The Fix Live

Jan 24, 2014

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

Follow @TheFix on Twitter.

Good morning everyone! Happy Friday.

The RNC is expected to vote today on big changes to its primary calendar and conventions sites...we will keep an eye on that as the chat goes on.

What else do you want to talk about? Let's do this thing.

Rank from most to least who benefits from Chris Christie's recent stumbles? Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, or Scott Walker?

1. Scott Walker

2. Rand

3. Rubio

4. Cruz

I think Walker is now in a dead heat with Christie for the establishment pick. And Rand benefits because I think, given the hit Christie has taken, is probably back in the #1 slot as the frontrunner by a nose.

Who challenges Ron Johnson in 2016? Russ Feingold? Ron Kind? Someone else?

Ron Kind would like to. But he also knows he can't beat Russ in a primary.

Why aren't you doing this chat from Davos?

How do you know I'm not?

My hands down winner for worst week are, "The McDonnells". Never good to be indicted.

You sir/madam are correct!


What is it about the GOP that they cannot stop talking about birth control and abortion. They sound ridiculous when talking about it.

We wrote on this today:

The problem for Republicans is that there is a lot of water under the bridge for them when it comes to talking about women.  The ghosts of akin and Mourdock loom large. And so, they need to be even more careful with what they are saying. Huckabee apparently didn't get that memo.

Hax is back to chatting this morning. Maybe she wants the competition with the Fix.

I think Hax felt me on her tail.

It just elicits a yawn. When should I be outraged?

I don't tell anyone when they should be outraged. I think Huckabee simply needs to be aware of how politically fraught it is for Republicans to talk about women in the way he did.

OK. So. My other half got me the first season of FNL for Xmas after I mentioned how much you like it. We are clearly not the most macho guys in the world but I couldn't disagree with him when after enduring five episodes he started to call it "that telenovela". What are we missing?

Just wait...Watch a full season or two. I would argue that it has the single most realistic marriage -- Coach and Mrs Coach -- of anything I have ever seen on TV.

Yay or nay?

Nay. But not because I hate it. I just have never made time for it.

I noticed a lot of republicans listed in your book as 2016 contenders havevstruggled of late. McD, jindal, christie, arguably Ryan, alk have had problems, slthough the added attn as a potential candidate explains some of that. However, it makes me wonder:is the fix a jynx?!?

I could well be.

Remember that the book -- now avalaibale at Amazon! -- came out in the summer of 2012. That's a long time ago now.

And while McDonnell is done for I think Jindal and Christie remain very much in the mix.

If McDonnell was automatically a rising star, future presidential contender because he won in Virginia, why isn't Terry McAuliffe mentioned as one? McDonnell didn't do anything-winning shouldn't have made him a rising star.

A good question. My guess: Because the assumption is that Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee and there is no way on earth she picks Terry as her running mate.

Hillary Clinton calls you this afternoon and says, "Chris, you get to decide who my running mate in 2016 will be. But I need to decide today. Who is it going to be?" You reply, "...

Tim Kaine.

Any thoughts on the cover of the Hillary Clinton on the New York Times Magazine Cover?

Yup. Right here:

Fix, Beinart's conclusion in this article that Rand Paul is now the front-runner for 2016 seems remarkably persuasive to me but two follow on questions: 1) Would both him and Cruz run (they seem to cancel each other out and would be going after the same constiutencies)? 2) How much do republican money-men not like him and how much does that matter in the era of super PACs and online donations? What say you Fix?

I LOVED that piece and agree with the vats majority of it. (I, too, have written that Paul is, if not the frontrunner, a top tier candidate.)

On #1: I don't think Paul and Cruz cancel each other out. Cruz is more of a social conservative/tea party type while Rand is a more pure libertarian. On #2: Rand is doing a lot of legwork at the moment to convince money men to either be with him or to not work actively against him. And remember that his dad raised $50 million for his presidential bid in 2012.

Didn't really have to strain yourself to find a candidate this week huh?

Um, no.

Wow, what a fall from grace. That's all.

