Will Joe Manchin Join the Republicans?S

West Virginia Senator-elect Joe Manchin, the only Democratic candidate this year to literally shoot a Democratic bill with a gun for a campaign ad, is receiving Republican offers to switch sides now. Don't you want to play for winners, Joe?

Manchin, a popular two-term governor, just barely defeated some insane laser-lover by embracing conservative rhetoric: Cap-and-trade sucks, Obama sucks, Harry Reid sucks, Democrats in general suck, but Joe Manchin is great! It takes a real professional to pull this nonsensical balancing act off, and Joe Manchin is just that: nonsensical.

Now Republicans are offering him an escape from that Senate Democratic hellhole he despises, replete with all the backdoor deals and pork and no-bid contracts that excite voters coast-to-coast:

Republicans are making some big promises to try to lure West Virginia Senator-elect Joe Manchin to cross the aisle.

Aside from his pick of committee assignments (likely the Energy and Natural Resources Committee), Manchin might get support for one of his pet projects - a plant to convert coal to diesel fuel that has stalled under Democratic leadership in Washington.

It's one of Manchin's pet projects and could mean big money for the state's coal producers.

"Republicans believe in an ‘all of the above' approach to energy," one top Senate aide told Power Play. "And coal-to-diesel could certainly be part of that."

Manchin's switch could mean Republican support for not just $1 billion in seed money for the project but also a deal, much sought in coal country, to require the armed forces to use converted coal for fuel.

Joe Manchin's office, in response, gives this enthusiastic re-affirmation of his love for Democrats:

"He was elected as a Democrat and he has to go to Washington as a Democrat to try, in good faith, to make the changes in the party he campaigned on," said one Manchin advisor. "Now, if that doesn't work and Democrats aren't receptive, I don't know what possibilities that leaves open."

He'll give the Democratic party until, let's guess, 5:30 this afternoon? To change itself? If that doesn't work out, then... hello Republicans! Money money money!

[via Wonkette, image via AP]