The Fix Live

Mar 21, 2014

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

Follow @TheFix on Twitter.

Good morning everyone and happy Friday!

We've got one hour before the NCAA tournament starts day 2, so let's do it.

We now know its going to be very close in the Senate. Do you see Angus King switching to sit with the majority whoever it is? What's the sense of being a true independent sitting with the minority (but we know Bernie can't possibly sit with the GOP)?

I don't. I think it's much more likely that say, Joe Manchin, switches from D to R (or at least is heavily courted to do so) if Republicans retake the majority in 2014.

For King, switching to be a Republican wouldn't make much political sense since it would likely make it harder for him to win reelection.

Location, Soundtrack, and Drink, please

Post world HQ

New Drive By Truckers


Hi Chris -- thanks for taking questions today. How much do you think Sen. Paul helped himself with his appearances at Berkeley? Clearly he's trying to appeal to the younger folks with an eye towards 2016, but from what I've read he left out talking about his inconvenient (and unpopular, with this group) views on same sex marriage and abortion. Without some serious shifts on these issues, can any Republican candidate ever expect to make inroads with this group?

That speech was an interesting one. Paul compared the GOP to Domino's Pizza -- and said his party needs to admit they have bad crust.

He has been very outspoken in his belief that the GOP needs not just trimming around the edges but a total overhaul. 

I am interested to see how that message is received in places like Iowa, New Hampshire and beyond.

So Cook Report is the latest to see voter movement towards the GOP. What are the most likely ways that Dems can turn it around and stop the bleeding? It's a midterm and I don't expect them to gain seats, but what's their best path to minimizing losses? Can't see how, e.g., boots on the ground in Ukraine would do it. Jobs? Wages? Party of grownups? Even Obamacare?

Very very difficult toc hange the trajectory at this ppint because it looks to be so built around opinions of President Obama and Obamacare -- both of which are deeply ingrained in the political consciousness right now.

Democrats have to hope President Obama goes from the low 40s in terms of job approval to the upper 40s. That said, I don't see an obvious way for him to do that.

Really liked FixJaime's piece on Obamacare's rollout in seven states. Is there any chance that this kind of info will change the national conversation on Obamacare? And is there any way Obamacare becomes less of a hindrance for Dems in 2014?

It was a great piece. It's here:

The problem for Democrats is that people have set opinions on the law and more people dislike it than like it. In the recent history, outside events have had very little impact on moving the underlying numbers on the law.

So much for getting that $1 Billion from Warren Buffet! How is your bracket looking?

I had North Dakota State. That's about it. I am TERRIBLE at this.

Not the Senators sanctioned by Putin

More like best week for them.

With the Hoyas not in the NCAA's, I'm enjoying the upset specials so much. How about you? Still, needs a 14 over a 3 or 15 over a 2 today.

I am less stressed out than I have been in the last few years, which is good. 

But, not making the NCAA tournament is just so bad.

What's the latest on the Alaska Republican senate primary? Seems to me like a grueling 3-way fight may play into Begich's hands. . .

Dan Sullivan looks like a frontrunner to me. Great fundraising numbersm, endorsed by the Club For Growth and the guy national Republicans really want.

Mead Treadwell just got rid oif severa; top staffers and Joe Miller seems to be yesterday's news.

I talked to a smart D this week about Alaska and the source told me that the only way Mark Begich wins is if there is a credible third party candidate in the race. THere isn't one yet.

Still undefeated against Duke!

GREAT p0int.

Any new signs for or against Jeb Bush running in 2016? Will we need to send out a P-8 Poseidon plane?

He is doing a lot more than I thought he might...He supported Common Core yesterday, which, i think, is Jeb trying to insulate himself from atatcks from conservatives on it later if he runs.

I still think he is skeptical about submitting himself to the process of running but he is quite clearly harboring more than just a passing interested in the race.

Is he bad at packaging himself, or it was a late minute brady surge,or did dems just vote in the r primary?

He won. I think that's all that matters.  Would Republicans have liked him to win bigger? Sure. But he still won.

The battle now is whether Rauner can make the race a referendum on Gov. Quinn or whether Quinn can turn it into a choice.

In that unless there are incredibly exceptional circumstances (e.g. the President is being impeached or post-9/11) the President's party always loses in the midterms, especially the 6th yr. Why should we be surprised that it's looking that way for Obama and the Dems this time around?

We shouldn't be.