Remarkable. I wrote a piece on the lessons politicians can learn from what happened to McDonnell here:

Thanks for the shout-out for Iowa yesterday. It was just what we needed on a viciously cold day when politicians were ranting about ethanol mandates (again) and all the state's major college bb teams had losses for the week. And since you've actually been to Iowa, your kind words are even more appreciated


If you missed the piece, it's here:

Given all the focus on potential presidential staffs - Christe and Clinton - how much does have a good/poor team factor into your rankings and thoughts on the race?

A lot.

It's why I think the lasting problem for Christie out of bridgegat (assuming nothing more comes out that links him to the lane closures) is the loss of Bill Stepien. Stpeien was likely going to be the campaign amanager for CHristie and replacing a loyal and trusted lieutenant is no easy task.

Two former senators are running in a swing state but why is Scott Brown getting more media coverage than Bob Smith ?

Because if Scott Brown runs (and I think he will) he has a path to winning. Not so with Bob "I am an independent no I'm not and also by the way I ran for Senate in Florida" Smith.

Thank god for her she is not a pro-life republican, because if she were the media would be digging through every aspect of her past right now.

You must have missed this:

Does this incident in Miami pretty much kill Bieber's chances of a political run in the future ?

I can't do it. I tried to write a response. I really did. The fingers just wouldn't type it.

Theoretically Senate Minority Leader Mcconell loses the primary or general election who becomes the next republican leader.. Will Cruz or Lee try and make a play?

They might. But I think Cornyn would have a rel leg up. John Thune (of SD) might challenge him. Or be content to just move up to Whip.

I saw Vegas on the RNC list. This strikes me as a very bad idea, for either party. I can see the headlines about some delegate losing x amount of dollars at the black jack table, or getting himself in an even worse situation.

Stay tuned. I am going to do a big pros and cons of each potential site later today on Fix.

And will you be entering Buffett's Billion Dollar Challenge?

Manning. MANNING.

Is there any other news out there? I live in South Florida and all I have heard for the past 24 hours is Bieber, Bieber, Bieber. Do you weep for the journalism profession when you see the way celebrity stories like this are covered?


I would argue that it has the single most realistic marriage -- Coach and Mrs Coach -- of anything I have ever seen on TV. Seriously? I haven't watched the show either, but thought about picking it given how you rave about it so much--but to see a "realistic marriage"--I'm in one of those and I certainly don't want to see it on television. Surely there must be something else...?



As an unabashed lover of all veep speculation, no matter how unfounded or outlandish, I have been frustrated by the lack of attention give to who Paul might pick should he end up the nominee. Help me Chris cillizza you're my only hope.

I am here for you.

He would go establishment -- and not a Senator. So...Walker?

I also think it matters who is perceived as coming in second. That person might have some cache. (ala Edwards and Kerry in 2004).

I had never seen John Boehner speak in a (relatively) unscripted back-and-forth before, and I was pleasantly surprised at his candor and humor. He should do himself a favor and appear more on television.

He is funny -- sacrastic and funny. I haven't seen the clip yet but will atch after chat.

Was that off the cuff, or did they Plan It that way?

They very muvh planned it. Check this explai

The member of the 2016 republican primary field no one is talking about right now is _____?

Mike Pence?

Which scandal would Obama chose to go away first? A. Benghazi B. ACA C. IRS D. NSA

Not sure ACA is a scandal but if Obama had to choose between which of those 4 stories rapidly turned in his direction, he would want it to be Obamacare.

Why do you say hes running? Gut or sources?

Sources + gut + using my two eyes.  He started a new website. He is sending out fundraising emails for the New Hampshire GOP. I don't think he is doing either of those things by accident or just for kicks.

McDonnell was a contender because he won VA,which is increasingly a swing state and WAS widely popular. McAuliffe wasn't a good candidate to start with - isn't as popular, and beating a way social conservative, (who wanted SCOTUS to let him keep anti-sodomy laws) doesn't make him a rising star.

Fair enough.

I think McDonnell's election mattered more too because Republicans were just a year removed from getting hammered by Obama nationally. McDonnell's win was a signal (or at least Republicans thought it was a signal) that he had found a new blueprint to win.

"Sorry, I'm not having sex tonight, I'm already brushing my teeth."


Should Sherman have to apologize to kids for his outburst?

I may be in the minority here but if we are going to interview football players seconds after they finish what is an incredibly violent and aggressive sport, I think we need to be ok with what Richard Sherman said.

