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The Fix Talks Back

I spent an hour this morning fielding questions during a live online chat. As always, there were alot more questions than I could get to so I kept a few of the best and answered them below. Don't forget to check The Fix tomorrow morning for the latest Friday Senate Line.

Alexandria, Va.: But Chris, you didn't answer the question -- would Barack Obama as VP on a losing 2008 ticket hurt his future changes (my view, hey, it's free advertising, unless he's involved in a major screwup). Would be interested in your thoughts.

The Fix:: It's hard to imagine a scenario under which Obama would hurt his chances at the presidency by agreeing to be on the national ticket. Should that ticket lose, Obama would run the risk of being painted as yesterday's news by some insiders but he could easily explain that away by pointing out that he didn't lead the ticket. The one caveat, which you rightly note, is if he was to commit a major gaffe on the campaign trail that took some of the shine off of him in the eyes of voters and insiders. Given his political skills, a mistake like that seems highly unlikely.

Denver, Colo.: One appeal that Mark Warner has is the appeal of "competency". Having sucessfully negotaiated the challenges in Virginia he makes an appealing candidate nationally at a time when so much is in disarray. What do you think?

The Fix: The majority of Warner's stump speech, not surprisingly, is devoted to the successes he has created in his life -- from cell phones in the private sector to his four years as governor of the Commonwealth. I think the competence argument only goes so far, however, especially on foreign affairs. Warner's biggest problem is that he has little experience on foreign policy and must convince Democratic primary voters to take a chance on someone who has no track record. His demonstrated competence in the business world and in Virginia politics should help him make the case but it will be a struggle.

Boston, Mass.: How big a deal is it that both the Democratic campaign committees for the House and Senate are outraising their Republican counterparts? Did the Busby-Bilbray race erase the NRCC's cash advantage (by forcing the GOP to spend $5 mil to defend a "safe" seat)?

The Fix: It's an important -- and shocking -- development that the Post's Jim VandeHei documented well in a recent article. After the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act went into effect after the 2002 election, Democrats to a person predicted it would cripple their ability to remain within financial shouting distance of Republicans. That has not been the case. In 2004, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised its Republican counterpart and through May 2006 both the DSCC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had more cash to spend than the Republican committees. Republicans got a huge boost from the President's Dinner and, at least on the House side, should jump into the lead again when June reports come out later this month. The underlying trend is intriguing, however, as Internet fundraising has created a new reservoir of cash for Democrats that Republicans have been unable to match to date. The real test of fundraising parity will be in the 2008 presidential campaign when both sides go full tilt to raise hundreds of millions of dollars.

Louisville, Ky.: Do you any word on Ky-3? The Dem challenger John Yarmuth released a poll putting himself one point above incumbent Ann Northup. Do you have any other numbers? Louisville is by far the most blue area in the state. Any chance for a Dem pickup here?

The Fix: Northup is perenially targeted by national Democrats who see the tilt of her Louisville area district, which went for Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry by a 51 percent to 49 percent margin in 2004. But Northup has shown incredible resiliency, having won tough re-election fights since 1996. I saw that poll, and I can believe the numbers, but remember it is still early in the campaign. Northup will spend millions touting her accomplishments and attacking Yarmouth and it's not immediately clear he will have the resources to respond. That said, in a year with Democrats enjoying a strong wind at their back, this could be a race to watch.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 6, 2006; 5:08 PM ET
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Next: The Friday Line: Dems Eye Possible Senate Pickups


Yarmuth has no shot against Ann Northup. If Yarmuth really wanted to do something for Louisville he would have taken on Mayor Jerry Abramson in the Democratic Primary.

Posted by: Dale Rhoades | October 1, 2006 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the polls show that voters will elect a woman as president, but they also want to see her qualifications and experience, not just the gender equality thing.

My evidence is from the polls (ever since the 1930's with Gallup) which now, this year show 90% would support a woman. And Condi is favored at 70% in the Republican that she should run. If so, then she will show if she can run a campaign, and handle herself in debates. If the strong numbers for her to run, (nationwide at 20% along with Rudy and McCain who tied her at the same level) it will be a fair race.

Again, go back to the excellent July 4 article written by Glenn Kessler and how Condi is making her mark in the diplomatic world. She is almost as powerful as Cheney, and the reporters have said how she is the last person to speak to the President on almost every political, or foreign policy issue. That is POWER in the hands of a very intelligent woman who will win delegates in 2008. Whether she is the next president or VP will be in the hands of Republicans in Iowa, New Hampshire and over 20 other states using a primary to select delegates. It will be the most watched international story IF she decides to run, and if she is selected as VP, the game is over. She will be on the winning team for 2008 if the president see her as his legacy.

Posted by: Slim Girl in Pearls | July 10, 2006 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Condoleeze Rice was the NSA when we were attacked by terrorists. She was given one month's warning. To me, that's criminal.

I dare the GOP to run her as president.

Posted by: DG | July 10, 2006 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Bush/Cheney lost the last two presidentials elections. Rigged electronic machines flipped votes and put them in power. If this situation is not corrected, we will be The American Empire. All who care about living in a democracy must insist that we return to putting legitimately elected officials into office.

Posted by: Kristin | July 8, 2006 6:17 AM | Report abuse

I agree with your post in general, but it's not that the country is more conservative than ever; it's that the conservatives are slicker than ever.

