The Fix Live

May 02, 2014

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

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Hello everyone!

It's the Friday before the White House Correspondents Dinner which means political Washington is thinking hard about the best parties to go to and how many clean suits you need for the next three days.

But I am squarely focused on politics -- and other things.

Let's do this.

How do they impact, if at all, the outcome of the midterms?

Terrific question.

Asked and answered in this piece I just posted!

My fleet of lawyers have been notified.

Rank his obstacles for the Republican nomination, in order of difficulty: Foreign policy Marijuana His dad (and his dad's image as a kook, at least among many Republicans) Extremist associations, e.g. the Southern Avenger Lack of experience

Extremist associations (and his weird willingness to not totally disavow them)

Foreign policy

His Dad (although this is sort of confalted with #1)


Lack of experience

NY Times indicates today that many donors would dump Christie for Jeb Bush. If that's true, what happens to Christie's campaign?

A Jeb candidacy makes things VERY hard for Christie.  Virtually impossible.  Not only does he lose a lot of juice among donors but they would occupy very similar ideological ground -- center rightish/non tea party -- too.

It feels like the logic of the Republican race is leading us to a Jeb Bush - Rand Paul contest. Mike Huckabee and Paul Ryan likely aren't running. Ted Cruz has found it difficult to maintain support after the shutdown Chris Christie may find it hard to launch a campaign if Jeb Inc. gets underway. Most of the other governors are little-known, and may find even harder than Christie to raise money against Jeb. Who is left? Rick Perry? Rick Santorum?

I think it's leading us to a Rand vs establishment candidate race.

Jeb would be the frontrunner there if he ran but I am less than certain he runs.  I think Rubio is actually an undervalued stock in that regard -- stay tuned because I am doing my big takeout on the GOP field this PM on Fix.

Worth noting that Mike Huckabee placed ahead of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz among "very conservative" Republicans in your poll this week. Social conservatives still outweighing libertarians?

I think so. Huck is beloved among social conservatoves and, as such, is a factor in the presidential if he runs.

But, as we saw in 2008, his ability to break out beyond that social conservative base is minimal.

Any reactions?

Haven't bought it yet. Working up the courage to ask Mrs. Fix to spend $120 a year on pro wrestling...

Wow, it's early MONDAY morning and the headlines have Rep Grimm surrendering to the FBI and facing fraud charges ! Even with ALL of Congress returning this week, we have the " early clubhouse leader", no? MVMD

Oh, we have the actual winner.

there was a theory on AV club about VEEP theorizing that Meyer is in an alternate universe where Perot won the presidency, formed the Reform party and that's her party. any thoughts?

Um, ok.

I love "VEEP". Most realistic political show on TV. Not kidding.

And, yes, I am available for a cameo as the deptuty blogger on Ryantology -- if anyone is asking.

It seems to me that there is no consensus choice for Republican leader. I suppose John Cornyn would be next in line, but could other candidates emerge as strong alternatives?

Cornyn would start as the favorite but keep an eye on Lamar(!) Alexander. I don't think he's done with trying to lead the party in the Senate just yet.

It seems to me that the current crop of young Republican leaders, like Paul Ryan, are not the people who are going to push the Republican Party in a new direction.

I disagree.

I think some of the things Ryan has done on poverty (his comments about the inner city aside) are an interesting way to potentially change the party.

Ditto Rand Paul on sentencing reform or foreign policy. Or Marco Rubio on immigration issues.

Just went out an Oregon poll showing Monica Wehby tied/leading Merkley.. what do you think?

Wehby is intriguing -- pediatric neurosurgeon who has never run for office before. If she wins the primary -- not a sure thing -- I think national Republicans will start talking up the race.

It's still Oregon though which means Jeff Merkley needs to make a mistake in order for Wehby to have a real shot.

Have you ditched that Puple tie yet? Lent was over two weeks ago!

Nope. This purple tie rules!

Where are you cahatting from? What are you listening to? What are you drinking at the Correspondent's Dinner tomorrow night?

Chatting from WaPo world HQ

Drank an xxxxtra hot chai tea latte.

