The Fix Live

Mar 07, 2014

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

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Good morning everyone! And Happy Friday.

Busy week -- CPAC! Issa! Episode 2 of Season 2 of The Americans! Penultimate 'True Detective" -- and lots of questions.

Let's do this thing. But first....

Official Fix chat drink: Caramel Macchiato 

Official Fix soundtrack: Gregory Alan Isakov

Any rumblings on whether Obama and Reid plan to take another run at his confirmation?

Reid switching his vote to a "no" preserves the opportunity to bring Adegbile back up.

But, I can't imagine it happening.  There's a bunch of unhappy Senate Democrats today, having to vote on the confirmation and then watching it fail.

It's why I gave Adegbile the Worst Week in Washington. 

Eric Holder has said that he'll step down later this year. Who is most likely to be named his replacement as AG? Preet Bharara?

Janet Napolitano would REALLY want that job too...

My vote for Worst Week goes to Darrell Issa. Overpromises on Sunday and under delivers at House hearing and then shuts down a mic.

Runner up....

You wrote that Rand Paul is for the moment the frontrunner for the GOP nomination in 2016. Should he win the nomination, who complements him on a ticket? Would he need an establishment VP to assuage doubts or does he have to go more grassroots conservative to keep his hardcore supporters happy?

I think he would pick a more establishment type...not a senator but maybe a governor like Scott Walker or John Kasich...

Would you rather be Mark Begich or Kay Hagan heading into the 2014 elections?

Ooh tough one.

I think I would rather be Hagan.  Alaska just has such a small Democratic base that Begich has to go out and convince lots of people who are Republicans or at least lean that way to vote for him.  In a midterm election year. With a Democratic president who isn't popular at all in Alaska.

Does he or doest he. Is that a perm he has. I see he has toned down the length, thus reducing his curls this past year in prep for the nom. But seriously, Chris, has anyone ever been elected President with curly hair. I have noticed that Hilary is gong striaight, no perms for her. Smart gal.

"The politics of hair".

Can Democrats ever talk some of their popular current or former red state governors to run for the Senate? Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Wyoming, Tennessee, Kansas, Oklahoma -- the list goes on.

I think it's important to remember that being able to get elected governor is very different than getting elected to the Senate.

Federal races tend to be far more partisan and more centered on each side's leaders in Washington. It's why Kathleen Sebelius can win 2 terms in Kansas as governor but the Sunflower State hasn't elected a Democrat to the Senate since the 1930s.

Can we send him in to negotiate a peace in Russia and Ukraine?

He can't be busy, right?

did stockman commit political suicide by primary? pundits call him a charlatan, but what did he get? no attention to an issue, he can't use the money on non-campaign activities, his image must have taken a hit, what did he gain?

I have no idea why he ran and therefore it's hard for me to say whether he accomplished his goal.

It was a disatsrously bad campaign.

Rubio Christie Ryan Jindal Cruz

Christie C

Cruz B+

Rubio A-

Didn't see Ryan or Jindal...

Cory Gardner or Bruce Braley? Thad Cochran or Terri Lynn Land? Gary Peters or Tom Cotton?

Braley. Cochran. Cotton.

Chris, I've tried to teach you of your arrogance for not not having the same opinions as me, by calling you a liberal. For some reason that has yet to get your blog cancelled and I'm kind of out of ideas on how to get your world to collapse around you, I really thought calling you a liberal would be enough, so i was wondering if you can tell me your secret weakness?

I thought that plan would have worked too!

just finished house of cards and i was wondering, how many people do you have to kill for a coffee? Or is it more like 3 embaressing photos is equivilent to a coffee? That's how currency works in DC right, people barter with blackmail, murder and sex in lieu of money?

Yes. House of Cards is basically a documentary.

Does the bailout preclude him from being on a presidential ticket? The bench of credible Republicans just isn't as deep as the political media insists.