The republicans are consistently better than democrats at framing issues like national security and family values. What I'd like to know is how they think unwanted children improve a family and why 1 in every 10 Americans is unfit to start one.

Once Democrats start standing up for their beliefs, they might have a shot at reclaiming our nation of centrists.

Posted by: Bill | July 7, 2006 8:42 PM | Report abuse

To Rob Millette:

Democrats have cornered the market on stupidity when it comes to nominating presidential candidates. The proof?: 2 Democratic presidents elected in an almost 40 year span--pretty pathetic, don't you think?

Republicans are in a position to take the next 16 years if things stay on course. Congressional losses in November 2006 don't mean a thing--in fact, that usually happens to the party in power (check Clinton in 1994). If anything, the major gains for Republicans in 02 and 04 signal the real story: America is more conservative than ever. Until Democrats wise up, they'll continue to lose for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: John | July 7, 2006 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Not so much a question as a comment and it goes to the point made earlier about the discrepency in the fundraising totals between the Democratic campaign committess and the Republican campaign committees. Has anyone given any thought to the fact that this is because noone is giving to the DNC? All the D contributors have been putting their money into the two campaign committees because Dean has been so inept at the DNC.

Posted by: Chris | July 7, 2006 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Re: Yarmuth and Northup in Kentucky...

I recently moved to Indiana from Kentucky and voted for the libertarian in the last Louisville-area congressional race. Northup was too tied to Bush, but the Democrat she was facing, Tony Miller (I think that was his name) was about as bland and uncharismatic as they come.

Yarmuth is a completely different kind of competition than Northup is used to. He's publisher of the arts & culture weekly LEO (Louisville Eccentric Observer). He's been a talking head on local t.v. "point/counterpoint" type shows for years.

He has name recognition and his public speaking is far-and-away superior to Miller's. I think its going to be a far better race.

Posted by: Independent Woman | July 7, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse

You know, I hope that the Republicans are stupid enough to nominate Condi Rice. While she may have a ton of foreign policy experience, she has never truely been under the gun form the public and the media. I know little to nothing about her aside from the fact that she has been in the Bush admin and is doing her job.

I have 5 questions about Condi that I'd like answers too

1 This first question is actually a 3 parter with the first 2 combined in the second

1a Is this country ready to elect a woman President?

1b Is this country ready to elect a black President

and the real question, is this country ready to elect a black president who is a woman?

2 How well will Condi hold up under the public spotlight?

3 Is Condi a campaigner?

4 How will her ties to the Bush administration play out?

5 She doesn't have any legislative or executive branch background that I am aware of. Aside from doing what shes told, what has she done to show us that she can run the country?

Posted by: Rob Millette | July 7, 2006 3:43 AM | Report abuse

any link to the yarmuth-northup poll?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2006 2:45 AM | Report abuse

To the guy making a statement about foreign policy and the election of Bush, I think he fails to remember that Condi Rice is the foreign policy experience which is making her the RISING STAR of the Republican party and one of the top contenders for 2008.

The people across the nation can see for themselves how well she handles more diplomatic issues, and if the G-8 Summit comes off well next week in St Petersburg Russia, it will be another feather in her cap.

Now I find it amazing for the Democrats and liberals to be zeroing in on foreign policy since that is a major part of world relations for any president. How much experience did Clinton have, or Carter? So very few presidents really come into the White House with much real experience on the world stage.

Now that again is a key reason to consider Condi for president. I am still very thankful that Glenn Kessler saw enough newsworthyness in the efforts in the public arena which shows there are thousands and thousands of people who are promoting Condi for president.

Hey, you can do a google search at most media sites and find out about the various websites set up by political activists who are promoting Condi.

Julie Smythe of AP also did a major story which has been swirling across the nation from coast to coast in newspapers about the Condi for president effort.

It is great to be part of the movement and thank you to the Washington Post for getting out the news.

Posted by: Tina | July 6, 2006 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Zathras, I stand corrected. You did say the NY ruling was good politics for Democrats. I initially misread your comment.

However, the Texas court ruling forcing Tom DeLay to remain on the ballot in TX-22 is far better news for Democrats in my opinion.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Democrats just picked up a House seat (TX-22) and got a major boost in gaining a lot more nationwide:

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Uh, Sandwich Man,

That's exactly what I said--that it was good news for Democrats. How did you get otherwise?

Posted by: Zathras | July 6, 2006 8:50 PM | Report abuse

LOL! Wishful thinking, Zathras. Gay marriage as an election issue helps Republicans--as they exploited it in 2004--not Democrats. The NY Supreme Court made an unjust decision that is absolutely wrong from a moral and philosophical perspective, but politically it was a gift to Democrats.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 8:06 PM | Report abuse

You wrote that Mark Waner would have to overcome the handicap of no experience in foreign policy. George Bush was successful in that. Twice.

Posted by: larry | July 6, 2006 7:16 PM | Report abuse

i think there should be a posting on the nj budget standoff. corzine is getting some national attention including whispers of him running for pres.

this also should affect the kean and menendez race. the fix should be on this.

Posted by: sam | July 6, 2006 6:55 PM | Report abuse

The best news in weeks for Democrats nationally occurred today when the New York Court of Appeals refused to require the state to recognize gay marriage. If the case had gone the other day, the gay marriage issue would be front and center on most campaigns.

Posted by: Zathras | July 6, 2006 5:26 PM | Report abuse

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