Listening to the new old 97s record

Thinking I go tuxedo t-shirt for Correspondents Dinner. Or this:

If the Dems hold Arkansas and there any way the GOP takes the Senate?


They win WV, MT, SD, AK, LA and CO. Not at all out of the question.

there was a question about polling the other week and I'd just like to say as someone who has studied polls, talked with campaign staff, academics and nonpolitical people, I've found a common thread. If you don't know how polls work, you don't trust them. It doesn't matter if you're joe smith from South Dakota, an international relations professor or a campaign manager, unless you understand and have studied polls, they're considered a form of black magic. The only difference maybe is that people who use polls for work (campaign workers, journalists) think they're a necessary and occasional useful evil, wheres people who don't need polls tend to think they're all made up.


It's a STATISTICAL SAMPLING of the electorate. That doesn't invaldiate it.

Do you need to drink an entire keg of beer to decide whether it's beer?

This week, what's the probability he will run? 1 being Gen. Sherman and 100 being Harold Stassen


I am still not sold. It still feels like the people around him want him to run more than he wants to run.

Hey Chris who will you be wearing?

Terrific question.

I am waiting for all the big designers to roll out their options for me. I feel like I will end up somewhere close to this:

With yet another Transformers movie coming out soon, I was wondering . . .which 1980s cartoon--that hasn't already been made into a movie--do you think they NEED to make a movie about? I go back and forth between Voltron (the lion version, not the vehicle one) and Thundercats.

Voltron. My god I loved that show so much. And, yes, lions only.

Share with us, please, the ideal nerd prom--speakers, guests, post-prom activities, etc.

Ideal speakers: Nate Silver, Amy Walter and one of the dudes from The Bigf Bang Theory.

Ideal guests: Anyone cool who will come.

Ideal activities: Modeling (the data kind not the looks kind), listing the Congressional class of 1974, talking bad about people more successful than you.

Don't leave us hanging. It's like the national anthem.

See above. I would NEVER leave you hanging. I am a true American patriot.

bob scheiffer said he has a source saying romney could run again if bush doesn't. Is this actually the case, is it attention grabbing or just lack of imagination in the punditocracy?

Not happening. N-O-T happening.

Do you or any of the FIX empire attend? Or do you consider this an extra-curricular activity that has little impact on political commentary?

I go. I spend most of the time taking pics of celebrities and cursing the stupid battery life of my iPhone.

Who, at the WHCD, would you like to take a selfie with the most? Robin Wright? Tony Romo? Patrick Stewart?

I will not be taking any selfies. My god. Nightmare.

Unless Connie Britton and/or Kyle Chandler are there. In which case, I will run up to them, tears in my eyes, and tell them how much "Friday Night Lights" means to me.

Given that Huckabee is unlikely to run, who might he endorse? Christie and Paul would seem to be the *least* likely, given his social conservatism and stalwart support for Israel.

Who knows? Santorum, who will run, is closest to him ideologically on social stuff. But not sure Santorum and Huck are kindred spirits.

Also, endorsements are SO overrated.

My mother is a George HW Bush Republican living in Kentucky. She says she can feel the ground shifting toward Grimes. Is she right, wrong, or maybe too early?

I am going to do a big piece next week on how McConnell is in more trouble than commonly assumed in the DC political chattering class. (Sidebar: The McConnell people know how difficult winning will be.)

Who would be her VP pick? O'Malley? Cuomo? Gillibrand?

I still am sticking with Tim Kaine. Great profile -- governor, Senator, Peace Corps -- and from a swing state. And fluent in Spanish.

Brian Williams seems to be doing a lot of rapping of late. Have you filmed any rapping videos that we can view?

No comment. This interview is over.

Hypo: Hillary passes. Nod goes to?

So hard to say. Here's who would be in:





Deval Patrick

Elizabeth Warren, maybe

I think Biden would be a slight favorite. But Warren would be formidable.

You made it through the whole article without using the "Things are looking Grim" pun once!

I know. It was VERY tough.

Have you seen the clip of Wehby in the Editorial Board meeting? Might not be so sure about her being ready for primetime.

Frist time candidates are usually pretty rough around the's why they don't typically win.

