The Fix Live

Jan 31, 2014

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

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Happy Friday morning. I continue to battle a SOTU cold so my q and a game might be slightly off.

Having effectively hedged my bets, I am ready to go.

Before  I do:

Soundtrack for chat: John Prine

Coffee for chat: Grande caramel macchiato

Food for chat: Day-Quil.

Aren't the eulogies and cheers from liberal pundits a bit premature? In 2012, we had frontrunners rising and falling every few weeks. While, no two elections are likely to be the same, there's still a lot of time for Christie to recover (and perhaps more importantly, for others to stumble).

Yes. It's not a good last few weeks for Christie. But better to have a few bad weeks in January 2013 than in January 2016.

I think Bridge-gate has sapped Christie of some momentum that he had built after the 2013 re-election race. But, the idea he is done for seems to me to be overwrought at this point.

More likely to happen: Christie's impeached or Christie wins the general election in 2016?

The latter.

Chris, do you think we will ever have an Italian-American President in the White House. Guiliani lost, now Chris Christie is losing in the polls.

I am not saying yes to being recruited to run. But I am not saying no.

Double negatives are not not the best thing.

Chris Christie, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Mike Pence, Rick Snyder, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Perry -- who runs and who doesn't in 2016?

Christie Walker Jindal and Perry run.

Snyder and Pence don't.

I don't think kasich does...but I could be convinced otherwise. My guess is that he is interested but isn't making his mind up until after this fall. 

In or out? What's the Fix's official prediction?


I think he badly wants to run for president and sees getting elected to the Senate from New Hampshire in 2014 as the best way to do that -- whether in 2016 or beyond.

And, judging from the polling data I've seen, there is no reason to think that he can't be competitive against Shaheen.

With all the other targets for Republicans, nobody is talking about Al Franken who won with 40-something percent of the vote and a few hundred votes in the best Democratic environment in decades. Can Franken get to 50+1 in this climate?

I think so. Minnesota is a D-leaning state and Franken has done a very good job of staying largelty under the radar, raising great money and generally avoiding being in the center of the discussion about Republican targets.

There is the possibility that Mike McFadden (rich business guy) becomes a more formidable challenger to Franken if the national environment goes south. But as of right now Franken looks to be in prettyh good shape.

Mr C So did Rep Grimm lock up WWIW on Tuesday night ? Is that some kind of record ? He even topped the guy from Florida who quit and the guy who was MIA from the House. Grimm is a true "double digit" . When you add his IQ and number of teeth, he still comes in under 100. MVMD

He did!

Totally overrated in calculating strength of presidential contender.

Totally agree. It's along the lines of picking a VP from a swing state with the expectation that it will heklp you win the state. Or picking a convention city with that same intent.

You don't drink, but you sure look like you eat. What's The Fix's snack of choice during the Super Bowl?

I love me some 7-layer dip.

Also, Oreos. Lots and lots of Oreos.

Initially thought Grimm, but after reviewing the video on youtube, I give it to the reporter. He looked like the biggest wimp. I'm surprised he didn't cry.

Oh please.  He was shocked. You don't expect to be accosted by a member of Congress simply for doing an interview.

Let's put the blame where it belongs: On the bully, not the bullied.

People have low standards for humor if they think Peyton Manning is funny. He's not and he gives bland, corporate answers (a la A-Rod). He's good at football but he's not particularly charming. Amazed at all the Peyton love.


This is genuinely funny:

Hi Chris, With all the talk this week about her unprecedented lead in the polls, how do you see her candidacy (if she runs) affecting the electoral map? While Arkansas is probably a lost cause, I could see her making some other recently-red states competitive. West Virginia & Kentucky come to mind, but I'm sure there are others. Your thoughts? Thanks.

No way.  I think West Virginia and Kentucky are gone for Clinton. 

That said, if she is able to even approximate the Obama electoral map from 2008 or 2012, she would win somewhat easily.

Good example of disconnect between Beltway press and voters. He has donors and hangers-on in your ear. (Kind of like Hillary for that matter.) There's nothing there there though.

There are hangers-on in my ears!  I knew I felt something.

And, I disagree. Two term governor of a big swing state in the south. Demonstrated record of winning Hispanic voters.  Leading policy voice in the party -- including on education.  From the first family of the Republican party.

Also, read this:

These Buzzfeed quizzes need to stop. And why are people surprised by their results? It's not like someone else is answering questions about them.

I LOVE them. Not kidding.

