It sounds like good news when you first hear it: Get rid of Rick Perry at the Department of Energy. Who wants that dumbass in charge of our nuclear sector in the first place? But everyone knows there’s no such thing as good news when it comes to the Trump administration.
The real reason the GOP is currently working on a plan to oust Perry from his position as Secretary is to replace him with a Democratic senator. Now that still sounds odd, until you consider the fact that it would free up a seat in the Senate. And the guy they want to appoint is in a state with a Republican governor, who would then appoint another Republican to fill the seat. No campaign, no election. An automatic shift from 52 seats to 53, just by shifting Joe Manchin of West Virginia from Congress to the Administration.
Undoubtedly, Governor Jim Justice would love to replace Manchin regardless. West Virginia is a heavily Republican state that went for Trump in the 2016 election with a very strong majority. Justice was a Democrat until a little over a week ago when, appearing at a rally with Donald Trump, he renounced his ties to the Dems and switched to the GOP. But he wasn’t a Democrat for long — he was elected for the first time on the same night as Donald Trump.
It could be that Justice ran as a Democrat for the same reason Republicans now want to move Joe Manchin out of the way in Congress. That’s speculation, of course, but it stands to reason: During his campaign, Justice was staunchly anti-Hillary. Trump is no ordinary Republican to defect to — and at one of his infamous rallies, no less.
Manchin has not commented yet, through a spokesman or otherwise, on whether he would take the Energy Department job.
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