I wrote in the previous post that the Washington Post was listing WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey as a potential challenger for Senator Joe Manchin in 2018. Today's Politico Energy Report suggests the race is already on:
In what could be a preview of a 2018 Senate contest, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey made an unusually public demand that Sen. Joe Manchin voice his support for Trump’s EPA pick. “Scott Pruitt’s ascension to the EPA post is good for our state,” Morrisey, one of the strongest leaders in litigation against agency regulations, wrote. “I urge you to put your full support behind his nomination.”
Egads, the coal dust has barely settled on Pruitt's nomination. What I find particularly appalling is Morrisey's use of his office to further his own political goals -- the letter to Manchin comes on West Virginia Office of the Attorney General stationery. How is this related to official state business?
Manchin, of course, replied:
Manchin fired back his own letter hours later, saying Morrisey’s interest in the appointment was “noted” and ticking off his efforts to oppose a host of EPA regulations. He said Pruitt has “an impressive resume” but did not specifically voice support for the nomination yet: “I look forward to meeting with Attorney General Pruitt and hearing how he intends to right-size the EPA and refocus it in line with the principles that I have set forth in my years of work on behalf of West Virginians,” Manchin wrote.
And what about Trump's Secretary of State nominee?
Seen as the most likely Senate Democrat to back Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson’s nomination to be secretary of State, Manchin told MSNBC on Wednesday he wasn’t concerned about the fossil fuel chief’s close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin but said he wasn’t yet convinced Tillerson could act independently from his personal financial interests in a governmental role.
Of course we shouldn't expect more, this is from the same senator who didn't see anything wrong with Trump's nomination of Jeff Sessions for the attorney general position.
The Politico article also includes this Manchin quote:
Manchin added he’s been “miserable” in the Senate and “at odds” with the Obama administration “from day one.”
As the Charleston Gazette-Mail relates, Manchin wasn't done. Sounding a bit like Robert Murray, Manchin continued his attack on Democrats:
In a nationally-televised interview, Sen. Joe Manchin complained about President Barack Obama’s policies, cheered an end of “government overreach” under president-elect Donald Trump and bemoaned “national Democrats” -- a group he does not associate himself with.
Okay, I give up. Why is this man still a Democrat?