Thursday, August 03, 2017


As most of the country recoils from President Trump, a West Virginia Democrat rushes into his embrace:
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a Democrat, will announce he is flipping to the GOP at a rally with President Trump on Thursday....

Justice, a coal magnate and the wealthiest man in West Virginia, first won office last year. Before announcing his candidacy, he was wooed by both Democrats and Republicans. Ultimately, he opted to run as a Democrat.
This is no surprise -- Trump's highest approval rating in any state is in West Virginia, according to Gallup (60%).

But I'm wondering whether something bigger is planned.

Axios's Mike Allen noted yesterday that Obamacare repeal failed in the Senate in part because Trump chose not to name any red-state Democratic senators to his cabinet.
[One] possibility that was kicked around was Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) for a job like Secretary of Energy. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is a Democrat but has a close relationship with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and might have played ball on a conservative replacement.
But now we know that if Manchin needs to be replaced, Justice will replace him with a Republican. And we also know that there could be a vacancy at the Department of Energy if, as has been rumored, Trump moves Rick Perry from there to the Department of Homeland Security, to replace the new White House chief of staff, John Kelly.

So the follow could really happen: Perry goes to Homeland Security. Manchin goes to Energy. Justice picks a Republican replacement senator. And we get to go through the Obamacare repeal-and-replace nightmare all over again, because Trump just can't let it go.

Could this really happen? I think so. But we'll see.

Let me add that I don't think Trump is smart enough to concoct this plan. But maybe someone in his circle (Kelly?) is smart enough.

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