So, did the Republicans offer immigration reform without really offering immigration reform? If they end every offer with, "only after the borders are secure," they can really hold this up forever, as the border is never really 100% secure.

Well, they offered the thing that they could united a good number of members of their caucus around. And that had to have border security as the sine qua non of any sort of other deal.

Can there ever be a SOTU address that will just be "The State of the Union is All Right. Goodnight." ?

I endorse this approach.

I know you think that Tim Kaine is likely to be the Dem V.P. pick, and I think he's terrific, but I'm not sold that he's her choice. I think that given the lack of an active primary season, she has to do something to shake things up and to push up against the idea that she's the cautious candidate. So, in that vein, please rank the following as likely alternate choices: Deval Patrick, Julian Castro, Jon Tester (geographic diversity), Mary Landrieu (if she wins re-election).





How much do you think it's killing him to be sitting on the sideline while NYC takes all the credit for hosting the Super Bowl?

Not sure he's totally on the sidelines. Read this:

How do you see the Florida governor race?

Toss up with a slight tilt toward Crist.  I think it remains to be seen whether Crist can actually rally Dermocrats behind him. And, everything I read about his campaign makes me think it's not going well.

That said, Florida voters don't like Rick Scott.

Is he seriously interested in running for the Senate in Iowa? How would you judge his chances?

I don't think he's all that serious. If he runs, he would be a very serious contender due to his following among social conservatives and name ID built up over the years.

I spent my 20s living in DC and working as a journalist. Three decades later, I now live in South Carolina and rarely watch the news. Is there anything I should really really know about?


Represents a competitive district. Has a serious challenger. Already beset by scandal. But will be running in a Republican year. How much trouble is he in?

Oh, a lot.

Will he survive politically? For your cold, try chicken soup

I have been swilling chicken soup and water. 

Was Waxman's announcement a big surprise and who is the likely successor, besides being a Democrat I mean.

Going to be a HUGE Democratic field.  Check out this LA Times piece handicapping the field:,0,2617511.story

Did you get it from being in the chamber? Who is the Designated Survivor?

I did not. It was already on me by Tuesday night.

And the designated surviuvor was Ernest Moniz.  AKA this guy:

What're the chances Thom Tillis beats Hagan in 2014?

A lot of it depends on the national environment. Thillis seems to have moved beyond the early troubles of his campaign but it remains to be seen how good a candidate he will be.

But, Hagan has latched herself closely to Obama so much of her chances of winning re-election depend on what his job approval numbers look like there.

You pontificated about fake Obama scandals but dismiss Christie's. Quality journalism, Chris.

Hey thanks! (Also, I am incapable of grasping sarcasm.)

Do you think Mark Warner and Tim Kaine would be likely short list VP options for Hillary assuming she gets the nomination in 2016?

Absolutely yes.

Do you think Hillary Clinton's age will be an issue should she run? She will turn 70 her first year in office.

I think there will be some questions about her age and health-- especially after her illness in 2013 -- but I don't think it will be a major topic of discussion unless she has another major health scare between now and 2016.

Maybe sit the next one out, champ. Scott Brown is pro-choice. He's not getting on a Republican presidential ticket.

I didn't say that I thought Scott Brown was going to be the presidential nominee or the VP pick. I said simply that he wants to run for president.  Running for president and being elected president are, surprisingly, not the same thing.

Or are you afraid he'll break you in half?

It's him. But I am not planning to go near any balconies any time soon.

Who you got in the Super Bowl this weekend?

Give me the Broncos. 31-21.

Does New Hampshire GOP naminate its Senate Candidates by a Primary or through a state convention?

Primary. And I would remind people that New Hampshire is a state where carpetbagging is less a problem than in other states (like Wyoming). Tons of people live in NH and commute to Boston.

Did you see this poll? Link:

She will not run.

Obama, Bush, and Clinton all lost it. Why do people think that it's so important for presidential hopefuls?

And Romney lost Iowa. McCain skipped Iowa.

My thought now is that you need to win one of the first 3 (IA, NH or SC) in order to stay relevant for the rest of the race. I am not convinced one matters more than the others. Winning is what matters.

Are most of the political TV pundits (Matthews, Hannity) the same off the camera as on?

Yup.  Absolutely.

Is Rounds still the favorite?

Absolutely yes.

As a lover of manning, politics and crossover acts, I would love to see #18 run for office in the future. You see any chance of that happening?

He's probably too smart to get into politics.

