West Virginia’s governor is literally shooting bullets through any proposed cap-and-trade ball, while Bill Clinton and Sarah Palin are taking sides in the state’s U.S. Senate race.

Let’s start with Palin, who took to Facebook on the last day of voter registration in West Virginia to endorse Republican John Raese. "John Raese has the courage and independence to stand up to the Washington politics of Reid and Pelosi. He'll do what's right for West Virginia," said Palin — or the person in charge of her Facebook page.

The former vice presidential candidate’s electronic endorsement comes after former President Clinton delivered an in-person campaign stop for the Democratic Senate candidate, Gov. Joe Manchin.

During the Manchin endorsement, Clinton acknowledged that these are difficult times for candidates already in office. "I don't blame anybody for being mad. We've had a huge economic body blow," Clinton said. "But I'm old enough to know that if you make a decision when you're mad — and this is not just politics — there's about an 80 percent chance you're going to make a mistake."

While West Virginia is almost always a Democratic lock (it hasn’t sent a Republican to the Senate since 1958), Clinton was the last Democratic presidential candidate to win the state. A Talking Points Memo poll shows that President Barack Obama is very unpopular in the state, and another article on the site shows Raese has some serious cash to spend on the campaign.

While popular as governor, Manchin is running a close campaign against Raese. So what is Joe Manchin doing in the middle of a fight for his political life? He’s grabbed his gun and has taken aim at the cap-and-trade bill.

Manchin’s latest commercial, posted below, shows him firing a bullet through a piece of paper with “cap and trade" written on it. If this commercial were more accurate, the bill would likely have been hundreds of pages thick. (Who knows if the bullet would have still made it through?)

Anyway, this is the latest chapter of a state that is on the front lines of the battle for energy policy and now a fierce political battle. West Virginia is already facing particularly difficult economic times; any more regulation of the coal industry is seen as something that will only make things worse there.

This creates easy work for Republicans and tricky times for Democrats in West Virginia. Republicans can stick to their anti-Washington, anti-Obama and anti-regulation playbook. Democrats have to be anti-Washington, even while their party controls the government there. Manchin’s commercial attempts to take care of several of these challenges with a single bullet.

It will be interesting to see if Raese fires back ... or if Manchin reloads. Stay tuned.

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