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The Fix Talks Back: More Thoughts on 2008

I chatted online yesterday, but -- as usual -- wasn't able to get to all of the great questions that were submitted. So, without further ado, let's get started.

Silver Spring, Md.: What do you think about Sen. Sam Brownback as a presidential candidate? There is a HUGE hole on the Right, especially among social conservatives. All the possible favorites there -- Frist, Allen, Jeb Bush -- have either self-destructed or taken themselves out of the running.

The Fix: A cursory look at the current Republican field reveals that neither of the two frontrunners -- Arizona Sen. John McCain and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- is likely to emerge as the favorite son for social conservatives. Romney's record on social issues is something less than consistent, and many social conservatives remain skeptical about McCain as a result of his race against President George W. Bush in 2000. Who among the remaining candidates can fill this niche? Brownback and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee seem best positioned -- though neither has done much to impress over the past year. Brownback has done little in terms of travel or fundraising to indicate he is serious about the race. Huckabee has traveled relentlessly around the country but not yet put into place any sort of campaign infrastructure either nationally or in early voting states.

Washington, D.C.: Can you size up Bill Richardson for me? I'm really not convinced, having seen him interviewed on various MSM outlets, that he is anything more than a politician's politician. What do his supporters know that I don't?

The Fix: On paper, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson may be the most impressive candidate in the Democratic 2008 field. He has been a congressman, cabinet secretary, ambassador and governor -- a resume that few in elected office can match. Plus, Richardson is Hispanic, which, in the eyes of many party strategists, gives him a unique ability to speak to this increasingly influential voting bloc. So why isn't Richardson a frontrunner for his party's nod? Put simply: Discipline -- or lack thereof. To Richardson's credit, he has ridden his large personality to considerable political success, but real questions remain as to whether he can stand up to intense national media scrutiny that would come with a White House bid. For now, I have Richardson ranked No. 5 on The Fix's presidential Line.

Indianapolis: When will congressional districts be redrawn? Can it be done before the 2008 elections?

The Fix: A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year affirmed the right of state legislatures to redraw congressional district lines at any time. That ruling fundamentally altered the calculus of both parties. Traditionally, the redistricting process was restricted to the election cycle after the decennial census. While Democrats have regularly threatened retaliation for the 2003 Texas re-redistricting, they have yet to follow through.

New York, N.Y.: Amazing job with The Fix. It was a must read for me this political season. My question is this. Lieberman stated emphatically throughout the campaign that he would caucus with the Democrats. Then, on "Meet the Press" on Sunday he was suddenly hedging his bets a bit. Do you see him holding this over the Dems for the next two years? Or would moving to the GOP be political suicide knowing somewhat what the Senate landscape looks like in '08? Thanks.

The Fix: Clearly, given your comments about The Fix, you are an astute observer of politics. That said, I think Lieberman is making sure that Senate Democrats know not to take him for granted in the 110th Congress. Ever since losing the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont back in August, Lieberman has insisted he would caucus with Democrats if reelected. And as you might have noticed, most Senate Democrats endorsed Lamont but did little else to defeat Lieberman -- a sure sign that they did not want to anger him into switching allegiance should he come back to the Senate. Lieberman will be treated with kid gloves by incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) going forward.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 16, 2006; 5:54 PM ET
Categories:  Fix Notes  
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Next: The Friday Line: A Way Early Look at the '08 Senate Races


Republican John Cox has a presence in all 99 counties in Iowa, half of the counties in NH, and has a great on-ground team in South Carolina.

He's a social and fiscal conservative who is WOWING crowds of conservatives all across these three early states. He is going to fill that hole you speak of on the conservative Right, Chris.

Posted by: Stephen A. | November 26, 2006 10:26 PM | Report abuse

this interesting story is from Nov 18, 2006 And it shows strong support for women having a seat at the political table. Whether a woman will be on the 2008 ticket as president or vice-president, this shows why people are giving a serious look at Hillary and Condi.

Lifetime Television and REDBOOK Poll Shows Majority of Americans Think There Will Be a Woman President Within 10 Years
- Women Viewed as More Trustworthy and Ethical, the Two Top Qualities Cited for Political Leaders Today

By PR Newswire
NEW YORK, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2006 midterm elections created a seismic shift in the political landscape, including a record number of women elected to the House and Senate, and just this week, the first woman chosen to become Speaker of the House. Already, the 2008 presidential campaign season is underway, and there is at least one woman seriously considering a run for the White House. A new Lifetime Television "Every Woman Counts"/REDBOOK Magazine poll conducted November 10-13, among a nationally represented sample of more than 1,000 adults, shows that these advances for women are no fluke and are part of a dramatic new acceptance of and support for women's political leadership.

