We like to keep our associate solitary reporters very busy. In the Age of Trump, that is an absolute necessity.
Today, West Virginia’s senior senator, Democrat Joe Mancin, hosts Donald Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, arch-conservative jurist Brett Kavanaugh.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is doing his utmost to keep his Democratic colleagues who are up for re-election this year in line. He doesn’t want them to declare ahead of time their feelings on Kavanaugh.
West Virginia used to be reliably Democratic, but then it became red-hot red, which is why Donald Trump loves to go there to rev up his base.
It has something to do with coal and with opioids.
Mancin was a popular governor there and then he succeeded Robert Byrd in the Senate. He’s up for re-eleciotn this year, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who loves guns and coal, has been salivating for years at the chance to oust moderate Dem senators like Mancin.
McConnell’s pick to defeat Mancin is Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, a New Jerseyite who ran unsuccessfully for the House of Representatives in New Jersey's 7th congressional district in 2000, receiving 9% of the vote in the Republican primary.
Mancin is from Farmington, West Virginia, in the heart of Coal Country.
We sent associate solitary reporter Keith Coleman to Mancin’s office to observe, and participate in, the Kavanaugh-Mancin conversation.
Coleman, a veteran Hill watcher, somehow managed to walk through the five hundred paparazzi who had camped outside Mancin’s office.
“We’re OK so far,” Coleman texted us, moments ago. “Joe knows when to keep his mouth shut.”
On other fronts, as usual, associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones gets very little sleep. She is particularly interested in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s next move.
Mueller is universally admired in law enforcement circles, and he sure knows how to conduct a sensitive investigation.
Unlike Trump, Mueller knows when to keep his mouth shut.
ASR Jones is with Trump day and night. Trump has thrown her out the window of wherever he happens to be, more times than we can account for, and she is always rescued after she falls onto the White House lawn by the ACLU. But Jones is very strong — she's only 25 — and she always bounces back immediately.
Jones knows how to get things done.
Yesterday, Trump snarled at Mueller via Twitter, so Jones asked Mueller to meet her at the White House and have a sit-down with Trump.
As Mueller arrived on top of the West Wing in a helicopter, to avoid the cameras, Jones greeted him with a smile and a handshake.
The taciturn Mueller thanked her for inviting him to meet Trump. Jones then escorted him into Trump’s bedroom, where he was incessantly tweeting.
When Mueller entered Trump's bedroom, the 239 pound owner of Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster was telling his unhappy Chief of Staff, Gen. John Kelly, to clean up his office and show up for a press briefing with Trump at his side and lie to them about what a magnificent leader Trump is.
But then Mueller noticed Jones and Mueller, and he panicked.
Mueller, a perfect gentleman, quickly withdrew without saying a word, as Jones hustled him out through a secret door known only to her.