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The Manchin Hail Mary

Ron Sachs / AP

Some administration officials tensed up when Bloomberg reported that "White House and Republican officials are exploring the idea of putting West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin in charge of the Energy Department."

Key paragraph in the intriguing Bloomberg story:

"If Manchin were offered and accepted the position, that would allow West Virginia's Governor Jim Justice — a newly minted Republican — to appoint a GOP successor and bring the party a vote closer in the Senate to being able to repeal Obamacare. The idea is in the early stages of consideration, and it's unclear whether it has support within the administration, according to the people, who described the conversations under condition of anonymity."