On Sunday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) appeared on CBS’s Face The Nation to announce the he has decided not to run for governor of West Virginia in 2016.
Ironically, Manchin’s announcement comes just two weeks after The State reported that the NRA’s Chris Cox said, “The NRA is more popular than Joe Manchin in West Virginia.”
Manchin’s gun control reputation precedes him. He opposed recent efforts in the state to establish Constitutional Carry by doing away with a concealed carry permit requirement. He did this by suggesting the Second Amendment is not a sufficient carry license. He believes people have to be “properly trained” before they can exercise their right to keep and bear arms.
Manchin was also the point man for gun control in the months after the heinous attack on Sandy Hook Elementary. He pushed a system of expanded backgrounds, which would have banned private gun sales, minus a handful of exceptions, and then admitted the expanded checks would not have stopped the Sandy Hook attack from happening had they been in place.
Manchin was the governor of West Virginia, but left that office in 2010 to fill the vacancy left by the death of Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV). He won his governorship by campaigning on guns, rather than gun control, and used guns in the campaign ads for his Senate run, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
But he is now the poster-child for gun control in this country.
He reflected on his years Governor, then told Schieffer:
I thought maybe I could take that same can-do attitude, that same commonsense approach to Washington. I will be first to tell you I didn’t think it would be this difficult. And it’s been challenging. But I think we have made some inroads. I really believe that we have changed the whole process, to a certain extent, in the Senate to where we’re willing to put our country first.
Bottom line: Manchin is not going to try to win a election in gun-loving West Virginia in 2016.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.