The Fix Live

Apr 25, 2014

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

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Good morning everyone! Happy Friday!

This picture will start your day out right:

Lots to talk about this week.  Bring it on.

Do you think that steroid use finallly caught up to him?

Well, it seemed weird that he died of "natural causes" in his early 50s, no?

Anyone who's worked in politics will agree: it is utterly amateurish to not vet someone like Bundy, someone who you're going to lionize. You do it for an event, a donation, an endorsement, etc. It's one thing if you're Fox News and you just want ratings, consequences be damned. It's another if you're an ambitious politician.

Totally agree.

No one knew ANYTHING about Bundy until a month ago. Turning him into a hero given that was political malpractice.

I saw the photograph of Secretary Hagel with the robot. I am wondering what types of situations they expect this could be useful? I notice it has two legs, which is not always the most effective mode of transporting. Would the robot be immobilized if one leg is immobilized?

The example given was Fukushima, a nuclear incident where a scene is too dangerous for humans to go into.

And, for those of you who haven't seen your new robot overlord, click this:

When did crying become okay in politics? It used to end careers and rightly so, but now everyone chokes up at a moment's notice. It's like prayer, it needs to be done in private, not for the whole world to see.

As a crier myself, I am in favor of this new trend.

Why did Republicans embrace this lunatic and free-loader?

Not sure it's far to say "Republicans" embraced him. I think some libertarian minded GOPers so Bundy's fight with the Bureau of Land Management as synmbolic of the broader fight between individuals and what they believe to be a over-reaching federal government.

But as I said above, the idea you would latch on to someone about whom you know nothing -- other than his stance on grazing rights -- is crazy.

Between the ACA, the NYT polls (shockingly, Democrats who win in presidential red states are outperforming the President) and Bundy, you're going to have to change the "Dems in disarray" narrative rather than regurgitating the same story. I'm sorry that this will cut into your World Cup viewing.

I don't have a dems in disarray narrative. I do think that history suggests the 2nd midterm of a president's time in office will be a tough one for his party in Congress.

And, I do think healthcare remains a problem for Democrats because Republicans hate it a lot more than Democrats love it.

Chris I know it is early in the day, but does WWIW go to Boehner for telling the truth about the GOP and immigration ? Sounds like he knows he won't be speaker again --- and doesn't care . MVMD

Oh, we've already awarded WWIW!

Still an important constituency inside the GOP. Which of the Republican candidates will they find most appealing?

Ted Cruz. Rick Santorum if he runs. I think Marco Rubio could be the sort of candidate who appeals to social conservatives as could Scott Walker.

Jeb is a soft-liner. So is Rubio. So are Ryan and Christie and Paul. Who do hard-liners get behind?


Rick Scott is already running TV spots, and Charley Crist is still beating that dead horse. Good thing there's nothing on that can't be DVR'd.

And Bill Nelson is still toying with the idea of running!

Ok, Chris, gotta go back to the hairstyles of our potential candidates. You know appearances count. Hillary (constantly changing, also noted more blond highlights); Jeb Bush (has the more brush cut look lately to get the young people on his side); Rand Paul (getting his hair straigtened, but looking dried out); Christie (same old style). What do you think on this very important matter, for as you know appearances count.

Rand's hair is amazing.  Rick Perry = underrated hair.

None of them come close to Mitt Romney's hair, which is epic.

Not gonna lie, I'd be mad if my daughter did that too. If it were an '80s sitcom, the kid would've spent too much money on a 1-800 number.

I am one episode behind! I am pretending like I didn't see this.

Does that recent poll showing a bunch of southern Dems doing better than expectedas far as support goes mean anything concerning the election? I suppose I can ask the same thing concerning the poll that shows southerners not liking Obamacare but wanting to fix it NOT kill it. Mean anything as far as the election?

It means all four races are likely to be quite close and that simply saying that Obamacare should be repealed is not a winning message for Republicans.

That said, there is plenty of data in those polls that should be very encouraging for Republicans too.

There's a near zero chance he would ever win anything in a general election. What is his end game? Do you see him just hitting the speech circuit and rilling up the base?

What you said.

Even though Obama has granted fewer than any in modern history, doesn't it seem entirely possible that he'll leave office at the top of that list, assuming the new guidelines from the DOJ and the procedure is fixed? Especially now that the guy at the Pardon Office is being replaced?

Absolutely possible. And typically, I believe, presidents grant many more pardons in their second terms than their first.

Is this a calculated Political move? Or did someone take away his cigarrettes?

I don't think it's a calculated move. I also don't see how immigration reform moves through the House even in a piecemeal way.

The decision to delay a ruling on the Keystone pipeline - a good indication it will ultimately be rejected (depending on Nebraska courts)?

I think so.

It seems to me that if Obama was going to approve it, he would have done it ore 2014 election since it would really help the candidacies of people like Mary Landrieu and Mark Begich.

