The Fix Live

Apr 04, 2014

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

Follow @TheFix on Twitter.

Good Friday morning!

George Bush painted portraits of 24 world leaders. President Obama said "air to fakie". And Jim Moran is complaining about how lawmakers don't make enough money. Oh and DC is going to have a new mayor.

Busy week. Let's do this thing.

hi chris, love the chats. on a scale of 0 - 10, 0 = safe, 10 = start packing, in how much trouble is thad cochran in his senate primary?


Although Chris McDaniel stepped in it this week:

Which potential candidates would be hurt most by a Jeb Bush run? Christie? Walker? Kasich? Is it safe to assume that Rubio wouldn't run?

Rubio by far. Hard to see him running if Jeb is in.

Walker, Kasich, Christie all would have some piece of their fundraising base cut out if Jeb ran too.

Getting in early. Now that Camp is retiring, my bet is that Paul Ryan will want to become chair of Ways and Means and forego running for Pres. Do you agree? Am I right that it's his if he wants it?

Definitely his if he wants it.  And I think that's the direction he will ultimately go.

But, I also think he is thinking about running for president and knows this might be his best chance to do it.

I wrote about all of it here:

Of all the "expanding the map" Senate, I take Gardner's challenge to Udall in Colorado most seriously. I'm still skeptical that Scott Brown has much of a chance against Jeanne Shaheen, or Ed Gillespie against Mark Warner.

Agree. Out of those three, Colorado is clearly the most competitive.

Hi Chris -- given the solid, if not spectacular, numbers for enrollment, is the ACA now less of an issue in the upcoming midterms, or is that cake already baked?

I think the cake is largely baked.  Right now, the problem for Democrats on Obamacare is that Republicans hate it more than Democrats love it.

The 7 million enrollment number might well help drive enthusiasm among Democrats but it seems unlikely it will rise to match the bitter dislike Republicans hold for the law.

The Common People wanting to run a campaign that's about ideas and policies, thanks to the US Supreme Court

Litetrally every week people nominate "The American People" for Worst Week in Washington.  What does that say about our politics?

There were lots of stories and predictions about low Obamacare enrollment. The White House met its goal. What has to happen for the media narrative to change about Obamacare being an albatross for Democrats in November?

It's not the law that's the problem at this point. It's that Republicans are much more passionate in theirn feelings about the law than Democrats -- an intensity gap that makes a big difference in midterms.

If Dave Perdue is the nominee, there's no path to victory for Michelle Nunn barring a major Akin-level mistake by Perdue, correct?

Largely agree.  Obviously things happen in campaigns that no one foresees but the chances of Nunn winning go way down unless Paul Broun or Phil Gingrey wins the primary.

He hosted a lot of politicians over the years -- and was pretty good at questioning them, too. Best appearance by a politician on Letterman? Worst appearance? Most memorable? Most wince-inducing?

The one and only Jaime Fuller, who works for me, is doing this Fix post as we speak. Stay tuned!

There's just no way that the general election becomes competitive, unless something really unpleasant comes out about Muriel Bowser, who most voters probably know little about. DC is overwhelmingly Democratic, and David Catania is a former Republican. Bowser is very popular with the voters who would consider voting for Catania -- white, upscale, socially liberal. (She won by huge margins in white-majority Wards 2 and 3). And Gray voters were overwhelmingly African-American and working-class -- not exactly David Catania's natural constituency. More likely that they stay home than they vote for Catania.

Vince Gray was the #1 loser on Tuesday night. Dave Catania was the #2 loser. For the reason you noted

"Culturally we are obviously shorter attention-spanned than we once were. (People used to read the lead of stories to see if they wanted to read them. Now they read a tweet. Or less.)" Says the guy who tweets instant reaction and manages people who post multiple short columns throughout the day. You always point out the problem without ever acknowledging that you're a big part of it.

Here's the thing: I work for a news organization that offers ALL sorts of content: long, short, text-based, visual etc.

So, I do something that is largely driven by a fast metabolism. But it's not the only thing that the company I work for offers.  If the only offering from WaPo every day was The Fix, then we could have the conversaiton you seem to want to have.

Please rank the chances of his possible replacements: Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'Brien, Anderson Cooper, Drew Carey, Chelsea Handler, or Neil Patrick Harris

Bunch of dudes!

I'd throw Ellen in there.  

I think Kimmel is the best of that group.  

Drinking, Listening, and Sitting from

Caramel latte.

Joe Purdy "This American"

Fix world HQ

Last night on "Community" they had a parody of the cartoon series "GI Joe". Which 80'ss cartoon would you like to be on, and what would your character's name be?

