GOP Woos New Democratic Senator

Well, that’s one way of reaching across the aisle: Republicans are making increasingly tempting offers to Democratic West Virginia Senator-elect Joe Manchin in hopes of luring him to switch parties. In addition to his pick of committee assignments, Manchin could get Republicans behind a whopping $1 billion in seed money for a project to convert coal to diesel, as well as a deal to require the military to use converted coal for fuel. That’s a dream project for Manchin, who will represent a state heavily invested in coal mining. Plus, President Obama is woefully unpopular in West Virginia, and switching parties would mean that Manchin wouldn’t have to run on the same ticket in 2012. Nevertheless, one of Manchin’s advisers says, "He was elected as a Democrat and he has to go to Washington as a Democrat to try, in good faith, to make the changes in the party he campaigned on." Though he goes on to say, "Now, if that doesn't work and Democrats aren't receptive, I don't know what possibilities that leaves open."