that I misused that phrase in my Worst Year in Washington piece.

Here's a helpful primer so no one else has to endure this horror:

WIll you be taking your talents anywhere for New Year's Eve? Leaving VA for Christmas?

I will be sitting in front of the TV, watching CSPAN re-runs endlessly.  Isn't that what everyone does?

Did you see that Putin's year end presser was four hours long? !!!


Were you surprised that AVB was replaced?

Nope. And I was thrilled. The team has quit on him. And I think he is WAY overrated. Mourinho he is not.

More likely to happen in 2014--Mark Pryor wins re-election, or Hillary announces she's not running?

The latter.

I bet you're not a car guy. You seem like the least likely person to know anything about cars. But I'm sure you drive one. Is it a Toyota or a VW? No, it's a Volvo, right?

I travel only by helicopter. Or Gulfstream.

Which is better? If you'd asked me one month ago I'd have given British the win, but then I finally discovered Breaking Bad...

British is pretty strong...

Has his approval rating seemingly stabilized in the low 40s? Any guess as to whether it is more likely to rebound, or continue sinking ala GWB? Is he a big drag on Congressional Democrats at this level?

At the moment, he's far closer to where George W. Bush was at this time of his presidency than where Clinton or Reagan were.

An improving economy and a functioning health care law would help him. But, I think the partisan divide in this country is so ingrained that the idea that Obama could "recover" to 60 percent approval is a laughable. Not possible.

Still (way) uphill for any Hillary challenger, but someone will emerge. He would be a dangerous contrast since he combines Bill Richardson's "I'm a western governor" ("I get things done away from DC") with Biden's likeability (never a Hillary strength). On their own, neither was successful running for President, but it's a formidable combo.

I wrote about this yesterday. I am VERY skeptical he is running to win.

All I can say about pajama boy is that whoever thought that putting a man old enough to shave in a plaid onesie was a good idea also probably thought the Obamacare launch was pretty solid, all things considered. Good grief.

The generic ballot has swung significantly from R to D and back to R in the past couple of months. What do you forsee for its future/how will it play into the midterms?

Generica ballot is a broad measure of which way the wind is blowing nationally. If Republicans are ahead, tied or narrowly behind (1-2 points) come next November on the generic ballot, they are going to have a very good election night.

Could they possibly have released the Individual Mandate news at a more opportune time?

Managing the news is an art...

I'm so glad you've discovered this gem of a show. Makes Sweden look so lovely. If you're ok with reading subtitles you must give a Danish show called "Borgen" a trial run. It's about a woman who becomes Danish Prime Minister and her balancing that job with her responsibilities as a wife and mother. So good.

Man. Just so much good TV out there!

For those who want a nice top 10 list of best Tv, check out Andy Greenwald's:

Have you seen the Coach Taylor to Austin rumor? Pretty sweet...

He'd be my pick.

Which Governor who pushed gun control is in bigger trouble over the issue, John Hickenlooper or Dan Malloy?

Hickenlooper. Not close.

Don't waste your time. IMHO it was just plain weird.

Oh, I plan to waste my time.

Are you going to sue for copyright infringement?

Talk to my (team of) lawyers.

Have you seen Anchorman 2. Have heard some reviews that its horrible.

Haven't yet. I will see it no matter what. I loved the first one SO much.

It's early, and all that. But. If you had to give odds for Democrats holding White House after 2016, what would they be? With Hillary running 55 %? Hillary not running 45 %?

Better if Hillary is the nominee than if she isn't.

Florida RepresentativeTrey Radel and outgoing Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell face legal issues and the Chis Christie administration is bogged down in the "bridge gate" scandal. Won't Democrats try to take advantage and try to paint Republicans as a scandal ridden party going into the 2014 midterm elections?

People outside of SW Florida haven't heard of Radel. Ditto McDonnell outside of VA/MD/DC.

So, it's hard to make this a scandal narrative -- parrticularly because their scandals are SO unrelated.