Easy. Transformers.  I freaking loved that show.  And I would totally be an Autobot.

All I want from season 4 is less Theon Greyjoy torture.


It's awful.  

Things we need more of: Margaery Tyrell, Hodor, Tyrion and that dude who guards Tyrion.

And have you seen this "honest trailer" version of "GOT"? It's amazing;

Jodi Rell, Steve Beshar, Mike Beebe, Jay Nixon, Jim Douglas. All Governors reflected by wide margins in states that lean strongly against their party.

And none of whom -- with the possible exception of Nixon -- who have either expressed any interest or been seen as a potential national candidate.

Christie was seen as a possible presidential candidate long before that race.

I'm getting the feeling that Jeb is starting to warm up to the idea of running. Do you get the same feeling?

I think he is definitely interested and wants to make sure he gets the space/time he wants to make the decision.

I have NO idea how he makes up his mind. I do know he doesn't like the politics of politics. I am not sure how he gets around that.

For 2008, I think the first one came in Dec 2006, but it was much later in 2012.

Sometime in November 2014.

How many other candidates have to go before he's seriously conidered to be a nominee for President?

I am going to write something longer on Jindal here shortly for the Fix.

He is clearly trying to be the "ideas" candidate in the field, in hopes that doing so will give him a foothold into the top tier. He's not there yet though.

He would need Jeb not to run and Ryan to take a pass too.

What's your read on the Minnesota senate race? Julianne Ortman was endorsed by Sarah Palin and citizens united in the past two weeks and two recent (admittedly partisan) polls show were close in the primary and the general. That said national Rs seem to prefer McFadden, and he has way more money. How do you see this race shaking out and which candidate scares Franken more?

If Mike McFadden -- rich business guy with no record -- is the nominee, then expect to hear some chatter from national Republicans about this being a real race.

I'm skeptical; Al Franken has done a very good job in his first term.

Get on it, Cillizza.

Can do.  

Who's out there that has any chance to unseat Patty Murray?

No one. She ain't losing.

Kay Hagan is only down by a point or two. Is she stronger than we think?

NC is a pretty evenly split state.  But, taking $7 million in negatives is never helpful. I think the best thing Hagan has going for her is that Thom Tillis can't pull away in the Republican primary.

Who has the better chance to win: Michelle Nunn for Senate or Jason Carter for Governor? And what would their win mean for southern Democrats in the future? Nothing, right?

If Broun or Gingrey is the nominee, Nunn. If not, Carter. That said neither of them are favorites or close to it.

Who do you think will end up as the Democratic candidate for the guv's seat this year?

Anthony Brown.

Every time we serve up a ham 'n' mayo sandwich now, we're calling it a Cillizza. (This was your diabolical plan all along, wasn't it?)

NO ONE would eat that would they?  My god, the thought of it made me dry heave.

Does that means that Democrats won't be able to change the narrative going into the midterms? With 7 months left before elections, do they have time to make it about anything else but Obamacare?

It's hard.  The one thing the White House has to hope is that Dems get more fired up about the law and voting to defend it this fall.

In 2008, John McCain's age was a large factor in the campaign, where it was a continual punch line. Will it be a factor in 2016, when both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden will be roughly the same age?

I think it will be a subtle issue if Hillary (in her late 60s) is the D nominee and someone like Walker or Rubio (in their early to mid 40s) is the Republican nominee.


Do you see any role for him?


Why would Jimmy Kimmel leave ABC for CBS? Sounds like Craig Ferguson has the inside track, while Conan and Ellen would be the most promising outside candidates. Chelsea Handler is probably a little too nichey and edgey for CBS. As for other candidates, remember that hosting a nighty talk show is a huge time commitment. Not everyone wants that.

Mrs. Fix is a strong Craig Ferguson fan.


The Americans. Agree?

I LOVE it.  I am not sure it is underrated though. I think it is properly rated. 

But man oh man is it good. If you aren't watching it, you should be.

Chris Does Vince " I lost and I won't call her or endorse her" Gray retire the trophy now or AFTER he is indicted and convicted ? MVMD

Well, he is winning "Worst Week" this week for the second time in three weeks. But, he's nowhere hear 5-time champion Anthony Weiner...

While I agree Catania was a big loser Tuesday, isn't it possible that many of Bowser's votes weren't so much for Bowser as against Gray? And, if that's true, wouldn't many of those voters give Catania strong consideration? Also--is there any chance that voters in Wards 7 & 8 might look at Bowser with animosity, and thus support Catania?

