"I'll take on Washington and this administration to get the federal
government off of our backs," declares West Virginia Governor Joe
Manchin as he loads his rifle in a new campaign ad (video below). The Democrat, who
now faces tightening poll numbers, has publicly backtracked from his prior support of Obama's health care reform plan. And he has declined
to endorse Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader or the president for a
second term. Although Manchin is undeniably popular in his home state
(his 68 percent
approval rating was declared the highest "for any politician in the
country in 2010"), the fact that he is a Democrat and has supported some
of the president's policies has him perilously close to losing his bid.
Here's How Manchin Explains His Non-Endorsement of Obama In an interview with Politics Daily's Patricia Murphy,
Manchin hedges when asked if he will endorse the president for a second
term: "That's such a hypothetical thing, but basically I think there's
two more years that have to play out. Things have got to change. People
will have time to evaluate and make a decision over the next two years
and four years. I just think there's a lot of correction, a lot of
changes, a lot of things that need to be fixed before I would say
anything about anybody running for office."
West Virginia Loves Him, But He's A Democrat CNN's congressional correspondent Dana Bash
visits West Virginia and finds that "Democratic and Republican voters
said they think Manchin has done a great job for this state. They note
that he's lowered the state's deficit, showed compassion for the state's
coal miners, and fought for the coal industry." But they also "are
furious at Washington, and aren't sure they want to send a Democrat
there, even the governor they really like." Even Manchin acknowledged
this "stunning dynamic" in an interview with the correspondent.
Manchin's Now Painting Himself as Bipartisan An Associated Press
report observed that Manchin has been insistent in his approach to
bipartisan "problem solving" and has touted "successes his
administration has had to keep the state operating while others have
been forced to curtail transportation projects, cut services and lay off
employees." He is endorsed by the National Rifle Association, the
United Mine Workers union and the West Virginia Coal Association.
'What a Difference Seven Months Makes' Hot Air's Ed Morrissey
notes that "before he ran for the Senate, Manchin campaigned for
ObamaCare’s package — and now he claims not to have read the bill or
known about its taxes and mandates. That’s not the actions of an
independent thinker, but of a mindless partisan....All Manchin had to do
was pick up a newspaper and find out, for instance, that a significant
group of Democrats had held up the bill over the federal funding of
abortion coverage. Either Manchin is lying, or he’s nothing but a tool
'He Is Changing Right Before Our Very Eyes' quips Don Surber
at The Daily Mail. "Joe Manchin finds himself in the wrong party this
year" and to be transforming into John Kerry circa 2004. He now
appears to be "for Obamacare before he was against it." Still, Surber
hedges, "don’t count him out" of the election just yet.
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