819px-Joe_Manchin_official_portrait_112th_Congress

There is often talk about a member of Congress jumping to the other party but it very seldom happens.  In Joe Manchin’s case it would make a lot of sense.  Manchin is not a Barack Obama/Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid democrat.  His belief in energy independence at a price that makes sense puts him at odds with the rest of his party.  Indeed Manchin is conservative on many issues.  He will never be able to rise to power within the democratic party.

Another reason for Manchin to jump ship is the fact that his home state, West Virginia has made a dramatic shift from being a blue state to being one of the reddest states in America.  He is now the highest ranking  democrat to win in a state wide election.  Longtime congressman, Nick Rahall, was beaten just last week.  Mary Jane Capito captured the other Senate seat from WV.  He will not be up for reelection until 2018, but in the meantime he is the minority party and has no power to advance his ideas.

So what could Manchin expect if he were to jump to the republicans?  I don’t believe he would get a committee chairmanship because republicans already have a majority and adding Manchin wouldn’t do anything except increase that majority, but he could get prime committee appointments and could chair a sub committee on coal. Being a member of the majority party also means it’s easier to get a bill voted on.  And jumping now would give him cover from being linked to a highly unpopular and totally ineffective president.

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If Manchin does jump, expect it to be soon so that he can get his committee assignments.

Courtesy of Red Statements.