On the other hand, Obama may think his party needs the energy and money contained in the environmental community and doesn't want to poke them in the eye by approving the pipeline before the 2014 election.

Is the Ukraine Conflict going to keep Rep. McAllister off the headlines long enough for him to keep his job?

Well, Cliven Bundy pushed McAllister out of the news this week.

But not matter how far the kissing Congressman gets pushed off the national headlines, he still has a problem in Louisiana.  He's been in Congress for 5 minutes and almost no one knows who he is.  And there are plenty of ambitious folks out there who want to primary him.

Vance McAllister: Gone but not forgotten.

I'm deeply disappointed that you are not under serious consideration to manage Manchester United. I feel like there's a degree of anti-American bias at play. When will the world recognize your greatness?

I have been asking myself the same thing since the Moyesie news broke.

too late for Mitch McGary too I suppose

Yeah, I mean what the heck is he thinking?

didn't have tar on his neck.

This is true.

On Al Sharpton last night, he had a skunk to illustrate what kind of a guy Bundy is. Dana Milbank broke out laughing. What's the Big Sky Governor got planned for the future?

He wants to run for president. On a related note, I'd like to be the starting small forward for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

How does Bundy go for decades without paying the land use fees? Why didn't they take action sooner?

Read this. It's amazing.

What's the deal with these new polls? I thought he was one of the most vulnerable in 2014, but we've had a number of surprises.

I think he was considered a goner too soon. I don't think he's ahead by 10 points (and neither do Democrats) but he is in the mix and could win.

"Because Republicans hate it a lot more than Democrats like it." And independents still dislike it more than they like it and hate it more than they love it. The dynamics of public opinion about the law have been slightly changed not fundamentally altered let's not create a baseless narrative here.

It's all about intensity. And intensity right now is (still) on the side of Republicans. 

Where is Carrie?

I am trying to decide whether I should even keep watching that show.

I'm curious, do you get more accusations of liberal pro-Obama lamestream media bias or more accusations that you are part of the vast right-wing conspiracy that somehow ingeniously screwed up the otherwise great Obamacare rollout?

Little of both! Actually, a lot of both.

Does the whole cockfighting/states rights dustup basically end the competitive part of the primary part of the election for McConnell?

The cockfighting story is AMAZING.

And, McConnell was going to win the primary before this. And he is going to win it afterward.

How many candidates do you see as having a plausible shot at the nomination? Of those, how many are clearly running as opposed to considering?

People who I think could be the nominee:



Scott Walker





Never pegged him for having a big ego. I think he's actually considering running, what about you?

I don't think he is really considering it. But I am sure he doesn't like Charlie Crist and doesn't think Crist is running a good campaign.

Who's your likliest suspect for killing King Joeffery?

Lady Olenna for sure.


are you snacking today?


Caramel mcchiato-ing it though.

And listening to Mac DeMarco's "Salad Days". Good Friday music.

As a potential presidential candidate, is he: Dead? Severely wounded? Slightly wounded? OK?


But not dead.

Good for Democratic candidates?

Helps them make the case that the law is helping people. And that is a very good message to get the Democratic base excited.

Testament to Acela Corridor echo chamber. Some people started reading into his vulnerability and Cotton's strength too much and soon it was considered fact he was going to lose.


While we're at it, I would like the power of flight, but I'd settle for the power to get that slow guy in my lane to move to the right.

My gosh. So true.

Or the person who feels the need to come to a complete, dead stop before turning right. 


You are so in the Tank for Georgetown.

Guilty as charged.

I'm covering the Maryland GOP convention this weekend featuring breakfast remarks by Michael Steele, turfed out as head of the RNC even after he won ALL THE THINGS for them in 2010. Maybe he's happy as a DNC-attending MSNBC republipundit after that, but do you see him having any designs on/hope of winning future political office?

I think he's pretty happy in his current gig. And I think he knows he would have a hard time winning office in Maryland.

How checkered is your shirt today on a scale of 0 for the life of Pope John Paul II and 10 for the death of Gov. Nelson Rockefeller

I don;t understand the scale.

But, not checkered. It's blue.

Is it possible that Arkansas shows in 2014 its conservatism and holds Pryor, but on Colorado Udall loses?

Possible. But if Udall loses, I think Pryor probably loses too. It would say that the national environment is not in a good place.

1) Have you seen the TV Series yet? 2) How is Sen. Fraanken doing in the polls?

1. No but I want to. 2. Better than I thought he would be when he won 6 years ago.

That Senate race looks very close. Is there a favorite?

It DOES look close. I think it's a genuine tossup.

Usually, I would default to the Democrat in a D-leaning state like Michigan. But the economy in the state does weird things to its voting habits.

