Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
Last week, we saw West Virginia's Democratic Governor and Senate candidate Joe Manchin taking aim at the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to regulate coal mining. This week, we find him taking aim at the administration's climate policy of choice, cap and trade. Literally.
Manchin's latest ad shows him using cap and trade legislation for target practice, as he pledges to "take on Washington and this administration and get the federal government off our backs and out of our pockets." The ad is titled "Dead Aim" and also touts his membership in the NRA.
Manchin has been a popular governor in the state, but the race to fill seat of the late Sen. Robert Byrd is quite tight at this point. Recent polls have shown Manchin as much as five points behind his Republican opponent, John Raese. The Democrat has, in turn, fought to distance himself from Obama—particularly on environmental issues. But the coal-hugging isn't new for Manchin; after all, he named coal the state rock last year and has never been shy about being a "friend of coal."
Byrd made significant shifts on energy and environmental issues late in his career, but I can't imagine we'd see the same in Manchin if he does emerge victorius in November.