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The Fix: February 7, 2010 - February 13, 2010

Sarah Palin's palm, House retirements abound, and a "Live Fix" sponsorship search

We spent an hour earlier today answering questions on topics ranging from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's palm writing to what the recent spate of retirements in the House mean for the overall Congressional outlook to what coffee shop should serve as the unofficial "Live Fix" chat sponsor. (Jammin' Java in Vienna is the current frontrunner.)

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 12, 2010; 4:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (186)
Categories:  Fix Notes  
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Tim Pawlenty offers a stinging critique of GOP

In the upcoming issue of Esquire magazine, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) offers a harsh rebuke of his own party's actions in recent years, arguing that the GOP "blew it" when they had the chance to govern the country.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 12, 2010; 1:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (212)
Categories:  Eye on 2012  
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House retirements pile up

A quartet of House members -- Reps. Vern Ehlers (Mich.) and Lincoln Diaz-Balart (Fla.) for Republicans, Reps. Diane Watson (Calif.) and Patrick Kennedy (R.I.) for Democrats -- announced their retirements this week, bringing the total number of those not seeking re-election in 2010 to 32.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 12, 2010; 10:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
Categories:  The Line  
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House Republican retirements provide counter-conventional wisdom

rapid fire trio of Republican retirements -- Reps. Steve Buyer (Ind.), Vern Ehlers (Mich.) and Lincoln Diaz-Balart (Fla.) -- in recent weeks have raised questions about whether the conventional wisdom that Democrats, facing a difficult political environment nationally, would head for the political hills.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 12, 2010; 5:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Patrick Kennedy won't run for re-election

Rhode Island Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy will retire after eight terms in office, bringing an end to his House career just months after his father, legendary Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, passed away.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 11, 2010; 10:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (177)
Categories:  House  
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Who will be the 2012 Republican presidential nominee?

With so much talk about the identity of the next Republican presidential nominee, we thought we'd give Fixistas a chance to offer their opinion.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 11, 2010; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (105)
Categories:  Eye on 2012 , Fix Poll  
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The Sarah Palin Surge (and why it's overblown)

In the wake of her keynote address at the national tea party convention in Nashville, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's presidential prospects have soared. Time's Joe Klein, in a piece entitled "It's Her Party: The Brilliance of Sarah Palin" , wrote that the 2008 vice presidential nominee "hits the same mystic chords as [former President Bill] Clinton" and declared her the favorite to win the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 11, 2010; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (310)
Categories:  Eye on 2012  
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Lincoln Diaz-Balart to retire

Florida Republican Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart will call it quits today, retiring after nine terms representing a heavily Cuban-American district in the Miami area, according to a source briefed on the decision.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 11, 2010; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  House  
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House Republicans make case for majority

House Republican leaders made their case for why -- and how -- their party can win back the majority this fall in a conference call with reporters Wednesday. "The electorate does see very clearly that one party control in Washington is not in their best interest," said National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas), pointing to a series of national polls suggesting that Republicans are making up ground on their Democratic opponents thanks to a desire for divided government in Washington.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 11, 2010; 6:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (112)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Generic ballot moves toward Republicans

Several national surveys released over the past few days show Republicans pulling even or surging past Democrats on the so-called "generic ballot" question, an early warning sign for the party in power as the midterm election approaches. In the latest Washington Post/ABC News survey, 46 percent of those polled said they would be inclined to vote for the Democratic candidate in their congressional district if the election were held today while another 46 percent said they would back the Republican candidate.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 10, 2010; 3:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
Categories:  House  
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Jon Stewart spoofs Republican meeting in Hawaii (VIDEO)

When Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele scheduled the organization's winter meeting in Hawaii, he had to know this was coming. The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10cRNC Meeting in Hawaiiwww.thedailyshow.comDaily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care...

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 10, 2010; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  Republican Party  
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Michigan Rep. Vern Ehlers retires

Michigan Rep. Vern Ehlers is retiring. AP photo Michigan Rep. Vern Ehlers announced his retirement this morning, the 17th Republican to decide against seeking re-election to the next Congress. "I don't want to stay in office so long that...

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 10, 2010; 10:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  House  
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Republicans close trust gap with Democrats, President Obama

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll suggests that Republicans have significantly narrowed the once-large trust gap between themselves and Democrats -- as well as President Obama -- on a variety of hot-button issues.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 10, 2010; 5:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Why the Murtha special election is no sure thing for Republicans

At first glance, the special election to replace the late Rep. John Murtha (D) in Pennsylvania is a golden opportunity for House Republicans looking to build momentum heading into what is widely expected to be a very good midterm election for the party. Murtha's 12th district, located in western Pennsylvania, was the only seat in the country that went for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004 and switched to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008 -- this in spite of the fact that Kerry won the state by three points while Obama carried it by 10 points.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 9, 2010; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
Categories:  House  
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Sarah Palin's soundbite strategy

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has mastered the art of the political soundbite and has used it to devastating -- and some would say irresponsible -- effect since emerging on the political scene in the fall of 2008. Witness her speech at the national tea party convention over the weekend in Nashville, Tennessee. "America is ready for another revolution," Palin said.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 9, 2010; 11:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (287)
Categories:  Eye on 2012  
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Obama, congressional Republicans in a staring contest over health care

House Republicans' threat to boycott President Obama's proposed health care meeting on Feb. 25 creates the political equivalent of a staring contest with each side waiting for the other to blink.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 9, 2010; 6:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (181)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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John Murtha dies, special election looms

The death of longtime Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha (D) this afternoon will set off a special election in his very competitive western Pennsylvania 12th district.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 8, 2010; 4:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (199)
Categories:  House  
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Can Democrats dissuade Dan Coats from running?

In the six days since former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats (R) made clear he was preparing to challenge Sen. Evan Bayh (D) in the fall, national Democrats have unleashed an all-out assault aimed at making Coats reconsider his candidacy. First...

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 8, 2010; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Senate  
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"Saturday Night Live" takes on the Rahm Emanuel apology

Any time Andy Samberg does anything on "Saturday Night Live", we watch. And, when he decides to impersonate White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, we can barely contain our glee.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 8, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  White House  
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White House moves to make the filibuster a campaign issue

The Senate -- and filibusters in particular -- are the focus of a new White House campaign. Over the past week, President Obama and his senior aides have repeatedly cited Republicans' filibuster threats as the primary reason for the...

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 8, 2010; 10:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
Categories:  Senate , White House  
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Obama to convene bipartisan health care meeting on Feb. 25

The big news out of President Obama's pre-Superbowl interview with CBS News's Katie Couric is that the White House will convene a health care meeting with congressional leaders of both parties on Feb. 25.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 8, 2010; 5:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (94)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Palin speaks at tea party convention

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was in Nashville, Tennessee last night to address the first-ever national gathering of the tea party. Her speech was heavy on folksy, applause lines -- "We win, they lose" was her answer on national security...

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 7, 2010; 8:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (128)
Categories:  Eye on 2012  
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