Given the way world works these days - 24/7 news, twitter, etc - why would anyone even want to be president? Sure, you're going to say ego, but the cost is crazy.

The cost is remarkably high to run for any office nowadays. And yet, people keep doing it. Lots and lots of people.

I think the desire to be in a job where, theoretically, you can affect real change is appealing. And power. Also, you get to fly in a helicopter a lot.

I would enjoy it more if we came up with rules like the presidential debates.... No applause. The president literally got 8 words out and the place started clapping.

Here's my ideal SOTU: Me and a few other people watching the speech and riffing while being taped Mystery Science Theater 3000 style. I feel like this would help ratings immensely.

More likely to lose re-election this fall: Scott Walker or John Hickenlooper?

I think Hickenlooper. But I think both are getting re-elected.

Chris, you were once one of the best political journalist of your time. But now? You need to get out of DC more often. I live in Appalachian and Hillary is well liked here. People who detest Obama still like her. She could put KY & WVA in play. You are flat wrong on that. And Jeb Bush? Are you serious? By 2016 it will have been nearly a decade since he was in office. And the GOP has never quite explained what happened in Florida in Nov. of 2000.


Call me when Hillary wins West Virginia and Kentucky in a general election against a Republican.  Or, better yet, call me when the Clinton presidential campaign spends one dime of their money in either state.

Our local talk radio station down here in Dunk City has made a promo with Charley saying "I'm a Reagan Republican...As a no-party-affiliated candidate...I'm running as a Democrat" in a five-second span. He's gonna have to hope people remember his general competence instead of voting on ideology.


I remain skeptical especially because his early campaign seems to have gotten off to SUCH a rough start.

But sometimes just not being the other guy is enough. And Crist ain't Rick Scott.

If Tom Corbett really is toast (as most polls and conventional wisdom suggests) why the hell haven't republicans in dc or Harrisburg try to orchestrate a coup? Could there be more to Jim Gerlach's retirement than he's letting on?

Oh, I think they have tried to get Corbett out. A few months ago, I heard the possibility that Pat Toomey might enter the race and strong arm Corbett out.

But, he has resisted those calls to date and I think there is some resignation within Republican ranks that the seat is basically gone.

He attacked a journolist, the one profession that is more disliked than a politician. I expect his approval ratings to go up by 10 points.


A magic genie tells you Scott Walker and Susana Martinez will face off against Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine in 2016. Who wins?

Oooh. Good one.  Clinton/Kaine start with an edge but it's not a big one.

Also, can the magic genie give me some cure-all to keep me from getting colds in the future?

Is that an accurate classification for Chris Van Hollen and if so, where does this trajectory lead?

I think he hopes the Speakership at some point.

When Nancy Pelosi retires there will be a major fight to be the next big young star. (Clyburn and Hoyer will probably just move up leadersjhiop slots but both are aging.)

CVH, Wasserman Schultz, Steve Israel and Xavier Becerra are the people in that next big star fight.

Do you ever take it from readers? It really seems like you don't or you don't care to distinguish it from silly attacks.

I love constructive criticism. Especially when it begins "You suck. And here's how you can suck less."

Will any incumbents risk electoral harm in 2014 due to mishandling this week's winter storm in the Deep South? Is GA. Governor Nathan Deal up for reelection?

He is. Jimmy Carter's grandson is runniung against him.

This is still Georgia in a midterm election though. I think Deal may worry more than we might have thought he would a week ago but it would take more than this storm, I think, to make him a loser.

What about Joe Biden's age? He'd be 74 when inaugurated, should he win the Presidency in 2016.

Diamond Joe Biden stands out side of space and time. God bless ya.

He has one week left. I was never a big fan, how about you?

Eh. I am in bed by the time he goes on. Mrs Fix is a HUGE Fallon fan though so the family is excited about him taking over.

I always thought if Manning retired in Indy he could have walked into the Governors mansion.... Now I guess he will just have to be content with his $250 million.

Man. Tough life.

...he must be doing something right.


My understanding is that Begich is reasonably popular, but Alaska tends to be a Republican state. Do you think he hangs on?

It will, be tough if Republcians nominate Dan Sullivan.

Remember that Begich bvarely won in 2008 against an incumbent who had been indicted a few weeks before the election.

Begich is a smart and talented politician. But Alaska is a very very very hard for Democrats to win almost anything.

Is Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper any relation to the late Iowa politician Bourke Hickenlooper? It's not the most common surname in the world.

Bourke Hickenlooper is an amazing name.  And, judging from a quick Google search, they are not related.