Bowser will be a non-scandal damaged Democrat running in an overwhelmingly Democratic city. I don't see how she doesn't win -- and win easily.

Which of the remaining four candidates for the Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial nomination has the best chance against Governor Tom Corbett -- (in alphabetical order) Rob McCord, Katie McGinty, Allison Schwartz, or Tom Wolf? Or could any of them beat Corbett?

Looks to me like Wolf is going to be the nominee. And if he keeps spending his own money, he's probably the strongest nominee.

That said, with Corbett's poll numbers, a potted plant could probably beat him.

What car would you start out being and what would you transform into?

GREAT question.

Dodge Minivan. And I would transform into a basketball playing autobot.

CB is on Twitter now. I know how much you love her. Any new celeb crushes for you or Mrs. Fix?

Followed Mrs. Taylor/Rayna James seconds after she got on Twitter.

Mrs. Fix had celebrity crushes?!!? Son of a....

What issue do Democrats feel the more passionately about than Republicans do, that could increase Democratic turnout at the polls in November sufficiently to preserve the Democratic majority in the US Senate? Raising the minimum wage? Immigration? Education?

Well, they hated George W. more than Republicans liked him. Hence the 2006 and 2008 elections. But, there's no one like W. out there right now. And no issues.

If the Iowa Caucuses were to be held next week, which GOP candidates would be in the best position to win the nomination: Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Mike Hackabee, Mark Rubio, etc.

Some TREMENDOUS misspellings in this question.








What are your pick for the sleeper Senate and Governor races that we'll be talking about in November?

Oregon is Monica Wehby wins the GOP primary.

And Kansas governor.

I do think the chances of a catastrophically bad outcome for the ACA are now basically zero. Democrats don't have that headache anymore. So there's that.

They've got that going for them, which is nice.

I nominate Tina Fey & Amy Poehler.

Would rock.

How is this race shaping up. It appears the tea party, etc. is moving to Shannon. Has that shifted the momentum?

Huckabee endorsed James Lankford today...going to be a GREAT primary.

Note that Jeb would be 63 in 2016, about the same age that his father was when he was elected president, and nobody thought he was exactly young. I think a Jeb-Hillary race would mean both parties would avoid talking about age.


Now that I have your attention, let's have some real talk: Jeb is not gonna run. He will have been out of office for 10 years by 2016 and his last name is a drag in both the primary and the general. Neither is Ryan, who wants to run Ways and Means and hates the politicking of politics. Neither are Huckabee or Carson or Palin or Scarborough, et al. all of whom love the attention they get and money they make by pretending to consider it. So the (serious) field will likely consist of Rubio, Walker, Paul, Jindal, and Christie, with the possible inclusion of Martinez or Kasich. I mean come on let's have some semblance of seriousness.

I think that's probably right.

Also, best headline ever.

I know that you don't do a "best week in Washington" award, but if you did, then it would have to be awarded to Ted Cruz, for his straight-faced April Fools Day unveiling of his Winston Churchill "tattoo." He got everybody. Good on him!

That was a good one.

I also liked the Sunlight Foudnation "analysis" on how astrological signs can predict Congressional productivity.

I think the "downside risk" for Democrats this fall -- essentially of the bottom falling out -- has declined significantly recently. -- This month's jobs report, while unexciting, shows the economy continuing to grow. -- The likelihood of really bad news about Obamacare has fallen considerably. Remember that 2015 premiums won't be announced until after the elections. -- If you look at the average, Obama's job approval has crept up a bit after hitting a low in December. This isn't to say that this year's elections won't be rough for Democrats. They will be. But I think the chances of a catastrophic outcome have become less likely.

I think you're right.

Are his disapprovals overblown in that it's conservatives who don't think he's conservative enough or whatever and who will come home as we get closer to election day? There doesn't seem to be a third party candidate for disgruntled voters to channel their anger and who would have trouble pulling the lever for a Democrat.

I think the way McConnell loses is if LOTS of Matt Bevin primary voters choose Alison Lundergan Grimes in the general election. Possible? yes. Likely? Probably not.

Do you eat meat on Fridays during Lent?


Have you ever been in the wrong meeting...for an HOUR?!?

My favorite story of the week -- by a LONG shot:

What would the GOT name of The Fix be in King's Landing?

Warden of the West (West Falls Church that is). 

Also, first of his name from the House Fix.

What, no Santorum?

Hard for me to see.

Taking a late-night talk show gig means you don't do anything else. (Quick -- name anything else that Letterman or Leno or Johnny Carson did in their careers). Hard to see either of those two giving up the opportunities to do more movies or TV shows.

