Political pundit on the latest from Washington, D.C.
Manchin's gunslinging comes with some kickback
The newly elected senator is having a tough time getting on committees after taking 'dead aim' at the cap-and-trade bill during the campaign season.
Fri, Jan 07, 2011 at 03:44 PM
NO SEAT AT THE TABLE: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) is likely to find himself on the outside looking in when it comes to committee assignments in the Senate. (Photo: TV19DDmeighan/Flickr)
Since when does shooting things not get you what you want?
On the one hand, Manchin’s move got him headlines, credibility with skeptical voters and probably a United States Senate seat. On the other hand, it may have cost him a seat on the Environment and Public Works Committee.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) told Politico’s Morning Energy blog
, that there isn’t room for Manchin on the committee, which she chairs. But just like Manchin’s initial shot at cap-and-trade, Boxer’s actions could have unintended repercussions. If the West Virginian takes the committee snub personally, he could do what many have already speculated might happen and threaten to switch parties
. The man certainly has some leverage.
A switch would bring Republicans within a couple seats of evening things out in the Senate; and getting Sen. Joe Lieberman (D/I-Conn.) or Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) to join Manchin in a party switch would do the trick. If some sort of team switch happened, it could give Republicans control of the House and split control of Senate. Though without Vice President Joe Biden switching parties, Democrats would still be in charge, as the vice president gets to break all ties. But, hey, Biden seems to be a little off his game
This is all probably a long shot, and it’s likely that Democratic leadership has considered this scenario and tried to head it off behind closed doors. Barring a Minchin switch, Democrats already know the West Virginian will be tough to deal with. So why reward him with a committee position that he will use to be a pain in the neck?
Still, Boxer should be careful. I mean who messes with a guy who has such good aim?
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