Since the House expanded to 435 seats in 1912, the president's party has lost an average of 29 House seats and 5 Senate seats in second term, midterm elections.

All Work and No Drink Makes Fix a Dull Boy All Work and No Drink Makes Fix a Dull Boy All Work and No Drink Makes Fix a Dull Boy All Work and No Drink Makes Fix a Dull Boy All Work and No Drink Makes Fix a Dull Boy


...or did your bracket get thrown pretty out of kilter?

I just kept writing in "Georgetown". Is that weird?

What's your early gut say whether Hillary will run, and if she does, will she have Dem challenger(s)?

I think she will run.

I think someone will run against her -- to her ideological left maybe -- but it's hard to see how that person gets any serious traction.

Nice to see some quality games on day 1- even my alma mater UAlbany went toe-to-toe with the Gators. Do you have a Final Four pick or are you sitting it out due to GU's NIT bid?

I am pro-Kansas. They are good.

And I am rooting like crazy for GW. I really liike Mike Lomergan as a coach.

Did you see it yet? Thoughts?

I have it taped and am going to watch.I worry that with what happened to G'town this year it might be too much for me to watch. Tears and all that.

Yes, but he has the same problem most other such pronunciators do. Bobby Jindal said the GOP needed to stop being "the party of stupid" but without actually stopping being stupid.

I would say that Paul's policy views -- talk less about social issues, a more isolationist foreign policy, anti-NSA spuying -- is definitely different than much of the Republican orthodoxy.

Not only is the crust bad, the sauce is too sugary, the cheese is too runny, and the whole thing is undercooked.

Per my note abobve, Paul would represent an entirely new kind of pizza...

Putin gets Crimea, we get Kuznetsov. Actually, I think we win that one. That assist to Ward last night was otherworldly. Not so sure that's how the Ukrainians will see it, though.

I think this has something to do with ice hockey.

Could he be considered a potential, considering his experience, drive and ability to connect, if not win over primary voters? It is clear he has a hard road, but it doesn't seem impossible if he wins/places in iowa and wins sc, followed by fl.

Agree. Not impossible.  Not a bad dark horse at all.

Seriously, what are his chances?

Crowded primary and he is the best known candidate. So, pretty decent. Which is amazing.

Great line last week -- Q: "How do you know he's guilty?" A: "He's governor of Illinois."

I don't.

But that is a GREAT line.

I have long pondered doing a most politically corrupt 50 state list.

Illinois, Lousiana and New Jersey have to be at the top in some order.

How about AU ? 13 points in a HALF ? 35 for a game? Lose by 40 ! MVMD-- full disclosure , Badger fan.

And G'town and Maryland didn't even make the tourney!

Would it have lots of pineapple and Canadian Bacon? No, wait - that would be Ted Cruz.


I've been bullish on Walker for a year now. A governor from a swing state likely to be re-elected. A hero to the tea party. Doesn't hurt to be from a neighboring state to Iowa (though a certain retired Missouri politician will tell you it doesn't help much). Pretty much clean and the "scandal" is the kind of thing that will rally the party around him.

Agree that he has the right profile. Questions:

1) If Paul Ryan runs, does Walker? 

2) Is Walker charismatic enough to compete at the presidential level?

3) Can he raise the money?

Realistically, how productive is Washington between 2015 and 2017?

Is there a number less than zero.

Rauner flooded the airwaves, totally crowding out everyone else. Had won of the more establishment contenders dropped out, he would've lost...because he's just not that popular within his own party. IL GOP has major wounds to heal.

Sure. But winning is winning.

Good analogy. And just like they always do, New York and Chicago would argue about how bad he is. Of course, since he's a Republican, that would happen anyway.

Good point.

FYI, Domino's is completely founded and run by radical conservatives.

It's an analogy.

It just doesn't feel like March Madness without G-town going out in the First Round.

It hurts so much because it's so very true.

Me. The Mr. Tony K show was/is off the air yesterday and today!

Back Monday! And I will be in studio for the whole show!

Don't sleep on Connecticut. Small, but disproportionately corrupt. And Maryland's coming up as a solid 2 seed.

Two words: John Rowland.

Also, my home state has some VERY sketchy mayors.

So McConnell's luck runs out, he loses but Republicans pull of wins in LA, NC, AK , MI, IA, NH. Whose our new Majority Leader? Does it follow in line with Cornyn? Chances this happends at all?