I agree. People ask me whether my job is like the West Wing (bright people with soaring idealism making a difference) or like Veep (well-intentioned but basically venal people trying to gain minimal ground on issues of little or no importance, and failing). I say it is about 3% West Wing and 97% Veep.

I'd say 2%/98%.

Since we don't have Jen Chaney to chat with any more, can we depend on you to give us the scoop on the non-Washington celebrities? BTW, what celebrity would you most like to meet?

Celebrity I'd most like to meet. Myself in 10 years. Or Zach Morris.

Ever met him before?

Nope.  He's a tall drink of water though, I believe. So, we have that in common.

Are you angling to meet the Veep cast & crew at WHCD? If so, I'd opt for the powder blue tux.

Um, yes.

Like I said, I am all about cameo.

But how much of that keg of beer do you have to drink to decided if it's good (i.e., accurate) beer? That is what confounds some about polling.

Well, if it's skunked, you know pretty quickly right?

Yes. Yes I do.

I knew this answer was coming.

Are we talking Budweiser here or Stella?

In my hypothetical, I was thinking Natty Lite Ice.

So Rep. McAllister the "Kissing Kongressman" is not running for re-election. Will it be enough to stop calls for his resignation for putting his touge down a staffer's throat?

When you write "touge" it sounds way dirtier than it actually was.

at the Correspondents dinner?

In order:

1. Chuck Todd

2. Chuck Todd

3. Any other celebrities

She-Ra. I could sit for two hours and watch her breathe.

I was also a big GEM and the Holograms guy even though we all know the Misfits were significantly further along in terms of musicianship.

Assuming she is your stylist for the WHCD, I'm sure she won't let you out of the house in anything too vintage (like that blue Prom tuxedo). Please consider the James Bond tuxedo mode; Armani or Tom Ford.

Serious Q: 

1. Long black tie with suspenders

2. Bowtie with cummberbund

3. Bowtie no cummerbund

Is it true that they settled the Klingon homeworld centuries ago?

I am teaching Fix Jr. to speak Dothraki.  No reason not to plan for the future.

He was talking trash about you on his Tuesday chat. Just sayin'.



"In which case, I will run up to them, tears in my eyes, and tell them how much "Friday Night Lights" means to me." Don't you think they already KNOW?

Probably. But I'd want to tell them again. Unless my throat seized up from nervousness and I just stood there gasping for breath.

Would you settle for Ted Cruz and Rick Perry?

Texas forever.

I would relish a Jonny Quest re-make or a Jonny Quest, The Movie. 60s and 70s cartoons were awesome, and would be even more so with modern technology behind them. Yes, I need a life, but in my 60s, the yard is now my biggest obstacle.

That would rock.

Won't they tell you that CLEAR eyes are the right way to go?

So true.

And remember: "I said you need to strive to better than everyone else. I didn't say you needed to be better than everyone else. But you gotta try. That's what character is. It's in the try. " -- Eric Taylor

I get the chills even now reading that quote.

Jeb has a book out. Doesn't that mean he's running?

Or does his flirting with running mean he is trying to sell books?

Another one: What if c-a-t actually spelled "dog"?

Mind. Blown.

Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler will totally selfie with you for that line alone. I'm getting goose bumps just thinking about it.

My god. Highlight of my life if it happened.

Favorite Chicago song?

None of them.

How's it looking for the Governor?

Not so good.

Read this:

Did you say that Lamar Alexander is still in the Senate? Hmmm....I hope keeping a low profile is part of his strategy.

Remember, leadership elections are elections of your peers not of any broader electorate. He doesn't need to be high profile to win hearst and minds in the Senate.

Do you see Rand Paul in his way to nomination and Presidency advocating for pot legalization? And gay marriage? (legalization or Justin Amash position: None of gov's business marriage is?

I am not sure those positions are front and center but my guiess is when asked he says it makes sense for the party to reconsider/rethink its positions on them.

I was going to say something to the effect that if people didn't mistrust polls, we couldn't use President Reagan's reliable laugh line "As President Dewey always told me, don't trust the polls." Then I realized that not only are most people not old enough or wonky enough to recognize the Dewey reference, they aren't old enough or wonky enough to recognize the Reagan reference. Sigh. I am old. And wonky.