Good point.

Does it matter that Rand Paul dresses differently? Sometimes he looks like a captain of a sailboat.


I don't think so.

What do you see as his political future? Right now he's basically a less-politically-toxic Sarah Palin.

I think he stays out of the 2016 race.  And continues to make money as a speaker/tv personality.

are EXTREMELY unlikely to abondon their NBC loyalty for CBS, as much as I would give them all my money to be on TV together 5 times a week.

ALL our your money? That could be appealing to them.

A woman? Kelly Ayotte? Susana Martinez? Given Nikki Haley's unpopularity in South Carolina, it's hard to see her ever getting on a national ticket. A Midwestern governor? Walker? Snyder? Kasich? Pence? Anyone else?

Ayotte in the mix for sure.  Martinez as well.

The Washington Capitals.


Best week iN Washington: Tie between Wizards and Nats!

what would it be?

Mind reading/mind control ala Dr. Charles Xavier.

No Walker? He is the Gov next door

Ah crap. I always leave someone out. He would be top 3 with Rand and Cruz methinks.

Are you going to have a "Worst Week in Westeros" during this season? If so, I nominate King Joffery's Food Taster

I just might.

Joffrey better get his this season.

Go West Falls Church! That is all.

What WHAT!

"They've got that going for them, which is nice." I find it puzzling that you, a mart guy, think all the shouting about ObamaCare is over. The numbers of dislocations caused by the loss of of past coverage, loss of access to mjaor hospitals, and just wait until the increase in premiums hit after one year's experience, are just the tip of a very big iceberg. The latter will be the worst as young people apparently are not signing up in large enough numbers to cover the care of older patients. I think you spike the ball too soon.

I was quoting Caddyshack. Smile -- it's Friday.

Pro tip: Know your high note. I mean, after what happens at the boss's office, it's pretty much downhill, right?

Constanza life lesson: Go out on  a high note.

I live in Iowa where the caucuses keep politics on the front burner all the time, and being a political junkie, I love it. I'm thinking of retiring to someplace near one of my kids. They live in Indiana, Oregon and Washington. I realize that NONE of these have the political juice that Iowa does, but which would be the most interesting in terms of political observing?

Ugh.  None great.

Indiana puts you in the midwest so you are in a more politically competitive area.

Oregon is ALL vote by mail...not so fun.

It's a bit weird but I think in the 11:30 slot on a network there has to be a level of likability between the host and the audience - it doesn't need to be a love fest (a la Leno's fans), but there needs to be a comfort level. Carson, Leno, Letterman, Kimmel and Fallon all had that draw. Chevy, Rivers, Alan Thicke - not so much. Handler's biggest drawback is that she's got an edge that's much more suited to cable - can't see her ever hosting a network show.

So you are saying that I should be in the mix? I am nothing if not likeable.

From your perspective, who kissed his gluteus maximus the best?

I think if jeb runs, Sheldon will be with him.

If not, it's wide open in the Adelson primary.

I'm starting to see all kinds of comments from folks like Reince Priebus about how huge the Republican victory is going to be in November. I kind of get the feeling that they're counting their chickens before they hatch. Remember their battle cry that "2012 can't come soon enough!"?

"Too high." -- Dude in "Major League".

Love the guys who think spending time off with your wife and newborn is "a scam". That's going to look good on his father of the year award.

Asbolutely ridiculous. They should be ashamed for attacking David Murphy.

Dude, You got conservatives like Krauthammer, Rubin, and Gerson, and liberals like Dionne and Sargent. Why don't you host a show where everyone can respectfully debate the issues of the day? And it could have that Barton Fink feeling.

If I host ANY show in the future, it's going to have the feel of the Kramer talk show. GOLD Jerry.

What role if any could former Sen. Bill Bradley (D-NJ) play on the policy side of today's Democratic policy? He certainly brings valuable experience from public service, sports, and now the private sector.


Honestly not much.

They did an article "Why Americans never read anymore" or something along those lines. The article text simply said "april fools. If you're reading this, do not comment, just hit the like button". And boy did it ignite a storm of people commenting on the Internets about how people still read etc- when clearly they never read what they were commenting on.

No contest. Washington has a split legislature thanks to two Democrats crossing the aisle in the Senate. Plus they have the World Champion Seahawks and legal pot!

So who you got winning it all ? MVMD


My parents really want UCONN -- they are from the Nutmeg State.

And that's all folks!

We do this thing every Friday at 11 am. Be there. 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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