I am not sure he has the burning desire to run for higher office. He passed on a winnable radce in 2008 for no apparent reason. I think Thune probably is focused on climbing the Senate leadership ladder although he is a few rungs behind John Cornyn there.

Does Ralph Hall win the runoff?

Good question.

I would think the odds are slightly against him simply because if you didn't vote for him on Tuesday why would you in May? Hall is 90 and has been in Congress since 1980.  If you don't know you are for him by now...

That said, Hall did lead the primary over John Ratliffe by a considerable margin.


Wait, that wasn't the last episode?


My prediction: Marty dies.

Didn't get a chance to watch the CPAC speech. How did Gov Christie perform and how was his reception at CPAC before and after?

Polite reception, safe speech. Christie bashed President Obama and the media -- ensuring plenty of applause. Not sure he changed any minds or was even trying to.

How much do you think the more "out there" comments at CPAC will have a role in the midterms, or the 2016 elections. Or, is the talk akin to the GOP platform, which few people pay any attention to?

Very little. Just not that many people paying attention.

LOVE him and glad to hear you do too! "That Moon Song" is ideal for dancing around one's living room.

He opened for Josh Ritter last Friday night in DC. Was amazing. I am a big "The Universe" fan.

Is there a clear frontrunner yet to fill Tom Coburn's seat?

If there is one, it's James Lankford.

Ok it's 2017 and the government in Washington is Republican. DO the Democrats play the same NO game in the Senate as the GOP? I guess tis is a question about the culture of the two parties.

My bet? Yes.

What does it say about the Republican 2016 field that Rand Paul is the frontrunner? I know he's not his father, but still -- between his distance from the Republican orthodoxy on some issues and the skeletons in the closet that already have come out, it seems amazing to consider him as a frontrunner rather than a longshot with a devoted but small following. So what does this say?

Well, I think that the field hasn't totally come into focus yet and won't until Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan make up their minds.

If both of them run, I think they are both more likely to be the nominee than Rand.

Any chance that Darrell Issa's behavior at the Lerner hearing this week (which I personally found disgraceful and unbecoming of a Congressman, and I'm not even aligned with the Dems) could find it's way into a Democratic attack add this year? If so, how would it show up--i.e., what type of narrative would it feed into that they would want to promote?

Hard for me to imagine that -- especially because most people don't know who Issa is nationally. Still, not a great moment for Issa.

While I get that he's a step-up from buck, isn't it too soon to change race rankings (rothenburg) given he's only been in office four years representing a small fraction of the state. Does he avoid gaffes? have a background free of incendiary statements? is he able to fundraise well and demonstrate charisma on the trail? it's a step-up, but bennett beat buck in 10 and udall is no bennett and it's unclear if 2014 will be as bad as 10.

He's a BIG step up.  And, while I think he still has a lot to prove as a statewide candidate, he has shown himself to be a serious person during his four years in office and gets positive reviews from his colleagues.

Why a C? I thought the article I read said that he was back to his old self (like it or not, that seemed pretty effective in getting votes).

He was fine.


Some bloggers at your place of employment want to claim that there is a reasonable likelihood that Mark Warner will lose to Ed Gillespie next fall. Could you set the record straight and confirm that, absent some cataclysmic event, that will not happen. Thanks.

The political dynamic nationally would have to collapse for Warner to lose. It could happen. But it's still not likely.

Still overrated. Minorities don't vote for other minorities regardless of issues, otherwise Lynn Swann would've been governor of Pennsylvania and Palin would've been VP.

Maybe. But I think he is the most naturally talented candidate in the field -- and that matters.

Without giving too much away, what was the deal with the lawnmowing by burned face? Was there creepy stuff (dead bodies) underneath?

I thought it was slightly ham-handed...for a show that isn't like that typically.

I get it. He's the man with the scars.  But to have it put so in our face was a little much and felt like "CSI: Miami".

Hilary's numbers are falling, thus any chance that Cuomo or Warren might start making plans?