Boehner was helped by the fact that he followed Matt Lablanc. Anyone would seem entertaining after that.

How does the sitting Speaker of the House have to follow Matt LeBlanc?????

How would you rate the chances of Republicans picking up this Senate seat?


I thinK Terri Lynn Land has been a better candidate (at least in terms of her fundraising) than many people thought she would be. Still, Michigan is a hard place for a Republican to win statewide. The last time a Republican won a Senate seat in the state was 20 years ago.

Wheres your love for the other major Presidential politics player? Did you see Politico's state rankings yet? 1-NH 8- Iowa

I have a love letter to New Hampshire too!!

Is the Jimmy Fallon - Springsteen parody of "Born to Run" the funniest thing you've ever seen, or what? And is Christie dead as a presidential candidate?

1. It was amazing. Fallon is a genius.

2. No. Not clsoe to done. major bump in the road. But not the end of the road. In other words, there's a darkness on the edge of town but he still can be racing in the streets.

Do you feel CNN's Piers Morgan should be replaced? If so, by who?

A Tottenham fan.

What happens if health care just drops out of the news, as it seems to be doing right now? Does it lose salience as an issue?

Not unless the Republican base ceases to be motivated to vote by it. And that ain't gonna happen.

Rank in order of most to least likely to survive in 2016: Rubio, Ayotte, Portman, Toomey, Johnson, Burr






Obama's approval rating will eventually go as low as ___%

I think he has bottomed out at about 41. The only way he goes lower than that is if the Democratic base abandons him. (That's what happened to W -- thw GOp base started walking away from him.)

What about Independents and Democrats?

Democrats are far less enthused to defend the law than Republicans are to hate on it. Indies tend to be slightly more negative than positive about it,

Who's more vulnerable in 2016?

Kirk. That state is just so Democratic. And it will be even more so in a presidential year.

I can't get in an uproar over the bridge closure. I know I should probably (character and all that) but it's just not resonating with me. Think there are others closer to me than the coverage would imply?

A few weeks of bad coverage in early 2014 don't kill a presidential candidacy.  If nothing more comes out linking Christie to the closures, this will be a blip on the radar by 2016.

Please tell me why his campaign finance director-the person whose job it is to talk to big donors-was a part of the lane closures. I'll wait for a plausible explanation. This is going to get dirty and he'll be done.

It might. There will certainly be more investigating before there is less.

Looks like he has bottomed out at ~42%. The big question this year is whether he can rebound to ~45%. That wouldn't be a great number, but might save a couple of Senate Democrats. Remember he rebounded fine after the debt ceiling crisis of 2011.

Right. I think this is an important point. What does Obama recovery look like? 45%? 50%  I can't imagine that he could go a lot higher than about 52% at this point. If he gets there, does he save some swing state Senate Democrats?

I've read you and Sports Guy for as long as I can remember. It was nice to see Bill Simmons' thorough apology earlier this week. I'm disappointed your readers never received after your decision to not move Ohio from tossup because Romney needed it to win.

Holy cow. I do NOT understand the whole Ohio thing. yes, we moved Ohio from lean Obama to toss up in the final few weeks of the race. yes, Obama won the state. But, as I always remind people it was the SECOND CLOSEST state in terms of OBama's winning margin behind only Florida.

Golden Globe, possible Oscar, and a great TV show. Keep making Dazed & Confused jokes, people.

After his peech at the SAG awards (flying to Neptune!) I am literally giddy about the prospect of him winning the Oscar and giving another speech.

Sidebar: I am into True Detective.

Juan Mata is headed to Manchester United, so this means that Rooney will be headed to Chelsea in the summer.

I think Man U would make a mistake to move Wazza.  Let's see what they look like with mata, Wazza and RVP all playing and healthy.

Perhaps he needs some help, maybe a can of spray-on hair? I will split it with him, I'm follically-challenged and waiting on Holder to make me a part of some historically discriminated minority.

I am pro the patchy beard. Be loud, be proud.

Would unannounced male Presidential candidates receive the same qeustionable cover treatment as Hilary Clinton?

As I wrote yesterday, Hillary Clinton will be covered differently than every other candidate in the field. Part of that is because she is a woman, part of it is because she is Hillary and part of it is because she is a Clinton.