I think John Thune might think about challenging Cornyn but would back down and wait his turn. (Thune would probably move up to Majority Whip.)

Pros and cons of them offering a leadership position to someone in the Tea Party? And, if they do, who do they give it to?

Well, they made Ted Cruz a vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee this cycle and he basically has done nothing to help -- and some things to hurt -- the establishment.

If they do decide to put a tea party guy in leadership, it has to be someone who isn't immediately planning to run for president.

A hunk of unsliced pepperoni on top of a ball of mozzarella on top of a tomato, all sitting on a bed of unground wheat., with yeastie sprinkles all around.

I don't know what this means. It seems like a metaphor. But on what I have no idea.

Mayor Gray again? President Obama again? The Russian ambassador in Washington? The Crimean ambassador in Washington? Marcin Gortat? The cherry blossoms?

Yet to be written....tough week to pick Worst Week.

And I thought I was crazy eating five helpings of Mystery Meat on a High School Dare. Is he going to jumping off Mt. Everest someday?

I don't get people who do this.  Like that dude who jumped from space.  I am a GIANT fraidy-cat so this stuff is just totally beyond me.

My Grandma used to lve in Kenner west of NOLA. I think they filmed some of "12 Years a Slave" near there. Would a Congressman Edwards represent that area?

Is the Rust Cohle? Marty?

Biggest disappointment: Georgetown Basketball, Tottenham Hotspur or the team names at Politics and Pints?

Oh, georgetown. Not close.

Has the mainstream GOP returned? Or is that only outside of the Bible Belt?

Read this:

a metaphor

Thank you.

Coach Thompson should've said THAT this season!

Exactly. I double as a motivational speaker...

Can we conclude the Republican nominee for senate will be either Mark Jacobs or Joni Ernst?

Yes. I think we can.

I think Republicans would be better of with Jacobs -- rich guy with no record.

He isn't a young kid anymore, if he waits his turn, he may never get a shot at Majority Leader.

Well, he could run for Majority Leader but he ain't beating Cornyn. So, either he waits or he runs and loses. I think waiting is more appealing to him.

Will Harold Ford Jr. ever run? I'm from Tennessee and still amazed every time I see Sen. Corker interviewed on television. Call me!

I do think HFJ wants to run again for something and that it will be in NY or even NYC. Where won't it be? Tennessee.

Any early polls of Quinn vs. Rauners for IL Gov? Would they have a chance against Pete FloreK?

Close and it will stay that way.

Liked their upset, but I didn't have them on my bracket.

I loved their best kid -- Taylor something. He said "I played really bad but we're a team and the other guy's stepped up." Awesome.

You keep saying that the polling on Obamacare is too negative for Democrats to have much chance this fall, but time and again, polls show that about 15% of the negativity is that it didn't go far enough. You can't really be arguing that people who feel that way are going to punish the Democrats by voting Republican, can you? (Also, given they're well informed enough to know the difference between Obamacare and single-payer, they're not likely to stay home, either).

Look at the passion measure. As in, people who "strongly" support it vs those who "strongly" oppose it.  The oppose number is, typically, twice the support number.

And passionate people vote -- especially in midterms.

This year, Dunk City is in Fargo?

Can't we make it even one chat without a damn Florida Gul Coast reference? Thinking of that game still makes me queasy.

Moyes saved his job for now but I have a feeling it might be open this summer. Are you putting your hat in the ring?

I think Moyesie is going to get the sack. They should hire Jan Klopp from Dortmund. That dude is a wizard.

You've always seemed to write of Rick Perry's future POTUS chances due to the whole first impressions thing, but you just agreed that he might "ot a bad dark horse at all." Why the change?

Because dark horses are candidate you don't think can win and then surprise you. I do think Perry blew his chance to make a first impression with his 2012 candidacy and, therefore, is a major longshot this time around.

But, that's what darkhorses are. So, why not?

My daughter plans to be president in 2048. Or maybe 2044, if things work out right. Anyway, she'd like to know what sport she should play to properly train for the rigors of politics. The boys seem to stick to basketball or football, but what are the most popular sports played by our female politicians?

Sarah Palin was a standout basketball player...

Perhaps on a state level the three you mentioned, but on a local level, MIami Dade County has to be up there. They had three mayors indicted in one month last year!


Is all the non-stop coverage of the missing airliner and the events in the Ukraine taking all the oxygen out of what is (or isn't) happening in DC? Does this benefit anyone in particular?

