The Fix Live

Apr 11, 2014

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

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Good morning everyone! And Happy Friday!

Now that I've got our exclamation quote for the chat out of the way, let's get to the business at hand.

Drinking: Water

Listening: Sun Kil Moon

Reading: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Let's do it.

Sebelius resigns after Obamacare passes its enrollment milestone, not during the web site problems....and this means she is resigning in disgrace as a failure? Huh?

Well, the first line in her political obit/legacy will include the disastrous rollout. It just will.

As for whether it's a small negative in a much broader victory -- 7 million enrollments etc -- remains to be seen. But it's hard to argue that it's not a big part of the story of Sebelius right now.

Married Congressman caught on camera smooching -- passionately -- with married staff scheduler who also gets paid to clean the campaign office. It happens on "Equal Pay Day and SHE is "no longer on the payroll. Game, Set and Match. Vance McAllister-- come on down ! MVMD

Yes. Yes. Yes.

There' have been several N.H. Senate polls lately. They all show Shaheen ahead, usually by high single digits. But what strikes me are Scott Brown's terrible personal numbers. It's early, but he has not gotten off to a good start Who would have thought that a candidate known for his affability would now have a terrible personal image?

Agree. The latest poll showed him down only 6 but with bad personal numbers.

I think Shaheen is vulnerable due to the unpopularity of Obamacare in the state but Brown has work to do -- especially on (re)convincing people that he is a good guy.

Read this:

If I'm a GOP insider, whether an Iowa pol or a Wall Street megadonor, I look at the mess in New Jersey, and think "Drama!" Republicans don't like drama. And who knows what is coming next? That dynamic can't be good for Christie.

It isn't.

They would seem to overlap a lot in their potential support. (And potential would seem to be the right word -- neither one may end up running). I find it hard to imagine them both entering the race.


Both would definitely be in the "We need solutions not just criticisms" camp.  And both would appeal to "establishment" types.

That said, I don't think that Bush and Ryan are looking at one another and waiting to see what the other does. I don't think both will run but that's because of other individuals factors.

I love your chats which are obviously mostly about your area of expertise: politics. However, I was dismayed that last week there seems to have bee no mention of the Supreme Court McCutcheon ruling expanding political donations. To me this was the biggest political story of the week if not weeks. The question is do you attribute this lack of conversation because people don't care or is it not a big deal or anything else? Thanks,

It's a big-ish deal. it matters to national party committees and state parties. I am not sure it is a HUGE deal outside of those two groups.

If SCOTUS ever erases individual donation limits, that would be a GIANT deal.

Among the strongest performers in Republican presidential polls are several figures who may not run at all. Rank these "candidates" in the order of likelihood of running: Mike Huckabee Mitt Romney Jeb Bush Paul Ryan Marco Rubio

From most to least likely:






Real Madrid vs Bayern and Chelsea v Atheltico. I think we are due for an all Spanish final.

I think Bayern vs Atletico. Bayern is SO good.

I don't watch GOT. Could it possibly have more nudity than The Americans? I don't think it's gratiutious on The Americans (like sex wasn't/isn't used in the spy game), but it's a lot more than last season.

Um, it has WAY more nudity. Not close.

Great pick in Colbert being chosen to replace Letterman.

Thanks! Oh wait, I didn't make that call.

New Year's and St. Patrick's Day are pretty horrible because they're simply excuses for people to get hammered beyond belief, but I'd like to nominate National Siblings Day as the worst "holiday". I guess we're just making stuff up now, huh? (Note: I'm not an only child. I love my brother...but still.)

Totally agree. Made up holiday.

I think when ranking holidays you have to have two lists: real holidays (New years/st pattys) vs faux holidays.

My vote for worst week goes to The Undertaker. His streak at WrestleMania is no more.

Not a great week for Wrestling. The death of Ultimate Warrior one day after he was on RAW was brutal and shocking.

The runaway winner for worst week belongs to Rep. Vance McAllister.

Yes. Not close.  And he really sealed it when:

1. Once it was revealed he had kissed ther staffer, the staffer was suddenly not on staff anymore

2. He floated the idea of asking the FBI to investigate the leak of the video tape of him canoodling.

Greetings from suburban Cincinnati, where the radio and TV airwaves are empty in advance of Ohio's May primary, except for --of all people--Speaker John Boehner asking for votes. He faces token Tea Party opposition accusing him of being a big spender (?) I live in the district next to his, and apparently this is the first time in years he has ever spent money on a re-election campaign. I have no doubt he will win handily, but why is he doing this? To reassure people in the Ohio 8th district he still loves them? (District is home of Mrs. Fix's alma mater, as you know.)