This is what everyone meant when they said McConnell ruins his opponents, Sincerely, Everyone Who Saw This Coming


I mean, it was so obvious. Also, beware Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Does she have a favorite 2016 candidate?

Probably Cruz. 

Do you see any role for him in the 2016 presidential election?

HMM. Probably not.

Though I do think the combo on Corker and Lamar(!) is one of the most interesting Senate pairs in the country.

How much of a handicap is Scott Walker's lack of a college degree? Will most people who would have otherwise voted for him just shrug and think, "it's not like having a college degree did much for the other guys"?

I don't think it's much of a handicap at all.

Does it ever come up on the campaign trail? If so, what are candidates saying?

Nope. And it won't.

Could someone please find a way to outlaw Joan Rivers. Its time to let the next generation be mean.

Petition the White House!

Looking at the maps and results.. why isn't Montana so solidly red as its neighbours? (there must be more reasons than the native democratic-voting population)

You know what, that's a really good idea for a fix post. I am going to do that one.

Chris, Leaving aside the rollout of I know thats a big aside) how much of Obama's legacy and failiure to get his major initiatives into law do you see as the result of GOP incalcitrance, I ask not as a partisan but as we begin to assess Obama's legacy I'm wondering how you see the GOP fitting into that story?

It's a major part of the story.  No question.

The votes are there for a majority, maybe even significant majority of the GOP conference to do a pretty big chunk of the immigration process. Why would they not want to?

I don't agree that a "significant majority of the GOP conference" wants to do immigration reform. If that was true, it would already be done.

I am seeing small but nontheless hopeful changes in the national environment for the Democrats. Am I just fantasizing or do you agree things look a little better now than three months ago? Signed, Admittedly Biased

I do think the news on health care does help at the margins. No question.

I don't think that the midterm look sgood for Democrats just yet though.

Would the front runners for 2016 running mates be Tim Kaine and Susana Martinez?

I think Kaine would be a strong pick.

If Gov. Brian Sandoval (nev.) wasn't pro choice, I think he would be a VERY strong VP pick for Republicans. Assuming it's a long and contested primary fight, the person who is seen as coming in second would probably be the leading Veep candidate.

Ohio papers are all agog over the thought that they might have their convention in Cincinnati or, more likely given its politics, Cleveland. Whadyathink?

CLeveland and Columbus are both in the running, right? I could see Columbus for sure.

Wednesday night he skewered Hannity on the Bundy thing and it was one of the best examples I've seen that should put everybody on the side of the federal government. (Highly recommend watching it!) Can you imagine how great it would be to have his kind of research department supporting you?

He and rachel maddow have pretty amazing research staff. Colbert too.

Hillary will add the Rodham into her name for 2016. Georgia will be more of swing state than many 2012 swing states. Bush, Ryan, Cruz will not run. Paul will make a valiant effort at being Jack Kemp 2.0 but ultimately will fail after scrutiny of his past gets intense. There will be a pretty high (relative to other elections) chance of a EC/popular vote split given the GOP's EC problems

One thing I definitely disagree with in your predictions: Cruz will not run.

I would be VERY surprised if he didn't.

Sorry! It wasn't much of a spoiler. Don't worry. Very good episode though.

Can't wait to watch! Have that and the new Ophan Black all set for this weekend.

If he runs, rank these problems for his campaign *for the Republican nomination*: Immigration Common Core Rustiness as a campaigner His business dealings The Bush name

Worst first.

Common Core



Business dealings


What do you think will happen with the resume of the father of the young girl visiting the White House?

Not sure, but a very touching story.

Republicans fall into one of three categories: 1. Ignorant - Ignorant of facts 2. Stupid - Too stupid to understand facts 3. Depraved - Not ignorant of, or too stupid to understand facts, but chooses to ignore them due to a depraved indifference to human lives other than their own. In all cases, unfit to serve in public office.

And people say civil discourse is dead!

If Sarah Palin had had self control, kept her head down, and worked hard post 2008 she would be president right now. She was everything Romney wasn't-folksy, charismatic, popular in her home state, and most importantly, could make a genuine populist conservative case. Doesn't hurt that she could have neutralized the whole War on Women.

She would have been the frontrunner for the 2012 nomination, without question.

But, again, that scenario is like saying that if I was taller and better at basketball I would be in the NBA.

I'm not and I'm not.

Do you think the GOP is making a mistake focusing solely on Obamacare when the economy and jobs are by most accounts what voters care about?

They believe that Obamacare can be tied to jobs -- and that Obama pushing the law in the first place is an example of misplaced priorities. He should have been focused on growing the economy, they argue.

If he weren't a T-bag Republi-nut the irony would be too awesome considering Cubo-Canadian Fredo's foreign birth...

Who says civil discourse is dead (part 2)?

And, Scene!

Thanks as always for joining. We do this thing every Friday at 11 am. Spread the word. And enjoy your weekend!


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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