Manchin: The Man in the Middle Moves
Senators old and young who felt Manchin was a stumbling block to their lofty plans reached for smelling salts. Republicans were just as stunned as joyous Democrats.
In a long time coming, America could fund clean energy goals to make other nations reduce fossil fuels. The record $370 billion is real money on the table.
Next, the government could negotiate with drug companies on prescription prices. Finally, taxing the uber-wealthy was in sight. And more.
(Stay tuned, as the breakthrough deal takes a series of floor votes this week.)
Timing is all in politics, comedy and love.
In top-secret negotiations with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Manchin's pivot on the climate crisis came in a scorching summer, just as the midterm elections heat up.
The handshake deal could not come at a better time to boost team morale and bridge House and Senate Democrats. Manchin, a former quarterback, seemed to sense the time for a big play was now.
The relieved White House knew Biden playing defense on inflation was getting old. The president needs to change the subject to lift his low approval ratings.
One astute politician in the House never joined the chorus against Manchin: the speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Instead, the liberal praised him, remarking he noted a figure of a coal miner in her office.
When I saw a recent photo of them walking arm in arm from the Rotunda, it seemed a good sign, that lines of communication were unbroken.