The chattering class is already obsessed with the 2016 presidential race so I guess it's not too early to ask about the 2017 race to succeed Terry McAuliffe as Governor of Virginia., even though he has yet to be sworn into office. Who has the inside track to be the Democratic nominee for Governor, Ralph Northam or Mark Herring? Does anybody standout to be the Republican nominee at this point?

Good question.

AG has typically been the better launching pad.

And what about on the R side...they have NO statewide offices currently.

It's been on for years, but just a reminder to watch this show if you feel like humanity is going down the tubes. It's like Punk'd for grownups.

Don't Maybe I should. Because I do worry about humanity going down the tubes.

Web ad for Johnnie Walker...for a chat with a guy who doesn't drink. Come on, WaPo!

Fair.  A GIANT Starbucks drink would be more appropriate.

What will it take to return to political civility? Is it even possible? Both sides, both in the "entertainment news/talk shows" and elected representatives have realized people don't support "ho hummers" so they're forced to go to the sides. Is there a force strong enough to change this? The more and more we go to the sides, the worse off we are as a country- but the individualism folks feel like they're winning.

I wish I knew.

Bob Mcdonnell- and it is probably going to get worse.

Well...he didn't get indicted this week. Doesn't that mean he had a good week?

any chance that instead of a senate run or stealth prez bid, he's trying to become a power broker in NH in the hopes of a cabinet position? Sounds weird I know, but it's hard to gauge what he's doing.

I think he wants to run for president and sees running for the Senate as a step to doing that.

Is there any chance that President Obama will announce in his presser that he is requesting the Canadian PM insert Rob Ford as the new ambassador to the United States? I would like that.

The Internet would explode.

"What is the purpose of asking questions of a man who obviously believes lying is a matter of course when doing business." To ask this question is to ask why have Presidential news conferences EVER. It's possible that the questioner doesn't understand the difference between a lie and a sales pitch. I am a professional marketer. A professional marketer would say that a statement that's true for 97 percent of the audience is TRUE and that the three percent for whom it's not true haven't been lied to, but that they were caught in a rounding error. That aside, every single president we've ever had has made misstatements, knowingly and unknowingly. Some of those misstatements are by necessity. It may be time for the questioner to either read up (and learn some history) or grow up (and understand how the real world works). Oh, and remind me not to ask him/her how I look today.

Good points.

At what month is it necessary to stop celebrating the anniversary of your child's birth? Referring to someone as 26 months is ridiculous and has been dissected, but I mean posting Facebook pictures of your baby celebrating the all-important "7-month" birthday.

I think you only get to publicly celebrate year birthdays. Anything else is ridiculous.

Also, happy 37 minute mark of this chat!

Bill had Carville and Stephanopoulos, Obama had Axelrod and Plouffe. Who's Hillary got?

Maggie Williams.

You said this: At the moment, he's far closer to where George W. Bush was at this time of his presidency than where Clinton or Reagan were. An improving economy and a functioning health care law would help him. But, I think the partisan divide in this country is so ingrained that the idea that Obama could "recover" to 60 percent approval is a laughable. Not possible. Even if he walked on water, he would probably only reacfh the low 50s, right? On the flip side, do you see evidence that he is losing his core supporters who keep his floor at 40 or so? My take as one of those people is that the opposition (tea partiers, etc) is so horrible that we are willing to overlook what unfortunately seems to be at best drifting and at worse Brownie-level incompetence from the administration. Do you have a sense? Thanks, and happy holidays.

Right. The hardening of partisanship will give presidents in the future a relatively high floor and a low ceiling.

Masterpiece Theater or the Swedish one?

Masterpiece.  Branagh!

Orphan Black on BBC America. Quite good.

Already watched the entire first season. I dug it.

Yes so do I, and side note I did live in Malmo for a few months, as in the city where Walander takes place

Is it as beautiul as they make it look? If so, I need to go to Sweden ASAP.