I guess I haven't seen that "plummet". I think her numbers are absolutely certain to drop if she runs.

Right now she is benefitting from the fact that she isn't seen in a political context.  But, once she starts to be seen that way, some people who might admire her as a person but dislike her as a politician will fall away.

I still think there is a path for Elizabeth Warren to mount a real campaign from Hillary's left. But I don't think Warren is interested in doing it.

Will the WaPo and other media outlets alter how they cover certain candidates in the next presidential race with the rise of the "trying to make money off of this" candidate (e.g. Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain)?

Interesting question.

I am not sure Newt fits that description. I think he ran because he believed he had a real path to the nomination. And the way the race played out, he was (basically) right.

I do think that people like Cain run simply to improve their status in the party morew broadly. But that has been true forever. There are two types of candidates: Those who run because they think they can win and those who run who believe they can win by losing.

does the fix watch HIMYM and if so, any theories regarding the finale?

I do not. Should I?

"I think he would pick a more establishment type...not a senator but maybe a governor like Scott Walker or John Kasich..." Yeah, that will help with their minority outreach....

If Hillary is the nominee, I think that might change the GOP nominee's calculus. I think Susana Martinez should be on any Republican nominee's short list.

Quite a story on the Post's front page today. Is this another nail in the former Virginia governor's political career, or was that over anyway, or what does the story ultimately affect?

Oh, it ewas already over. Think of Bob McDonnell as the Hamburglar in this Simpsons episode:

That said, this story is BRUTAL.

Disappointed that Gov Susana Martinez didn't attend CPAC. Lots of buzz about her being a savior for the GOP, but also rumors about FBI investigations into her and her administration a la Gov. McDonnell. Any buzz in DC about this?

No reason for her to go. And remember, she needs to get reelected in a Democreatic state.

I think the two other detectives have more than they're showing. One of them is protecting the powerful interests and will shoot McConaughey.

Oooh.  I like it.

One of Rust or Marty is going to die in the finale.  Case for Rust: He said he came back to Louisiana to "end this cycle of violence and degradation."

I know your "thumbs down" on House of Cards, which doesn't seem to get much love inside the beltway. Do you think media consensus would be different if Frank Underwood was a Republican?

I doubt it.

I started watching the British version on a plane on Wednesday. I am intrigued so far.

we all know he can't be the nominee, but could he challenge hillary for the nomination or run as an indie? As a vermonter, this strikes me as attention grabbing, which is his style, but if he goes through with it, he could roil the dems pretty badly.

He could. But, it's hard to see a path beyond about 20%.

There's a movement to canonize Warren. As a liberal, I like her a lot -- but a lot of lefties don't realize that she has some views they might not agree with, such as backing Really Big Ag (Monsanto). When some of her less saintly views become better known, her numbers will probably drop as well.

The problem with any of these people is that they are an idea right now. When they become a real candidate, their warts come out.

BREAKING: No one is perfect.

What is Beau Biden's next step what with a Democratic governor and two Democratic senators? Or do his health problems prevent him from moving up?

Not sure.

He could have walked into the Senate in 2010 for his dad's seat but he passed. Then came the health issues and, to be frank, I have no idea where those stand.

His last name + his skillset make him appealing for a higher office. When and where (and if he really wants it) are the questions.

My favorite show, The Americans, is back - but will they insert anything from the current Ukrainian crisis or ignore it? And does this give them a ratings bump?

I think the show is already filmed, not sure they could add anything. And it's set in the 1980s...not sure how the current situation fits in there.

be careful, anyone who even looks at Urqhart falls in love/lust with him.

Love it so far.  The British accent makes all the difference.

This McDonnell bribery story gave me another idea for a column, and you can tie it to a soccer reference as well. What is the greatest political own-goal committed this year/decade? By that, I mean specifically someone with a promising political future who commits a spectacular error in judgement. Anthony Weiner & George Allen are two obvious examples of the past decade.

Elliot Spitzer is up there.

