Blog Posts by Chris Cillizza

  • Donald Trump may no longer be a 2012 GOP presidential contender, but he'll have a lasting impact on the race and the remaining candidates.

    Donald Trump isn't running for president in 2012. But, he may wind up having a real impact on the race anyway.

    That impact? Confrontation works.

    From the moment he emerged as a potential candidate Trump took the fight to President Obama. While most Republicans agreed that Trump's focus on Obama's citizenship was a misfire, GOP voters seemed to embrace the Donald's feistiness if not the substance of his attack.

    Put simply: Trump's willingness to fight mattered more than the substance of what triggered the fight.

    Polling bears that sentiment out. In a May CNN poll 67 percent of respondents said Trump was "not a typical politician" and 57 percent said he was "tough enough to handle a crisis.

    No one in the current 2012 field will openly embrace Trump who is politically toxic to vast swaths of the American electorate.

    But, the tone that Trump struck --

    Read More »from The Fast Fix: Donald Trump’s lasting impact on the GOP presidential race
  • The Fast Fix: With Mike Huckabee out for 2012, who benefits?

    Mitt Romney? Sarah Palin? Tim Pawlenty? Or Michele Bachmann? Which of the potential 2012 GOP presidential contenders will benefit from Mike Huckabee's decision not to join the race?

    Mike Huckabee made it official over the weekend- he won't be running for president in 2012.

    Huckabee's decision not to run isn't all that surprising, but it does have a major effect on the race since he was well known and well liked by the Republican electorate.

    There are two major ways that a Huckabee-less field impacts the 2012 race.

    First, Iowa now matters. Huckabee's win in the 2008 Iowa caucuses meant that if he had run again in 2012 he would have been a heavy favorite. With Huckabee out of the race, Iowa is now up for grabs, which creates opportunity for the likes of Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.

    Second, a chunk of social conservatives are political free agents now. Much of Huckabee's strength in 2008 was due to his strong roots among

    Read More »from The Fast Fix: With Mike Huckabee out for 2012, who benefits?
  • The Fast Fix: The Mormon primary

    Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are both eying a 2012 presidential bid, and both are Mormons. Is America ready for a Mormon presidential candidate?


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    Read More »from The Fast Fix: The Mormon primary
  • The Fast Fix: Can Newt Gingrich win in 2012?

    Newt Gingrich is officially in the presidential race for 2012, but does he stand a chance of winning?

    Newt Gingrich is running for president.

    The former Speaker of the House has been eying the race for months and has removed any doubt about his plans with an announcement via YouTube and Twitter.

    But is Gingrich a serious candidate for the nomination?

    He has considerable strengths. He's universally known among Republican primary voters, is a proven fundraiser and is widely regarded as a the brightest policy mind in the party.

    Those strengths are offset by equally large weaknesses.

    Gingrich's ego is legendary and occasionally gets him into trouble. Gingrich has also had a tumultuous personal life that could make him unacceptable to social conservatives.

    It's not surprising then that his political career has been marked by high highs and low lows. Gingrich was the architect of the 1994 Republican revolution that gave the GOP control of the U.S. House for the first time in 40 years.


    Read More »from The Fast Fix: Can Newt Gingrich win in 2012?
  • The Fast Fix: President Mitch Daniels?

    Could Mitch Daniels, the Republican governor of Indiana and former Bush Administration official, be a serious contender in 2012?

    Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, isn't all that well known by the general public, yet he's seen as a very serious contender for the presidency if he decides to run in 2012.


    Daniels has a long and impressive resume in politics that has been capped by seven well-regarded years as Hoosier State governor.

    But even more importantly is the fact that Daniels is one of the few people in either party who seems willing to take on the nation's ever-growing debt problems. In a speech earlier this year, Daniels' compared the debt to the threat from Russia during the Cold War.

    In Indiana he has balanced the budget for four straight years without raising taxes, a record that has has many Republicans clamoring for a Daniels candidacy.

    Daniels isn't without problems though. His call for a "truce" on social issues has not gone over all with party activists. He did

    Read More »from The Fast Fix: President Mitch Daniels?
  • The Fast Fix: Obama goes big

    President Obama has a new political strategy: go BIG!

    From the moment President Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden Sunday night, he has adopted a simple political mantra: be big.

    Not big as in tall but big as in magnanimous. Big as in inclusive.

    Obama's speech announcing bin Laden's death was somber and serious without any partisan cheerleading.

    His invitation to George W. Bush to join him at a wreath-laying at the Ground Zero was widely praised even though the former President declined.

    And, in explaining his decision not to release a photo of a deceased bin Laden Obama cited a shared set of American values -- in keeping with his broader appeal to our better angels.

    Going big isn't for everyone. South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said that the decision to keep the photo private was a mistake. So did liberal Washington Post columnist Gene Robinson.

    But, past political history tells us that presidents are at their best when they cast themselves as above-the-fray

    Read More »from The Fast Fix: Obama goes big


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