The Fix Live

Jan 17, 2014

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

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Good morning everyone! The eyes of the political world are focused on the Justice Department this morning where President Obama will deliver a speedch laying out his proposed reforms to the NSA surveillance program.

You can watch it here.

And, I did a 5 questions the speech should answer.

Let's get started!


Wait, you've added more people? Is Fix Aaron still around, or did he move onto greener pastures?

We are in the process of adding several more people. Jaime Fuller, from the American Prospect, is the first newbie -- she starts next week! Much more news to come.

And Fix Aaron is MOST definitely still in the fold. He is me 2.0.

I know he's not retiring for awhile, but who gets the appointment?

No appointment.

Gov. Mary Fallin will set the special election date depending on when Coburn makes his retirement official. That's likely to be in early 2015 but could be sometime later this year.

As for the field: Rep. James Lankford looks like the early GOP faorite. I wonder if Rep. Tom Cole will give the race a look...

Our take on the special election is here:

Chances he's within 8 points of Warner on election day?

I'd say not bad. And a 54-46 loss would position Gillespie well for governor in 2017.

Gillespie will raise the money and run a serious and professional campaign. In Virginia in the 6th year of a not-all-that-popular president's time in office, that is probably enough to get Gillespie into single digit loss territory. To win, thiough, he needs a bunch of breaks.

Does he run in New Hampshire in 2014? Numbers aren't looking good for Democrats across the country.

Oh, I think he does.

And, as I wrote yesterday, that would help Republicans furthe expand the playing field.

Did you watch season 1? If not, you and your readers have a month to catch up (FX is re-airing it) before season 2. Your welcome.


And cannot wait until late February when it comes back on.

I have "True Detective" and "Sherlock" (BBC version) on my to-watch list right now.

For being a back stabbing two faced jerk, the award goes to....... Bruce Springsteen.

Was he really backstabbing Christie? Feels like the Boss has made his Democratic allegiances pretty clear for some time now.

Do you think his leaving has more to do with his health, or more with nothing getting done in the Senate?

Some from this basket, some from that basket. Plus, remember that he had term limited ghimself out in 2016 anyway. This way he's just getting a two year head start out the door.

As GM of a team I just created, I have selected Nate Silver to coach the following team with statistics. Don't let me down (i.e., Just pass it to Aaron.) C-John Stanton PF-Chris Cillizza SF-Aaron Blake SG-Sam Stein PG-Chris Hayes

Having played hoops with Hayes, he is more of a 2 guard. Everyone else looks appropriately positioned.

One addition: Buzzfeed's Benny Johnson. He comes off the bench as our microwave guy.

Do you think T.W. Shannon, The African American Republican Speaker of the House in Oklahoma, will be in the mix to replace Coburn?

Ah, yes.  Good one.

Overrated. Spare me the Dylan comparisons. He's the East Coast version of Mellencamp but an even worse singer.

1. His new album is not great

2. Don't get crazy

How is Scott's general unpopularity translating into poll numbers? Why should we assume he'd do any better than, say, Pryor in AR?

1. Because he is very very rich and will spend that $$$ on ads that try to endear the public to him

2. Because he is running against Charlie Crist, who is carrying a lifetime's worth of political baggage.

If Hilllary Clinton runs, who else does? And why -- to win or just to gain attention? I'm assuming Joe Biden and Andrew Cuomo don't run.

O'Malley -- He can't wait since he is term limited out of office in 2014

Schweitzer -- Why the hell not?

His district voted twice for Obama, but narrowly. The political tradition in that part of Upstate New York is mostly Republican. Seems like a perfect "swing seat" to me.

Yup. It's ranked #7 on our new rankings of the House seats expected to switch parties in November.

You really think Ken Buck is the best bet for Republicans to pick up CO or at least make it competitive? He might have name ID a different challenger wouldn't have (arguable at best considering name ID can come at the end of primary), but he also makes it difficult to turn it into a referendum on Bennet instead of a nasty rematch.

I don't think Buck is the answer in Colorado. Too much bad blood left over from 2010. That said, unless national Republicans can convince someone else to run, he probably wins the primary and loses the general election.

Does anyone but Gillespie have a shot at the Republican Senate nomination to unseat Warner? My take - Gillespie doesn't seem quite conservative enough to energize the Tea Party wing and he's got enough lobbyist baggage to energize Democrats.

It's possible someone from the tea party right challenges Gillespie. But, my guess is that he did a lot of leg work to keep that sort of challenge from happening before he announced his candidacy this week.  He's a shrewd political operator.

