When it comes to putting America first, there aren’t too many Democrats who are willing to break with their party to do what’s right for the American people. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), however, has proven time and time again that if it doesn’t make sense for America, he’s not backing it. He single-handedly killed Joe Biden’s Build Back Better deal when he voted against the bill and has vowed to stand his ground if it goes up for a vote again.
But his latest move even has Republicans stumped. Manchin recently appeared in a political ad supporting Congressman David McKinley (R-WV) and touted his own role in blocking President Joe Biden’s signature domestic agenda item, Build Back Better.
McKinley is set to face off with Congressman Alex Mooney (R-WV) after a new congressional map placed them both in the same district.
“I’ve always said if I can’t go home and explain it, I can’t vote for it,” Manchin said in the ad. “And that’s why I opposed Build Back Better. For Alex Mooney and his out-of-state supporters to suggest David McKinley supported Build Back Better is an outright lie.”
He went on to trash his Democratic colleague in the ad: “David McKinley has always opposed reckless spending because it doesn’t make sense for West Virginia… Alex Mooney had proven he’s all about Alex Mooney, but West Virginians know that David McKinley is all about us.”
But what’s the real hidden agenda behind Joe Manchin cutting an ad for the opposition? Critics suggest that the ad might not just be about saving McKinley’s seat, pointing out the fact that Mooney could possibly go on to challenge Manchin for his Senate seat in 2024. Clearly, Mooney is a greater threat to Manchin than McKinley which is why Manchin may be trying to stack the deck now for the next election.
What does his home state think about this? According to recent polls, even after siding with Republicans on Build Back Better, according to a poll by the Morning Consultant, Manchin now has an approval rating in West Virginia of 57%, which is one of the top 10 highest approval ratings among all senators. That has increased from only 40% in the first quarter of 2021.
Clearly, Joe Manchin’s America First strategy is working, and backing Republican McKinley to toss his Democrat colleague may be the nail in the coffin he needs to get reelected come 2024.