What did you think of it?

I really enjoyed it.

I wrote my quasi-review of it here:

Does he have a favorite candidate for 2016? And how many big Republican donors would come to a fundraiser hosted by Mitt and Ann?

Good question. I would have said Christie but there was some post-election agita between the two camps.

I could see him liking Jindal or Scott Walker.

I think it should be delivered in the form of a term-paper like in the old days.


Got news for ya, Chris: Considering the alternative, aging ain't so bad.

Don't I know it. (I will turn 38 next month.)

Whose winning - Sink or Jolly?

Still think Sink. But conservative groups are starting to reallty spend there -- which makes me think they have polling data that suggests it's winnable.

This probably did more for the reporter's career (Michael Scotto, BTW) than anything else.

Agreed. Everyone knows who he is now.

I am practically begging to be threatened by a Member of Congress. Any takers?

To be a senator come January 2015: Terri Lynn Land or Michelle Nunn?

Terri Lynn Land. By a little.

Chris, given the choice to never watch football (either NFL/soccer) again in your life, or never watch election debates/coverage, which would you pick? I gotta say ditch the sports. Give me a good presidential debate over the Super Bowl any day.


This is the single toughest question I have ever fielded in a chat.

I think I am with you. The sheer glee I take from the debates is hard to approximate eslewhere in my life.

And, I would be ok not to watch any more sports on TV as long as I could still follow Mrs. Fix's Catholic University field hockey team I think.

Is there a clear cut Democrat favorite if Hillary doesn't run? Biden? Cuomo? O'Malley? Warren? Schweitzer? Warner?

Biden.  And if he doesn't run, Cuomo.

The United Way sketch was excellent, but I also liked the one where he was skipping and dancing in the locker room. It was refreshing to see a large professional athlete doing something so inherently silly.

AGREE. Dude is good.

Who has quickly grown tired of our Governor. Unfortunately, it appears he can sleepwalk to election day, correct?

Correct. The New York Republican party is in shambles.

All Time Late Night King rankings 1.Carson 2.Letterman 3.Leno 4.O'Brian 5.Parr






I have to offer up some props. Some weeks you suffer the insults with humor and some weeks you give back the deserved smack down. Congrats this week. People should remember that this column is not journalism, it is a gossip column about politics and politicians. You do really good work in a difficult profession, but it's on other pages. Don't say ouch, this is intended as a compliment.

This is the single greatest backhanded compliment ever.

Does she have a favorite in 2016? (Ted Cruz?) And could her endorsement be a double-edged sword?

I have no idea. Also, I have no idea.

Do you see any big shift in the primary schedule for 2016? Any chance Connecticut and other states can get a bigger voice?

Certainly not on the GOP side. I think the changes approved at the RNC winter meeting last week make it VERY tough for a state like Florida or Michigan to move up in front of the big four (IA, NH, SC and NV).

Maybe on the Democratic side although I think itn remains to be seen just how competitive that primary is if Hillary runs.

I think if Romney came off in public the way he did in the documentary he would have won by 5 points. I think the president won because people liked him, not because people thought he did a good job.


Though, as a caveat, remember that doc was shot by someone friendly to Romney. So he was presented in a nice light.

Any way he intervenes in the 2016 presidential race?

Would be AMAZING. But, no. I think Gore is done in politics and knows it.

Unless it's absolutely a blowout or a controversial candidate, neither of which apply, parties *always* spend.

Fair enough.

that Jeff Bezos and the Green Hornet are never seen in the same place at the same time? And what's with that chauffeur of his?

Jeff Bezos is the best media company owner since Saving Private Ryan.

(Bill Simmons homage)

If President Polk doesn't settle the Oregon boundary dispute, do you think war is inevitable?


Clinton/Kaine v. Bush/Ayotte

It's been marked. I have a book for these things.

Beat out Messi for best player this year. How does this bode for Portugal in the World Cup?

Messi was hurt for a lot of the year. And Messi is still the best.

Obama won because he is liked more? Great delusional thinking to prevent you from adjusting policy positions. Absolutely ridiculous.


Also, I may be delusional due to the amount of cold medicine I have ingested.

Greatest scene(s) in the history of cinema?

Everyone knows this is the greatest scene in cinema:

That's all for today folks. Thanks for all the great questions! I think we had more questions submitted for this chat than we have ever had for a previous chat.

Keep spreading the word. We do this thing every Friday at 11 am.

Thanks and be excellent to each other.


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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