He has the money.

He wants to avoid any surprises.

And shoutout to Miami of Ohio!

Rand Paul has said some nasty stuff about Dick Cheney. While he can win the GOP nomination without Cheney's support, he's going to need the support of a lot of people who like Cheney. How does he solve this problem?

Not sure I buy the logic that he "needs" Cheney and the former vice president's people to win a nomination...

Would you consider yourself a liberal, a conservative, or something in between?

None of the above.

I don't have personal politics, honestly. I like good candidates, smart ads and interesting strategical moves.

Is anything less than a senate takeover considered a failure for the GOP?

At this point, given where conventional widsom is, yes.

Aside from Corbett, which of these governors is most likely to lose: LePage, Scott, Snyder, Walker, Kasich, Quinn, Haley

From most likely to least likely to lose








Why now for Sebelius to resign? It seems it would have been better for the administration if she resigned closer to the botched roll-out of the ACA website. How does her leaving now help or hinder the administration with the Obamacare implementation?

Because she served 500+ days longer than the usual HHS Sec. And because she can now leave on the 7 million enrollees in Obamacare rather than the rollout of

At this point is HoC basically just a less horrible version of blackface (or something something along those lines, only without the racial connotations) for politicians? It seems like the show only exists to confirm stereotypes without any insights and it certainly isn't the loving satire that understands what it mocks.

Stopped watching after first 3 episodes of first season.

Here's why:

Hax cancelled her chat today, does that mean you will be doing double duty in answering relationship questions as well.

Yes. Bring it omn.

The Love Doctor

If hillary runs and wins in 16 will we still hear about benghazi for the next 4-8 years?

Republicans will absolutely use it to rile up their base.  But, I have yet to be shown how it is a persuasive issue for independents or softly-aligned Democrats.

Most obvious ever?

It's close...

Any truth to the story that you are in discussions to become the host of "The Colbert Report," which would be renamed "The Colbert Report with Chris Cilizza," and which would attempt to satirize news satire by covering political news earnestly?


Seems like the timing was obvious--she knew she wouldn't be awarded WWIW this week, what with the events from Louisiana.

Really good point. I know that was always part of her calculus on when to leave.

Which historic document would you like tattoed on your body?

"All your love, all your hate, all your memory, all your pain, it was all the same thing. It was all the same dream, a dream that you had inside a locked room. A dream about bein' a person.... And like a lot of dreams, there's a monster at the end of it" -- Rust Cohle.

Cadbury eggs, Peeps or chocolate bunny?

We are a peanut and nut free house due to Fix Jr and Fix III allergies.

Peeps are good on that front.  

I know all the assumptions are that Hillary will run in 2016. But if she doesn't, what candidate(s) do you think are most likely to get the Clintons' support? I don't think it's Biden.

Split a lot of ways.

Biuden gets some, O'Malley gets some, Gillibrand gets some and Cuomo gets dome if he runs.

Were you at all surprised that Angus King suggested that if the GOP wins control of the Senate he might caucus with them? Seems to me that it makes sense if he is truly a centrist who wants to get things done, but what happens if the Dems take it back in 2016 - would they welcome him back? How many times could he get away with something like that or is power politics in Washington such that either party would welcome the extra vote?

A little. It was sort of transparent..."I am going to be with who wins"-like.

At the same time, King made clear since he ran that he was going to do what was best for Maine and it's hard to argue that being a Senator in the majority isn't better than being on in the minority.

His famous last name --- an asset or liability? In the nomination season? In the general? I say mild asset in the nomination season (especially with GOP insiders), and mild liability in the general election (although by the time the fall of 2016 comes around, voters will have more of a sense of the man himself). What do you say?

Asset in primary. Slight negative I think in a general unless he runs against Hillary in which the dynasty argument falls off the table.

have you seen it and if so rate it amongst the political tv shows (fiction) out today.

Haven't yet but I am sure it's AWESOME because it's an Amazon product.


Hax is cancelled today, so I bring my problems to you. I just got caught on surveillance video kissing someone not my wife. How do I explain to my constituents that I love all of my constituents, including my office staff, and kisses are appropriate for people you love?

So good.

Is there a sense that the recent tragedy outside of Pittsburgh will give Corbett any sort of bump? Or has the electorate just tuned him out?


That goose is cooked.

Tap or Bottled?


What are his chances. And I always wondered, if he didn't get elected, would we have gotten a single-payer health plan instead of Romneycare for the national health system?

Somewhere between a 35 and 40 percent chance of winning.

He needs environment to stay the same or worsen nationally and Obamacare to be an anchor around Shaheen.