Sorry, I meant Udall, not Bennet. Please correct accordingly.

Right. I assumed. All good.

Christie's strongest argument among Republican activists is electability -- he's the only one who polls well against Hillary Clinton. How badly has that argument been damaged?

Some. But not fundamentally. I wrote a LONG piece on why Christie is still the rightful frontrunner in the race here:

If Christie isn't the "electable Republican" anymore, who is?

A very good question. Jeb? Rubio? Jindal? Scott Walker?

Jerry Brown is out. I don't know if Howard Dean would run. Will any Democrat challenge Hillary with anything more than a half-hearted, "it'll be fun to debate" attitude?

I think Schweitzer would make it interesting. But he has a very small chance of becoming a real challenger to Clinton.

I find Christie far more entertaining than Springsteen, but I still don't see that as backstabbing. Just because you're a fan, that doesn't mean I have to like you. Not sure I'd want to be trying to renew my driver's license if I were Springsteen, though...


Can you confirm or deny rumors that your agent has been meeting with Tottenham to discuss your being loaned out to the Spurs?

I can score just as well as Soldado. Which is to say, not well at all.

Isn't the whole thing a lose/lose for him. Is their any good outcome for him?

Sure. If nothing else comes out and Christie's story that he didn't know is confirmed, he can use this episode to show that when confronted with wrongdoing -- even among his closest allies -- he acts quickly and decisively to ensure that the public is protected.

How big an obstacle for Rand Paul's presidential hopes are his noninterventionist foreign policy views? He's on the right side of public opinion, but could not be more different from the GOP mainstream over the past few decades.

A big one.

To me the question is how well Paul pivots/changes the subject when the conversation turns to foreign policy. While I do think there is more of a non-interventionist strain in the GOP, it's far from the majority of Republicans.

Your mention of Tommy Carcetti makes me wonder about a progress report on your consumption of "The Wire." How's it going?

Mid season 4...

Am I crazy to think Kansas will win it all this year?

I think you are. Wiggins is VERY talented but drifts in games too much. And Embid is really good but hard for a big man to dominate without the ball in his hands all the time.

My husband and I feel it jumped the shark at the end of last season. Agree or disagree?

I am starting to get there. The Bates-Anna relationship seems totally non-believable. And I could do with less Lady Edith.

Hard to call Jindal "electable" when he's not popular in his home state.

Really? If Jindal is the nominee, does Louisiana vote against him? I doubt it.

First you drive away Dana Milbank and now Hax was chatting yesterday. Your ego must be growing.


He sounds like's running for a show on MSNBC. Will anyone remember that he was a rather centrist governor of Montana?

I remember when he ran against Conrad Burns in 2000, he did so as a conservative/centrist Democrat..

It has been fun to see Manchester United struggling this year.

Yes, yes it has.

(A) Percentage chance he runs for president? (B) Percentage chance he becomes the nominee if he does run? I think B > A.

A. 20%

B. 35%

Have you applied to be the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns. They are still taking applications.

No comment. This interview is over.

Who do you have winning on Sunday, besides Chelsea over Manchester United. Am going with Denver-Seattle.

Chelsea for sure.

I am a Peyton Manning guy (also Mrs. Fix loves him) so give me Denver in that game. And I think Seattle is overrated and Jim Harbaugh scares me -- so I'll take SF.

What do the dems do, who runs, anyone with an edge?





Warren (maybe)


Jim Moran = safe Democratic seat, in a wealthy district. I hereby declare myself a candidate!

It is going to be a crowded Democratic primary -- to say the least.

Did you watch the Golden Globes and could you translate what Jacqueline Bisset said?

Of course i did!

And, for me, it was all about McConaughey. Alright, Alright, Alright.

I thought Jeb was a very good governor. However, other than his last name being Bush, why is he still in the conversation? What other politician who has been out of office for nearly a decade is still talked up as a possible president?

By the time 2016 hits, George W. will have been out of office for 8 years. And the American public has a remarkably short memory.

The most overrated "singer" (if you call that singing) of all time. If Bob Seger grew up on the East Coast he would be known as "The Boss".

Ok, ok.  The kidding around is pretty much over.

Christie tried to ride Bruce's coattails and he got burned. You're right - Bruce's politics have been well-known for a long time.