And you fit in here!

Are you recording the red carpet and the dinner on CSPAN for Mrs. Fix? Instead of forwarding thru commercials you can fast forward thru the boring stuff - and it has its fair share.

Um, she could care less.

Sidebar: What would they do if I tried to walk the red carpet? Tackled down?

Since you sometimes give WWIW to someone outside of DC, you should give it next week to everyone who has to see that cesspool of self-importance and detachment from the rest of America known as WHCD.

"Cesspool of self-importance and detachment" is, weirdly, how I want my epitaph to read.

No question. Bow tie, no cummerbund. That way you can loosen it at the end of the evening, like Sinatra. Or put it this way: What would you most want Connie Britton to see you wearing? Ladies love the bow tie.

And the cummerbund feels old-timey these days, right?

Next problem: Tying a bow tie.

Likelihood he wins the primary without a runoff Likelihood he wins a runoff Likelihood he wins the general election And will his campaign serve as a template for future "establishment" Republican candidates?

I think he wins outright on Tuesday. And that is a BIG deal for Senate GOPers.

When you bring out the Hellmann's, you bring out the best?

I saw an add for Miracle Whip last night and dry heaved. SO GROSS

First of all it is JEM and the Holograms not GEM and I think the fact that you liked them says all a lot about you. As a 37 year old guy who also liked JEM back in the day, I tend to believe it is a positive...

Oh man. I misppelled it.

And, yeah, I loved it. 

what would it be?

"Do you think I am really handsome or extremely handsome?"

You mean she doesn't read your stuff...including your chats? Or are you counting on her reading and this is your way of "asking" her?

Um, the latter. Big time.

Don't you mean COULDN'T care less? Come on!


Is this when reporters have their serious discussion of covering important issues instead of sensationalized nonsense?

I see what you did there.

Do you think the quote: "American people say enough to political dinasties (Clinton, Bush...), a poll released this week, could make Hillary and Jeb not to run?


Here's why:

I've always been fascinated by the fact that even in the deepest red and blue states, candidates from the other party still get upwards of 30% on election day. How do you get two more out of 10 to see things your way?

That's the thing. You get two out of every ten by just being on the ballot. And you could probably spend $100 million and get one or maybe two more.  Getting half is probably impossible.

I give you Meg Whitman's gubernatorial candidacy in 2010.

Since they already did Connecticut, which state should they do next week?

Connecticut again.

He's the third representative covering Staten Island (my hometown) to be indicted in the last 3 decades - John Murphy (ABSCAM) and Vito Fossella (DWI plus two families). That has to be the clubhouse leader from one CD right now, right? PS - did you see Jon Stewart's Grimm Shady/Glutenfellas bit from Wednesday night?

Wow. That is impressive. Or, the opposite of impressive.

You had to grab that number, huh--not 42 or 44. Intentional, or a subconscious association with "43" and the Bush bros?

Oh man. didn't even realize it.

Isn't it more like a box of chocolates? Plenty of nuts get in there!

Life is like a box of chocolates.

Any chance she'll run for the Senate from Illinois in 2016? (I'd have to look DEEP into the historical record, but there might be some precedence for this).

I really don't think so. Unlike HRC, Michelle Obama doesn't seem super interested in or in love with politics.

If she did run in Illinois, she'd be formidable.

There will be a moment when Rand Paul loses sympathies/support among social conservatives and he breaks up the balance he is trying to maintain with them?

There very wcould be. But I think he just wants them to not be adamantly opposed to him. I think he gets he is never going to be their first choice.

"political Washington is thinking hard about the best parties to go to and how many clean suits you need for the next three days." Does political Washington actually have any fun at these parties? Hard to imagine!

I do! Fun to see people you don't get to see regularly.

But, like most parties, a little goes a long way.

I SO SO disagree with you on this, the HRC will NEVER pick one of BO's first supporters, NEVER

Hard to argue with that many words in all caps.

It can't be that hard. There are so many dudes walking the streets with them these days. Or go into a men's clothing store and get a quick lesson. Or see if you can find something on the internet, which is apparently a series of tubes.


That's all folks! 

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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