Specifically: Women Rule When it Comes to Trust and Ethics: -- Women are perceived to be "trustworthy" more than three times as much as men (21% for women vs. 6% for men). "Trustworthy" was cited by both women and men as the top quality for electing a political leader. -- Women also were thought to be more "ethical" than men, the second most critical quality cited when choosing a leader. And four-in-ten respondents thought a man was more likely to be the subject of a scandal. -- Roughly one-third of adults said they are more likely to vote in an election where there's a female candidate; are more likely to believe promises made by a female candidate; and more likely to pay attention to political ads featuring a female candidate.

Today, Madam Speaker; Tomorrow Madam President: -- A majority of adults said that a woman will be elected president by the year 2016. -- In just two years, the percentage of adults who think a woman will be elected president in 2008 nearly doubled (8% in 2004 vs. 15% in 2006). Women Still Have Ground to Gain: -- Perhaps the harshest critics of women leaders are women themselves -- one-in-five women, across party lines, said that "women are not as effective as men when it comes to politics." -- Of the two top election issues cited -- the war in Iraq and jobs/the economy -- men were deemed better than women at addressing both. (Interestingly, reproductive rights of women was cited as the most important issue when choosing a political leader by only 2% of women and men, and stem cell research by only 4%.) -- Though less than in 2004, still roughly 10% of adults think there will never be a woman president. Women vs. Men Voters: -- Of married women voters, approximately 63% did not exactly replicate their spouse's voting behavior, either by voting differently on all candidates and issues, voting alike only on some candidates and issues, or not knowing how their spouse voted or if their spouse voted at all. -- While men and women agree that the war and jobs/the economy are the top two issues driving their vote, the number three reason for women is education, but terrorism for men.

And on a Lighter Note: -- When asked which presidential daughter would be most likely to run for nationally elected office in 2020, Chelsea Clinton was the overwhelming choice (43%), far out-pacing Caroline Kennedy (20%) and both Bush twins, Barbara Bush (10%) and Jenna Bush (6%). -- Chelsea's mother was also the preferred dinner companion for Thanksgiving Day as Senator Clinton (29%) narrowly winning over First Lady Laura Bush (24%) and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice (23%).

The Lifetime/REDBOOK poll was conducted via nationally representative telephone survey by Opinion Research Corporation among 1,031 adults ages 18+ (518 men, 513 women) in the United States. The survey was completed during the period November 10-13. Full results available upon request.

Posted by: Connie from S Carolina | November 19, 2006 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I read a column written by Terry McAuliffe who said that with Hillary's name recognition and high numbers in the polls, it was his viewpoint that she could wait until later in 2007 to make her offical announcement to run in 2008. That is the same opinion I have for Condi Rice to wait for almost another year before she accepts the request by over 15% of the people that she should run in 2008. Right now she is busy trying to build support with the international community to handle North Korea and is preparing to discuss how to bring the Arab Nations neighboring Iraq into a partnership to help stabilize the region. Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have been helping US forces with fly-over support and US forces being allowed to base in their areas. These same nations also agreed to write-off millions of Iraqi debt build up under Saddam. Baker has been helping our nation under the radar of the media and now he is meeting with Condi in preparing the results of the Iraqi Study Group.
There is a lot of work to do at the State Department, and if things begin to work out in 2007, the success will be given to Condi´s credit as well.
Most reporters are showing that national security and foreign policy will be two of the most important issues for 2008. And with Condi already 4th in line to succession to the president, she benefits from diplomatic success. She handled herself well at the Asian Pacific Economic Summit and will continue to represent our nation well on the world stage.

Posted by: Tina | November 19, 2006 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Tim Pawlenty has now won two elections without ever winning 50% of the vote. Put simply, absent MN's annoying habit of running semilegitimate third party candidates, he would have NEVER been elected once. Also, not sure why you think Pawlenty has improved the economy in MN. Other than raising fees while pretending that somehow isn't the same as a tax cut, the guy hasn't done much of anything in 4 years. Finally, he couldn't even carry MN if he was on a national ticket.