For the moment, yes. But not much is happening here (Congress is out this week.)

The strangest thing I heard this week (from someone who has the access necessary to say this with some authority): Hillary won't run if Chelsea get pregnant. Being grandma would trump being president. I can see where this might be true, or might be just a warm and fuzzy "humanizing" story, or perhaps my friend had one too many Red Bull lattes (she makes her own).

Red Bull lattes.

If Gov. Patrick runs for president in 2016, could he recreate the Obama coalition and defeat Clinton?

That would be the plan. 

But, I don't think Patrick runs unless Clinton doesn't.

I wonder if that Wheel of Fortune guy who won on his first guess filled out a tournament bracket?

He should have.

Doesn't it seem like Mike Lee might fit the bill for a Tea Partyer in the GOP Senate leadership? He is more workhorse than showhorse (cough, Ted Cruz, cough), and seems to want to play the Ideas Guy role that Paul Ryan has staked out in the House.

That's the name I was thinking of when I wrote that last answer.

Your dentist thanks you.

Or would if I ever went.

Gross (on me).

Does it seem like politics is basically just a fandom, like trekkies, or star wars fanatics? There's the group think, the divisions over arcane details, the extreme enthusiasm for their fandom and theories, vitriol for the opposing side, the stars who become adorned. Not to mention the bickering between factions and unwillingnness to let new people in who seem unpure (DINO/RINO is basically just "Fake Geek Girl").


Also, this:

He would have to change his positions on some social issues, which as we know candidates never do!


Gov. Christie finally got a Bridgegate question in one of his Town Hall meetings. How did he get past the screeners?

His people INSIST none of the town hall questions are screened.

Your newspaper has begun to insert "Koch brothers-affiliated" before any reference to Americans for Prosperity. I'm just curious -- are you going to expand this practice to groups that are affiliated with and financially supported by Democratic individuals and groups, such as SEIU and George Soros? Thank you.

Well, the Koch Brothers are major funders of AFP. Any organization that directly linked to Soros (or any other major liberal giver) will be identified as such.


It's a surprise to see you chatting outside of CUA field hockey season. So, what do you usually talk about?

Recruits for CUA field hockey.

At first, I thought Obama's remarks about Deval's national prospects were curious, given that he'd given that post-election interview with "60 Minutes" which seemed to be setting the stage for Hillary. But could it have been that our Jedi President was actually just following The Fix's prediction that Patrick will be the V.P. nominee?

He will certainly be in the running if Hillary is the nominee.

And, if Hillary doesn't run, I think Patrick would be hard pressed to look at the remaining field and not see an oppoortunity for himself.

Can you imagine enough voters turning out and voting for both Rick Snyder and Gary Peters? It just seems like a pretty weird enough combination that Peters won't be able to get enough crossover support

It seems odd, yes.

I am frankly surprised that polling show the MI Senate race as close as it does.  

Any chance she tries again in Nov?

She could. But she shouldn't.

1) If Paul Ryan runs, does Walker? From my instate vantage point, they don't seem to care much what the other is doing. I don't think Ryan is running, but even if he does, I don't it matters to Walker. He is running. 3) Can he raise the money? No doubt about it. He is combative enough for the Koch Bros and tea party faithful, but also able to present himself as a mainstream R. 2) Is Walker charismatic enough to compete at the presidential level? Here is where it all comes crashing down. He just doesn't have it. He is bland in person, talks through his nose, and has a kind of droopy look to him. All the Americans who don't think about politics before labor day will take one look and say: nah.

I think you undeerestimate the depth of the Ryan-Walker friendship. I woiuld be VERY surprised if both ran.

That's your next project, once the tournament (sorry, tournaments) are over. Could be awesome.

Good call.

Obligatory site of Republican gatherings in Iowa. Also owned by ultra-conservative dudes. What is it about pizza making chains and Republicans? Would Don Corleone have been in the GOP?

Also Godfather's and Herman Cain!


In Charlie Cook terms how would you rate this race?

Toss Up

Well, then he's clearly unqualified to be president.


Playing off the G'town basketball disaster this year, what have been the biggest underperforming campaigns this year: Gov, Senate, House?

Senate might be Mead Treadwell in Alaska. He has been bad.

Hard not to say House is Alex Sink.

Governor..Charlie Crist?

That's all folks!

Enjoy the tournament. And remember that we do this every Friday at 11 am. So 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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