So why wouldn't Jeff Merkley standing on stage with Hillary Clinton not scare the beejezus out of her? He's led on issues Democratic primary voters love.

No one knows who he is.  But, you are right that there is room on Clinton's left. It's why people love to talk about Elizabeth Warren and why Schweitzer and Howard Dean are leaving the door open to running.

...Is everything, no? Had you been writing your "worst year" column in mid October, I'm fairly sure the award would have been given to Congressional Republicans or even Speaker Boehner. That's two months ago and the political outlook has shifted dramatically.


Are you letting us know that because you think we'd be interested in his travel habits or because that's your standard laugh line to make your reading audience laugh out loud collectively? I'm sure the marmot on Trump's head will be happy to return to a more colder habitat in NH.

I see what you did there.

Do you think Gillespie is running against Warner because he thinks he can win (he is wrong if he does) or to gain statewide name rec, and run for gov in 2017?

A little of both. Ed is a smart political mind. He figures that if the environment collapses nationally for Democrats in 2014, he would be positioned to sweep in and beat Warner. if it doresn't, then he loses but gains name ID and a place at the front of the line for governor in 2017.

and your response is blank. Is that intentional, and if so, what does it mean?

You tell me.

And please don't say Jason Isbell.

I am going to do a bigger post on this --n either on Fix or on my music Tumblr -- but a few:


Vampire Weekend


I'd just like to say that I was way ahead of the curve in loving "A Christmas Story" and I'm annoyed by how many people now say it's their favorite. Yeah, you all were crying about Clarence when I was joking about a leg lamp.

Well done!

Y'all are much appreciated. The Fix is usually my first news stop in the AM and the last. Sometimes you get it wrong. More often you get it right. Ignore the haters. We love you. And no, I'm not your mom.

Thanks much. we do our best.

I agree as a general matter the ceilings are lower and the floors are higher given the rampant partisanship that now characterizes the electorate. But GWB in his second term seemed to bust right through the floor into a basement where essentially nobody liked him, even his base. Thus, the disappearing act at the subsequent conventions. Do you think Obama will be speaking at Hillary's 2016 and 2020 conventions, or will he have pressing obligations elsewhere???

True. He lost a big portion of his base in the last 2 years, which is what drove him from the low 40 to the low 30s.

If he really wanted to run for President why wouldn't he run for governor of MA? Historically governor is a much better launching pad than Congress.

New Hampshire is the first in the nation primary...

Just what is his game? He was in Iowa this week and told us that visiting all 99 counties in IA was on his bucket list. He also told us that he two degrees in agronomy and had worked for USDA, which no other candidate could claim. Isn't it awfully early to be pandering to us liberal IA Dems?

Here's his game:

that you're not Kim Jong-un's uncle.

I am. Very.

How do you square the polls this week that showed voters trust Republicans more than the President on economic issues, but yet also show that far more people blame Bush (5 years later!) for our state of affairs than they do Obama?

We contain multitudes. I think if you spend time looking at lots of polls -- which I do -- you realize that people hold often totally contradictory views in their minds t0gether. It's fascinating.

How about you unblock people as a holiday gift? I was unjustly swept away in a sea of Twitter blocks. I have to go cry some more.

My new years resoltuion is to block MORE people.

You bear a resemblance to him... Are you moonlighting as a onesie model on the side?

no comment. This interview is OVER!

Like back in the good old days when senators were filibustering civil rights legislation and the National Guard had to integrate schools? I really think people look at politics in the past through rose colored glasses.

Good point.

She' was in NH a fair amount, in the 2012 election and now she's doing a speech at the NH institute of politics on Jan 2. and I'm wondering, is this just her job as DNC chairperson, or is she laying groundwork?

Um, she is not laying the groundwork.

That's all folks. It's been an AMAZING year. And next year is an election year. SO PSYCHED.

We are going to have some new and exciting things happening on the Fix in 2014 so stay tuned...

Thanks for all your support this year. It keeps me going knowing that there are people out there traveling this same political voyage with me.

See you in January!


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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