Posted by: colin | November 18, 2006 11:41 PM | Report abuse

How about Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlentry? He was re-elected in a purple state in a democratic year in which the state went democratic. He ran as an unapologetic conservative who's governing style has Minn.'s economy looking better than it has in a long time.

Posted by: reason | November 18, 2006 12:09 PM | Report abuse

McCain/Rice beats Clinton/Obama anyday.

Posted by: McCainsNoKerry | November 17, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Vilsack is running on the Dems side, as if he has a chance. He will follow in the footsteps of Senator Tom Harkin who won the Iowa Caucus in 1992, big whoop. No other Democrat is going to be afraid to campaign for Iowa just because Vilsack is running.

CNN has been exposing Rudy as a one-trick pony, yes, great leadership back in 2001, but what has he done for the last 7 years to make him some icon? CNN also exposed footage of Rudy in his own words in standing for gay marriage and against gun rights. Not much chance of winning the Republican nomination with that stuff.

McCain has a temper and if he lets go into someone's face in the next year, he is a goner. Too much finger pointing at less size of government on his public events yesterday. Let's see, would McCain get rid of NASA, or make sure he won't push for any earmarks for Arizona next year?
The party of Reagan is strong on national defense, but McCain seems happy to try to undermine our current president. Not much chance of picking up the Bush supporters on that one. With his big mouth, McCain will shoot himself in the foot sometime soon just like John Kerry.

Posted by: Sam the Man | November 17, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Memo to Chris: 2008 isn't here yet, and it remains to be seen if any of the candidates can stand up to the intense national scrutiny that comes with a White House Bid. So if you're being a fair, impartial journalist, shouldn't Bill Richardson get the benefit of the doubt? He should be higher in your rankings.

And I've posted this on my Washington for Richardson blog (

Posted by: Ken Camp | November 17, 2006 10:54 AM | Report abuse

He is a single guy - last I heard a governor with serious womanizing issues was one of our most popular Presidents.

Star 11

Not sure what you mean by "single guy"?

Governor Richardson is married to his wife Barbara, whom he met in Boston while getting his Masters at Tufts and married in 1972, over 34 years ago.

Posted by: RMill | November 17, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse


Don't forget the Rev.Al! I like him also!

Posted by: Fred | November 17, 2006 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I still think the Steele jokes are pretty funny...

As much as I like the Fix, please, no one really knows anything about '08. Fun to speculate though

Posted by: Greg-G | November 17, 2006 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Ok, Chris deserved the mocking because of his obvious man-crush on Steele. They were even funny the first 50 times. But enough! We get it. Chris thinks Steele has the greatest commercials ever. Please no more Steele jokes!

Posted by: Shut-up Power | November 17, 2006 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Got your compassionate conservatism right here...

'Eric Keroack, who used to work for an organization that thinks distributing contraceptives is "demeaning to women" and advocates abstinence, has been appointed by the Bush administration as the new head of family-planning programs at the Department of Health, reports the WP on Page One.'

'Obviously, the Democratic party should run Hillary with the Rev. Al and Jesse as co-vice presidents.'

Wow, Fred, you sure do think about Jesse Jackson a lot. Like every minute, it seems -- kind of obssesive. Are you one of those closeted R guys, who's get a secret man-crush on Jesse?

Posted by: drindl | November 17, 2006 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Don't underestimate Romney. He already has an amazing advisory committee here in the state of Iowa.

Posted by: Kirkpatrick | November 17, 2006 7:07 AM | Report abuse

I wonder whether the 'lack of discipline' comment directed at Bill Richardson is code for being overweight? Seems like a commonly heard phrase to attack someone's size, as criticizing overweight people seems always to be in vogue/safe.
I like Bill Richardson's credentials and he seems like a good fellow, I just wonder if he will fit the mold of what we expect a President to 'look like', and it has been a while since that look included someone of size (pretty ironic given our national super-size trend).
Has there been a President of size since Taft?

Posted by: Happy in Blue-Dallas | November 17, 2006 5:15 AM | Report abuse

I agree, we need to hear more about this man. He seems superbly qualified. Still not sure what CC means by lack of discipline, but if it means making hilarious ads like the cowboy milk commercial than I'm all for it. If it means not always sticking to the political message, that's not great, but then again that seems like something he could train himself to do between now and 08 (I remember Hillary in 99 campaigning in NY - not a pretty picture at that stage).