I love this idea. Will save for just before the World Cup.

Sen. Whitehouse is going to Iowa - does he want to be president? He has the best name for it...

WASPiest name ever.

What's the burnout rate for you? I'm mid-30s and I've gone from agnostic to actively political to cynically resigned about politics in the last decade and a half. I'd think that even if you don't have a horse in the race, you'd get tired of the shenanigans after awhile. Or do political highjinks fuel your brain like figuring out a logic puzzle?

It's kind of like trying to find the Yellow King.  Also, Carcosa.

He ran because people were begging him to run.


Never mind the will he or will he not run...Can he win? Shaheen is an extremely popular 3 term (maybe 4?) governor. I think I agree with your past views that he's more interested in POTUS then another Senate race...Where would you rank him among the 2016ers?

Yes he can win.  I don't think he is the favorite in the race against Shaheen (she is stronger than most people give her credit for). But, a collapsing national political environment could really hurt her...NH swings from Dem to GOP based on where the national winds are blowing.

Do you think the 2016 Democratic primaries will end up looking like the 2012 Republican primaries, i.e. a fight over party purity/ideals played out over endless debates?

Probably not because I have a hard time seeing the field being particularly robust if Clinton runs.

If she doesn't run, then absolutely we will see a fight for the future of the post-Obama Democratic party.

Odds of Republicans keeping the House in 2014? Odds of Democrats keeping the Senate? Odds of Democrats keeping the White House in 2016?

Republicans are a heavy favorite to keep the House.

I would say it's 45% percent chance Democrats hold the House.

55% chance that Democrats hold the White House.

Any chance Linda Lingle runs again? A rough Democratic primary plus a more R leaning midterm electorate might lead to more success this time around.

My gosh no. 

Four days away. Looks like a nailbiter. Who will win?

Sink still is the favorite.

Are you watching Rand Paul's speech today in cpac?

Heck yeah. 3 pm.

Warren represented Monsanto as a part of a team of lawyers. Lawyers quite often represent clients that they don't agree with or find reprehensible (see also Adegbile). It is what lawyers are paid to do.

That doesn't mean that she's politically safe though.

Did the Fix watch? What's your review?

Did.  I am strongly pro McConaughey. And anti-Leto.

Does David Moyes get a second season?

I think he gets one more.

Why are you Hax chatting at different times. I thought you would want it competition at the same time?

No way. Don't pick fights you can't win.

Hax is Mike Tyson circa 1986. I am Larry Holmes around that same time.

Will there be any long-term fallout from his behavior this week? I personally can't see him losing his chairmanship, but behind-the-scenes does anything happen? (As for me, I moved into his district this year and will do my part to see he doesn't get another term.)

He apologized Thursday night which I think ends it.

So insanely sexy. And I think the wife (forgot her name-sorry) is sticking it to Woody's character at this point.


But I do think there is a legit criticism to be made that the woman are VERY one-dimensional (sex objects) in the show. Marty's wife is slightly more nuanced but not much.

I want an entire show just filled with Rust Cohole monologues.

Just remember: Like most stories, there's a monster at the end.

If Issa was runner up who's was the "winner"?

Debo Adegbile!

How come? Did he steal Angela Chase away from you all those years back?

30 Seconds to Mars stinks.

Odds Democrats take over the House before the next round of redistricting

Not so good.

What makes any potential presidential candidate think that they will be able to move their political/legislative agenda forward? With so much division in Congress, it seems that both a potential Democrat and a potential Republican president would be met with roadblocks at every point. What makes them optimistic?

I have NO idea.

But, people keep putting themselves forward.  Which is good for me.

Best version was filmed years ago in Britain. Spacey, as great an actor as he is, cannot come close to Ian Richardson as Urquhart. Also, Urquhart having an affair in Britain is more realistic (politics and journalism over there is so incestuous) than in the US.

Watching it now.

Thanks all for spending the hour with me!  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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