West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has apparently come to his fiscal senses. Of course, being on the ballot in 2012 has played no small part in Manchin’s need to say and do the right thing when it comes to addressing America’s budegtary woes.
Less than two weeks after he delivered a maiden floor speech denouncing President Barack Obama’s “failure to lead” on cutting deficit spending, freshman Sen. Joe Manchin is taking his argument home to his West Virginia constituents.
Warning that “we cannot ignore the fiscal Titanic of our national debt and deficit,” the Democrat will stress his unwillingness to simply rubber-stamp his party’s positions in a Monday morning speech at the University of Charleston.
“There are some in Washington who believe we can simply ignore the fiscal peril we face as a nation,” he will say. “They are wrong.”
Facing a tough battle for a full term in the Senate, Manchin is making clear efforts to distance himself from what he sees as dithering on the national debt, coming from Democrats and from Washington as a whole. The former West Virginia governor asked earlier this month: “Why are we doing all this when the most powerful person in these negotiations — our president — has failed to lead this debate or offer a serious proposal for spending and cuts that he would be willing to fight for?” Last week, 63 senators signed a letter to Obama asking him to play a larger role in solving the debt crisis.
Manchin has also “gone rogue” in his efforts to get reelected, meeting with Senate Republican leaders to discourage them from pouring cash into his 2012 race and hinting that he might not vote for Obama next year.