Seriously, it seems like his biggest liability is that he isn't great in front of huge crowds. He's no Obama, although he's supposedly mezmorizing in small groups. Of course, one never knows with voters. After all, they chose Kerry over Dean. His key to victory,

if he wins, and I really hope he does, would be to stress his competence and experience. Of all the candidates in either party he is one of the few governors (most of them so far are senators). Of the few other governors, he is the only one with foreign policy experience. Thus, he has the best of both worlds, which could prove handy if voters feel unsure about how a senator or small state governor would be in the Oval Office.

By the way, he is married to Barbara Richardson.

Posted by: More about Richardson | November 16, 2006 11:43 PM | Report abuse

I was somewhat disapointed to see Governor Vilsack (D-IA) missing from your top five list. Although he may not be getting much buzz inside the beltway, he a lot of appeal to folks in the Midwest, and that may count for a whole lot more in 2008 than ever before. I look forward to seeing his name on the ballot on Super Tuesday.

Posted by: ohio politico | November 16, 2006 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I must agree with my fellow poster, Came Up Just Short, in that you once again left off Michael Steele from your list of 2008 contenders. Certainly his 10 point lost to the charismatically-challenged Ben Cardin must have elevated his chances for higher office. Nothing says "winner" like losing an election.

And I can't think of anyone else's advertisement's I'd rather see again in 2008. Though I don't know if he could catch lightning in a jar twice and manage to run a second campaign completely devoid of substance. But he is, afterall, a superstar of the party. Right, Chris?

Steele Democrat in 08!!!

Posted by: subpoena power | November 16, 2006 10:39 PM | Report abuse

In assessing the '08 race, at this point the question is who will be the anti-Hilary and anti-McCain in both parties. That's the real contest heading into '07. On the Dems side, Feingold's not running leaves a gaping whole for the allegiance of progressives like me. With the GOP, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that the governor of South Carolina may be recruited to join the fray by the Club of Growth.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | November 16, 2006 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, the Democratic party should run Hillary with the Rev. Al and Jesse as co-vice presidents.

Posted by: Fred | November 16, 2006 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I chuckle at the "Michael Steele-for-something" people. You DO realize that out here in the West, he's a name we heard once....and that's it. Please try to think from a NATIONAL perspective when you discuss candidates for national offices.

Posted by: DKinUT | November 16, 2006 8:57 PM | Report abuse

sorry - but whenever one of you posts some random comment about Michael Steele, I just have to laugh - this, from the person who thought he had a chance at pulling out a win. Ha ha. It feels GOOD to be wrong! It must be a pretty sad state of affairs in the Steele home right about now. . .

Posted by: star11 | November 16, 2006 8:41 PM | Report abuse

What about Michael Steele's chances for Prez in 2008?

Posted by: came up just short | November 16, 2006 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I noticed an AP story today mentioned George Pataki. His name has not been mentioned much lately on the GOP side.


Posted by: Rob | November 16, 2006 8:17 PM | Report abuse


Richardson is my #1 choice for the nominee - others feel he has 'too many skeletons in his closet' - rumors about womanizing and so forth. He is a single guy - last I heard a governor with serious womanizing issues was one of our most popular Presidents. Richardson is right for all of the reasons you mention. I think hat will a little speaking polish, he would be pretty tough as a nominee.

Posted by: star11 | November 16, 2006 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I enjoy and rely on The Fix as much as the next guy, but I think we need to push CC a little harder now that we're getting into the '08 cycle. There's a lot of repetition of the standard two or three lines of conventional wisdom about every candidate that you can read in a hundred places. Take Richardson, for example. His experience leads me to believe that he would be extremely competent in the tough job of the Presidency (and competency is hot stuff these days), but he's always dismissed for a "lack of discipline," with little explanation for what that's meant in the past, how significant it is, what it would look like on the Prez campaign trail etc. Are we talking about getting off message in interviews? A campaign that is generally unfocused in terms of message, relationship-building, fundraising, strategic decisions about where to put resources, or what? Or is "discipline" code for something more sinister that we'd rather not mention unless he becomes a real serious candidate? Enlighten us!

Posted by: LoneStarPedro | November 16, 2006 7:35 PM | Report abuse

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