Do you feel any hometown pride that CT won both titles? Or have you "gone dc"

I am happy for the women's team. They rule.

Men I am ok with.

My main issue with UCONN hoops was Calhoun who I always thought was a pretty bad dude. Now that he is gone, I am ok with them.


I get to be a math geek (see you at 3/14/15 9:26) and eat pie. Win-win.

I do kind of like that one.

I believe this as much I believe Putin when he says his goal is just to protect Russians from the violent Ukrainian government.

Well, if they were going to push her out wouldn't they have done it as a sacrificial lamb during the rollout debacle?

When you used that word, I had to check that this wasn't the Gossip Chat! Did you check with Roxanne Roberts on the correct usage of that term?

Canoodling rules. And I thank Vance McAllister for allowing me to use it in a Fix post.

Good News is that Daniel Bryan is the champ.


Do you think Liverpool will win the PL this year?

I am still betting on Man City. SO MUCH TALENT.

Was there anyone running against him? Is there someone now?

Former Rep. Rodney Alexander (R) says he might run. Look, if McAllister perseveres and runs again (and I don't think he will) he is going to get a real primary challenge and likely lose.

How do you think we could fix democracy in the US

Hold on. Let me get back to you.

Has there ever been a stronger-appeaing frontrunner for a major party's nomination? I was going to start my question with "apart from sitting vice-presidents" but she is probably even above their level. So other than a president running for reelection, how long has it been since we've had a frontrunner who appeared so inevitable for a nomination?

From poll numbers alone she is as strong a frontrunner as any non incumbent in a very long time.

would old angus burger with bacon fit in the the GOP though? He seems pretty far to the left of even Susan Collins and with no natural base such verisimilitude would make re-election (a big if obviously) more difficult if voters had no idea what they were getting from him.

Oh, they would take him. No matter what his politics are.

I loved Alpha House -- it has its ridiculous moments (like the senators all having limos to go to work) but it hits so many veins of truth. As a Hill staffer, the daily grind is much more like Alpha House than House of Cards!

Good deal. Will watch.

If you don't have personal politics, does that mean you don't care about what is done with the environment, human rights, who we fight and where? How do you not have opinions on those things?

Not sure. I cover it.  I don't root for one side or the other.

I think people are totally fine whem sports reporters say they don't root for a team. But for some reason people think it's insane for a political reporter not to root for one side. Not sure why.

How do you rank your FIX warrior band? Do they have titles? Is Fix Aaron the Chief of Staff and Fix Sean is the Minority Leader?

It's more of a Khal Drogo type situation.

Sure, I am the leader right now. But if I show any sign of weakness they would murder me in a second. It's the way of the Dothraki.

I just caught my wife canoodling with some Congressman and the whole world has seen it. And now he's saying she wasn't ever on his staff. So the question is: Would I get more money suing him in Louisiana or DC?

So....someone beat you to the punch on this one. See above.

Would you go on TV wearing Kiss makeup to celebrate their induction?

Um, of course.

will be in NH Saturday, is this prep for a run against hillary or is he just keeping door open.

It's right across the border from Vermont and, you know, why not?

Who throws a shoe? Honestly? And I like how the woman walks away as if she did nothing wrong. Does she think she could do that to someone on the street and that would be OK?

Couldn't agree more. I value my shoes far too highly to toss them around willy nilly.

Is there any reason why Scott Brown would sign the People's Pledge in NH?

Not that i can see.

What has he been up to?

Well, he's been pretty busy being the governor of Virginia.

Quite possibly the most overrated band of all-time.

Mopre so than Cold Play?

Jeb gets Florida and the Hispanic vote. But Hillary would probably get Arkansas and West Virginia and more of the women's vote. Do you see any other adds/subtracts?

Not sure Hillary comes close to winning in Arkansas and West Virginia. (She does better than Obama but he did so poorly that's nowhere near 51 percwent.)

And Jeb makes Florida very competitive but not sure you can put it in thre GOP pile just yet.

Hillary vs Jeb she starts off with a slight edge due to the Democratic edge in electoral college at the moment.

The flip side of the question about GOP-names-being-floated-for-2016-who-might-not-run would be, which ones are definitely in? Right now, I'd only put Rand and Jindal in that category--any others who you'd be shocked to see take a pass?

Rand IN

Jindal IN

Cruz IN

Yeah, so Clinton and Bush both have the legacy issue, buuuuut....they're not the same! If they were on a ballot today, who'd win between Bill Clinton vs. George W. Bush?

fair enough.

If she wanted to, could she run for Gov. of Kansas again? I hear Brownback isn't too popular these days.

