The political ineptitude of the Manchin team is now starting to cause me physical pain. Yesterday:
This weekend the West Virginia Democrat’s office released a statement that he could not attend the rare Saturday session because of a “holiday gathering” planned “over a year ago with all their children and grandchildren.”
Manchin was promptly slammed in the media for skirting the votes over a “Christmas party,” as some outlets described it. Manchin defended his decision to reporters Monday afternoon.
“There was no Christmas party. I made a commitment to my grandchildren and I was with my grandchildren,” said Manchin. “And the two big votes, I never changed. I was against both of them and I put it in the congressional record, so that was done way before the votes, so I was pretty clear where I was.”
Hours before the two Saturday votes, Manchin’s office released a statement with his opposition to both Democrat-backed bills. However, when the final votes were cast, Manchin was nowhere to be found, prompting speculation that he skipped town because the new senator did not want to face media or his colleagues after making two votes contrary to his party’s position.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin apologized to his constituents Tuesday for missing two key votes over the weekend.
Manchin has caught heat from friends and foes alike for failing to be on the Senate floor Saturday to vote on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the DREAM Act. Instead he was celebrating Christmas with his grandchildren in Pennsylvania.
“Let me apologize to anybody and everybody within our listening and reading areas. I’m very sorry for missing the two votes,” Manchin said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday.
So which was it? Were you on the record and it doesn’t matter, or are you sorry you missed the votes? Just STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. STOP DIGGING. Is there no one in his damned office who can play this game?
I’ve heard from several people, and it would go with what I know about the man, that Manchin was basically in a horrible situation with DADT. The man isn’t a hater, thinks DADT should be defeated, but can look at the red wave across WV and the poll numbers for Obama and 2012, and knows that a vote for DADT repeal would CRUCIFY him. That doesn’t excuse his no-vote (or assertion he would have voted no, I guess), because I expect Senators to take tough votes but do the right thing on issues like civil rights. But it would explain why he is all wrapped around the axle on this.
Regardless, Manchin should seriously consider suing the people giving him advice for malpractice.