Are you going to answer all questions with two numbered answers? If you were going to be a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

1. Yes

2. A ficus

If the Republicans don't pick up enough seats to win the majority in the Senate in 2014 I don't see them in the majority until at least 2018 or 2020 due to the bad map they will have in 2016 where they have to defend Florida Wisconsin Pennsylvania New Hampshire and Ohio all Obama states in a presidential year.

Absolutely right. And I think they, realistically, need to pick up 8 seats or so in November to give them a cushion going into the 2016 and 2018 cycles. 

If you think Bruce is really jacked, you need to hit the weight room. I think he only looked big because he was standing next to Jimmy Fallon. Your wife coaches athletes-you should know better.

He is 65!

Almost Famous. My favorite movie about rock and roll. Frances McDormand is a national treasure.

It is an amazing movie. I need to go rewatch. It is also a great movie about journalism.

"Just tell them it's a think piece."

Next time there's a fight over funding npr, do they send the dowager to The Hill?

I would.

Is he totally out of the running for 2016? Or is there still a chance he might run? He'd be formidable if he did run -- he'd be acceptable to pretty much all Republicans.

I think he is out because he wants to be out. If he wanted to run, he'd be a very serious candidate. But everyone I talk to says he has little interest in running fore president. 

Republican VP pick must be a women/minority, maybe both, if its another White Man nominee. Thoughts?

Especially if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee.

Maybe Susana Martinez in NM? Kelly Ayotte in NH?

that you seem to attract all these Bruce haters to your chat??? The Boss rocks, as anyone who has seem him live or has listened to Darkness on the Edge of Town knows.


Don't forget that Mark Kirk will be up, too, in a *very* Democratic state. Is Tammy Duckworth the most likely Democratic opponent?

She would be an intriguing candidate. People will talk about Lisa Madigan too...

Always appeared that bromance was pretty one-sided on the Christie end.


Being connected to his brother would be a plus in a Republican nomination battle -- most Republicans still like W. A negative in the general, though. I would suspect that Jeb would (1) always speak respectfully of his brother but (2) make clear that he's his own man.

Agree on all fronts.

I guess running as the anti-O Dem right now seems like a feasible idea, but like those who urged the 2008 GOP candidates to go anti-Bush, doesn't he risk pissing off the core of the party who'll decide who's nominated and don't want to see someone within the tent attacking (especially the African Americans)

Yes he does. I think Schweitzer is a charismatic and able candidate. But I just don't see a coalition of any significant size out there for him.

Have you found anyone to have a Twitter war, besides Chuck Todd.

No! I need a good rival.

Is there any other candidate's mother who is discouraging him from running? When I tell my sons not to do something, they automatically do it anyway?

HA! Good point.

Have you seen this? There is a political angle with a NJ mayor who has incredible hair. (Well, just about everyone in the film has incredible hair.) And there are several congressmen taking bribes.

I loved it.  Mrs Fix and I saw it on a date a few weeks back.

If they don't pick up the pace soon they may miss out on the chance to lose in the first round of the tournament this year.

The NIT tournament? I think we will make it.

I keep reading that the Republicans have a good chance to take over control of the Senate in the forthcoming election. Can you tell me why in the hell ANYONE would vote for a Republican for anything considering their track record to date.

Well, this is a question clearly coming from a neutral place....

What's your read on the Alaska Senate race? It's a weird state that seems just reflexively Republican, but while the world is falling apart for incumbents like Pryor, Landrieu, and Hagan, nobody seems to mention Begich.

1. It is Alaska.  The coverage is just different

2. Dan Sullivan looks like the real deal -- particularly if you look at his last findraising quarter.

3. This will be a very good race.

how's cassidy doing raising $$$ for his race versus landrieu?

He's raising money well. Behind Landrieu but solid.

That race is fascinating because all candidates run on the same ballot on election day. If no one gets 50 percent of the vote, which seems likely, there is a December runoff -- which, by the by, may well decide who controls the Senate.

"By the time 2016 hits, George W. will have been out of office for 8 years. And the American public has a remarkably short memory." Perhaps, but the media hates anything about Bush and Hillary is a woman, so it will want to elect someone who will make good headlines ala Obama. Not a chance.

Ah, yes, the all-powerful media!

New tv show for you to watch on Discovery. Not political. "Buying Alaska" about people buying houses and living in the middle of no where, living off the land and having no running water. The other side of the United States.

Oooh. Intriguing.

Do you and Fix Aaron have a power sharing agreement?

It's a tenuous one.

Is he serious, or does he really need to be in the news to live?

I refuse to speculate about Donald Trump. Won't run. If he did, wouldn't win.

