Senator Joe Manchin Will Appear on All Five Sunday Morning Talk Shows

From a story on by Ryan Lizza and Eugene Daniels about Senator Joe Manchin and Sunday morning talk shows”:

Sen. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) has scheduled a full Ginsburg for Sunday. If completed, Manchin will be only the 31st newsmaker to accomplish the feat since Feb. 1, 1998, when WILLIAM H. GINSBURG, the lawyer for MONICA LEWINSKY, first appeared on all five Sunday morning talk shows. Since then, the full Ginsburg has generally been reserved for top government officials during extraordinary news events. The last person to run the gauntlet of all five shows was ANTHONY FAUCI in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Manchin, who is recovering from Covid, will have one major advantage over many previous members of this exclusive club: He will be conducting all five interviews via a remote hookup rather than being ferried from studio to studio in Washington.

With some help from Daniel Lippman, we reached out to a few former full Ginsburgers to offer advice to the senator and some reflections on their experiences completing this storied Washington tradition:

— MICHAEL CHERTOFF, former DHS secretary, who completed a full Ginsburg on Sept. 4, 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: “Eat a good breakfast before you start the round of appearances.”

— KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, former HHS secretary, who was joined by JANET NAPOLITANO and RICHARD BESSER as part of an unusual full Ginsburg trio to discuss the swine flu on May 3, 2009: “Our toughest job was getting Dr. Rich Besser, about 6’4’’ folded into the way back of an SUV so Janet Napolitano and I could ride in the designated seats from studio to studio. We didn’t have zoom.”

— MIKE POMPEO, former secretary of State, who has completed two full Ginsburgs: “Don’t get tired of saying the same thing over and over again. And remember what you said.”

— RAJ SHAH, former head of USAID, who made the rounds on Jan. 17, 2010, after a devastating earthquake in Haiti: “I did the shows in the early aftermath of the Haiti earthquake in January 2010. A loyal friend and talented leader, PHILIPPE REINES came to my home at 4:30am to make sure our morning successfully inspired the American people to believe in and join the humanitarian response. I recommend you bring along a good friend and remind Americans that in the end we are all in this together.”

— Sen. MARCO RUBIO (R-Fla.), the only person in history to complete three full Ginsburgs: “These interviews are typically victory laps. Hard questions—especially from media that is quietly sympathetic with the guest—are rare. The key question, which will go unasked, is: Will Senator Manchin be back on all five shows after Biden, Pelosi and Schumer screw him over and block his permitting reform bill.”

— DAN PFEIFFER, former senior adviser to BARACK OBAMA, who completed a full Ginsburg on May 19, 2013, during a swirl of congressional investigations: “My advice would be don’t do it. Less is more.”

WHY HE’S DOING IT — Manchin has been vilified by the left for 18 months as a corporate shill unconcerned about the climate emergency and intent, in the words of Sen. BERNIE SANDERS (I-Vt.), on “sabotaging” President JOE BIDEN’s policies. Overnight he has become the author of the most significant carbon-reducing legislation in history and the savior of Biden’s legislative agenda.

Politically, pivoting from saboteur to savior is awful for Manchin back in West Virginia, where Biden’s approval rating is nineteen percent.

That’s why on Wednesday, when he announced the deal, Manchin said, “Build Back Better is dead,” and framed the new reconciliation bill around four issues: inflation reduction, deficit reduction, energy production and “compromise.” The full Ginsburg was scheduled to hammer home the Manchin messaging of the new bill, rather than the Pelosi-Schumer-Biden messaging of it.

“The Biden agenda is not super popular in West Virginia,” noted a source familiar with Manchin’s thinking going into tomorrow’s five-show marathon. “But he has a story he needs to tell about why this is good for America. And it’s different than the rest of the Democratic caucus.”

“He’s going to talk about permitting and why we need more of it at home. And he’s the only person who is going to be talking about this as an energy production deal. Biden’s poll numbers are in the teens in West Virginia, so anything branded as a Biden deal is not great. Fox is out there talking about how we are raising taxes on coal production, which is not true. So he needs to scream this from the mountain top, and he only has a couple of days to do it,” the source added.

Senate Majority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER has promised to bring the new Manchin-approved reconciliation bill to the floor next week.

Expect Manchin to tout several major policy victories for West Virginia, including a permanent extension of the black lung disability trust fund, which lapsed in 2021; $5 billion to upgrade existing coal-powered plants, which most climate activists would rather shut down; and a special carveout that makes tax credits in the bill more valuable if they are used in coal communities.

We also expect Manchin to play down any insinuation that he was coaxed or pressured into the climate and taxes deal by other senators or outside advisers. Two good pieces today lay out what that campaign looked like:

Zack Colman, Josh Siegel and Kelsey Tamborrino report that the effort included a call from BILL GATES, advocacy from companies that wanted to build in West Virginia and testimony from conservative economists about how policies in the new package would affect inflation.

WaPo’s Tony Romm and Jeff Stein report on some of the many senators who tried to revive climate talks with Manchin, and include this exchange between Sen. CHRIS COONS (D-Del.) and Manchin:

Coons: “I can’t think of a better way for you to prove [Democratic detractors] wrong than to sign off on a bold climate deal. Prove every critic wrong.”

Manchin: “It would be like hitting a homer in the bottom of the ninth, wouldn’t it?”

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