I saw Vegas on the RNC list. This strikes me as a very bad idea, for either party. I can see the headlines about some delegate losing x amount of dollars at the black jack table, or getting himself in an even worse situation.

Stay tuned. I am going to do a pros and cons post this pm. I think the Vegas of 20 years might be a bad idea. But, VEgas is a changed place...

Scott Walker is not going to win the presidency. Please stop.

Okey dokey.

Saw Gareth Bale in a Real Madrid shirt last week. It still looks odd.

I can't watch it.

1. Any time you have to leave Des Moines 2. The sense of entitlement - you really need to meet a candidate in person 6 times before making your decision? 3. The Democratic Party caucus system makes no sense (saying this as someone who has been to them and knows how it works)

4. My car was stolen from a parking garage attached to the Hotel Fort Des Moines during the 2011 straw poll.

I don't understand why people have such a hard time understand probabilities. If you predict that Ohio will go to Obama 60% of the time, the coin flips 10 times, and the 4 times it goes to Romney your prediction is still SPOT ON. Very close elections are impossible to predict down to the vote. What matters is the prevailing twins, and that was spot on. I recommend the previous poster read Nate Silver's book.

Thank you.

And I double recommend Nate's book. Terrific stuff.

I take Ed Gillespie seriously as a candidate. I think this will be a good Republican year. But Mark Warner does not look vulnerable *at all.*

Nope. I think Ed has a 15-20 percent chance of winning. And he knows that.

He will run a solid campaign and be in the right position to capitalize if lightining strikes.  And, if he runs a solid campaign and loses, he is at or close to the front of the line for 2017 governor.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers to deliver the Republican response. Does Boehner hate her? Did she do something wrong to deserve this?

It has beena  remarkabl jinx. The last semi good one was McDonnell -- and we know how that turned out for him.

How long before Moyes gets fired?

Got to give him one more season. But it's definitely squeaky bum time for Old Moyesy.

Don't matter at all for election outcomes. But Tampa and Charlotte were too small to host conventions. At least Las Vegas has the hotel space.

Agree. As GovBeat's Reid Wilson noted to me this morning, Republicans haven't won the state where they held the convention sicne 1992!

Is it me or does the term "Uncle Sugar" sound like a southern rock band with a penitent for strawberry licorice?

It's not just you.

Drive north a bit over half an hour from Des Moines. A place called the Open Flame. Your steak was mooing yesterday and you cook it on an open grill. Also great onion rings (thinly shredded, not the over coated half moons).

Adding to the "to do" list.

Also, I love me some Pizza Ranch.

I know McDonnell wins in a landslide but any other week Wendy Davis would take the crown.

Not a good week for her campaign. Agreed.

Also, Charlie Crist?  Read this:

The amazing thing is, if he just waited until he was out of office, he could have become a lobbyist, he would have been just as corrupt but been totally within the law.

Well, I would say it is not clear to me he broke any law.  The Virginia gifts policy is incredibly lax

You're not sure ACA is a scandal. So do you believe he didn't know the law as originally written stated that insureds would lose their coverage? The "If you like your plan/doctor.." was not a lie?

Does the fact that president Obama was wrong about that mean the law is a scandal?

I doubt he runs in 2016. But could you see him endorsing a Republican presidential candidate? If so, who?

I would be STUNNED if he ran. And sure he would help as an endorser particularly in Iowa.  Who would he endorse? I could seem him going with someone like Rand...

I understand probabilities. The problem was that based on your own model, Ohio, while close compared to California or Oklahoma, should have been moved out of toss-up. Your reasoning for not following your own rules was "Romney needs it to win." Sorry, but that doesn't make sense and only feeds the narrative that you're in it for clicks.

That was one of MANY reasons. And my thinking there was that Romney would (and did) dump every etra dollar and every extra staffer they had into Ohio to win. And more money and more staff as a reflection of the need to win the state more than any other can matter.

I assume his political career is over, but if he is acquitted, will any law / lobbying firms be willing to take him on?

You already know the answer. And it is yes.

The cringe-inducing language and tone aside, will public figures ever learn to avoid analogies (unless airtight, hence always avoid)? I can't imagine how bored I'd be to hear something like: "I disagree with [issue] and here's why..."

Tend to agree.

Thanks to ALL for the great questions. Have a great weekend. And remember we do this thing 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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