Until a few weeks ago I had not seen E.T. in probably 25 years, forgot how really good that movie is. Speilberg's best work by far.

If she is the GOP VP nominee to balance out the white man presidential candidate what does she bring to the ticket besides gender? Isn't she a kind of NE Sarah Palin?

SHe's from a swing state in the general election. Nice resume -- former state Attorney General.

I mean, he usually plays the kind of d'bag I can't stand--but he's just so darn likable.

He rox.

Ugh, the conventional liberal/conservative dynamic doesn't apply to all politicians. Schweitzer may not be considered "liberal" on things like guns, but he is the latest in a long line of western progressives and in that populist mold, he's supported a far more "liberal" economic and health care agenda.

Fair enough.

Okay, I lived under Jeb as governor and thought he was outstanding (particularly considering who came after, and who came after that). But why is he considered a serious competitor?

He got elected twice in a massive swing state. He won a significant share of Latinos. His last name is Bush. He is among the leading policy thinkers within the GOP. He can raise the money.

One of his biggest obstacles as a presidential candidate: surprisingly low name ID. Does he have plans to raise his national profile?

Low name ID can be solved with money. I think Walker's real challenge if he runs is to show he can raise money to compete with Rand Paul and Chris Christie.

How badly has the health care rollout hurt O'Malley's presidential chances?

It certainly didn't help.

Do you ever worry that he is plotting a coup to overtake you?

I don't worry about it. I know he is plotting. One slip and he will Brutus me.

There's an episode where peggy is modeling her feet talking about how the mediia tricks women into hating their feet when bobby says "who? Who in the media tricked you?" This seemed relavant given recent topics on here.

No doubt you are a member of the media, taking part in a grand scheme to distract from the media's blame for, well, everything.

You agreed with a chatter who suggested that George W Bush was popular among Republicans. The Republicans I know detest Bush, mostly because of what he did to the deficit and the economy (they seem to have fewer issues with Iraq and the tax cuts as such). I'm sure that they prefer him to Obama, but I really don't see anyone who is yearning for the good ol days of GWB. Ask yourself this: do you really think they will give George Bush a prominant role at the 2016 convention, the way Democrats have every cycle with Clinton? I say no way and, if I were Mitt Romney, I would bet $10,000 on that . . .

Fair enough. I only meant that george W. is far more popular among Republicans than he is among indepedents and Democrats. Should have been more clear.

There's no comparison between the two. I'm a Democrat and even I acknowledge that Ayotte is far more competent than Palin.

No question.

Rank from toughest to least toughest reelection race for the following GOP senators in 2016 -- Ayotte, Rubio, Portman, Burr, Johnson and Toomey.







He is proof of an East Coast Bias.

Why not media bias too?

Why are people surprised about him? It's not like he's been terrible in everything. He's had his moments (see A Time to Kill). He's not a completely unproven dramatic actor.

Let's also not forget his star turn in Tropic Thunder.

Who are the favorite presidential candidates of the big-money boys in the GOP?

Chris Christie

Chris Christie


The guy has been living off of the same 4 songs since the 80s. Totally overrated.

Proveably false.

So first I heard she had unequivocally out; not leaving NM. Now I keep hearing her name as a serious consideration. What changed?

People don't say no to being vice president. They just don't.

You really thing that either of them can win? I think we are at the point of both a Clinton and Bush fatigue.

People keep saying that. And then keep electing dynastic candidates to offices around the country.

can you answer 100 questions today?

I am trying like crazy.  TAKE THAT HAX.

Just stop. People forget about a lot of things, but George W. Bush won't be one of them. And, yeah, Jeb won in a swing state-he wasn't running for President.

Can't stop. Won't stop.

They don't get Bruce at all. All of the haters on the chat are probably under 30.

I need to SnapChat that.

Let's say he's not on the ballot in 2016 as a presidential or vice presidential candidate. Can you envision a scenario where he faces a tough re-elect to the Senate? Or is the Florida Democratic Party too much of a shell of a party to compete against him?

I thunk he starts a re-election race as a clear fravorite. As evidenced by Democrats nominating Charlie Crist for governor, the party's bench is, um, not so deep.

I can't tell if you were being sarcastic. He was good in Tropic Thunder (very underrated comedy) for what the role called for.

I can't tell either.

And, scene!  Have a great Friday. Remember that we do this every Friday at 11 am. So spread the word to your friends. Hell, spread the word to your enemies.

See you next week.

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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