We are working on a piece about her political future (or lack thereof) right now for Fix so stay tuned.

Short answer: I think she would really struggle to win office back in kansas any time soon. She is so closely identified with president Obama and national Democrats right now it would be hard for her to go home again, politically speaking.

I do believe you, but (like the other chatter) I don't understand you. Not rooting for any team is one thing, but politics are about things that affect all of us, from the economy to civil rights to war to the environment to personal finances. There's a lot of political apathy in our society, but those of us who are interested in politics just can't wrap our minds around someone who is informed and interested enough to follow politics so closely -- for a living! -- but not interested enough to feel any stake whatsoever in the outcome.

Fair enough. 

At my college bar, when there was a tie at trivia night, the tie breaker was whoever could eat a shot glass full of mayonnaise the fastest.

Holy crap. I am totally doing that.

By the way, the April edition of Politics and Pints is MONDAY NIGHT!

Is it a granite state thing?

No outside groups spending money. Brown and Elizabeth Warren signed it in Massachusetts in 2012 race.

Keeping a very low profile after the special election. Assume his chances are good in the general since he hasn't offended anyone?

He is going to win. Won't be close.

Not an activity one would choose to engage in with most politicos. :-P


Jeez. How many of these do you get every week?

Oh, a lot.

More importantly, why throw only one shoe?

Time constraints I assume.

1 being the lowest 10 being the highest, what chance do you give the house passing the UI bill?


Quinn isn't losing. "Blue state-Obama' home state!-governor in trouble" is a great narrative, but it's just not happening. IL GOP is disorganized and Rauner has been defined already as a huckster. We hold our noses and vote D in IL all the time. It'll happen again.

Midterm election in Illoinois has a bit of a different (and less Democratic) electorate than in a presidential year.

And, not sure your dismissiveness about Rauner is born out in the broader electorate.

I think Quinn is a slight favorite but it's certainly not a done deal yet.

Congress' approval rating by the people is still at all time lows. Is this because we do not like the people who are there, because of the way the system is set up, or something else? Why? How do you think it could work more effectively?

We have a general sense of malaise about washington. But, people elect these members. So if we are unhappy with how they represent us (hint: we aren't really) we could change things.

That's true, they're not -- Jeb has actually accomplished some things, and is pretty likable.


What's the latest buzz? Is he running for Speaker again? Is he running at all again?

I've said for a while I don't see how/why he runs for Speaker again or how he wins. I'll stick by that.

Who are you rooting for?

All three. Feel like late night TV is starting to get a LOT better very quickly.

Aren't they all? Where's the tipping point?

I feel like some have been culuturally accepted while others are quite clearly a ploy by the greeting card industry to get you to spend money. No?

Then I could say "Sorry, that's not a clown question, bro."

Um, ok.

or is Congress perpetually on a two-week break, a holiday break, a mid-session break (and they're off on Fridays). Couldn't Reid or Boehner score some points with the electorate just by having their respective chambers in session more often?

They aren't around much. Many people would say that's a good thing.

The beer vendor doesn't root for the Redskins, the beer vendor wants to sell you beer.

You know we are getting older when Nirvana gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Yes.  Man.  I remember the day Kurt Cobain died. And the day Jerry Garcia died.

When will you be adding a field hockey segment to your appearances on Post TV? Is spring recruiting season too early?

Let;'s just say this: Ever heard of the Fab 5?  Mrs. Fix's recruiting class for CUA field hockey next year makes them look like my pickup basketball team.

Have you done yours yet?


This is a bucket of kittens.

Are you surprised by the effect that the bridge scandal seems to be having on Christie, given the lack of a smoking gun showing prior knowledge or approval of the plan? At one point, he seemed to be a reasonably strong frontrunner for the nomination. Now he is down there with the likes of Rick Perry.

Momentum is a tricky thing...

Speaking at a Rep fundraising event in Iowa tonight. Ticket sales tepid--only about 300 reported this am.. Official explanation is that folks are still fighting the battles re the Paulite takeover of the Rep state committee so won't contribute. But could it be that Ryan just isn't that popular?


I think if Ryan runs he's a top tier candidate for sure -- regardless of how many people show up for this speech tonight.

FYI - there are holidays for every day of the week. ALL holidays are man made. All. Sibling Day has been observed for years.

Time is a flat circle.

Is she just clearing the field so you can go two hours on your chat?

I think she saw my chat on the sked and backed down. At least that's the story I tell myself so I can sleep at night.

Is Festivus a real holiday?

Of course it is.

Have to end a few minutes early today folks.

Thanks for joining me. And remember we do this thing EVERY Friday. 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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