friendly questions onlyU.S. SenateThe Atlantic Wire finds a telling editor’s note in an interview with West Virginia’s senator, Democrat Joe Manchin:

West Virginia's Journal News ran an interview with the junior Senator on Sunday that covered the sequester, mostly, and it's effects on West Virginia and the surrounding region. If you didn't know any better, it would seem like an innocent enough conversation between a Senator and a local newspaper. But at the top of the page there's an editor's note with an interesting little nugget, that paints the rest of the interview in an odd light:

Editor's note: This question and answer session was permitted under the condition that The Journal would not ask questions regarding gun control legislation or the Second Amendment, as requested by the senator's staff.

How would it sound applied to other civil rights?

Editor's note: This question and answer session was permitted under the condition that The Journal would not ask questions regarding gun control legislation free speech restrictions or the Second First Amendment, as requested by the senator's staff.

Manchin is the Democrat half of the bipartisan “No Labels” effort, and tried his best to be as vague as possible when answering questions on gun control efforts from that role. In the days after the Sandy Hook shooting, used to propel gun control efforts, Manchin said everything ought to be on the table. In January, he was reported to be working on “universal background check” legislation.

His flirtation with anti-gun politics isn’t playing well in his home state of West Virginia, which explains his desire not to talk about gun control even as his next election isn’t until 2018. When he first ran in a special election in 2010, Manchin used a gun as a prop in an ad trying to create as much distance with Obama and his policies as possible while still running as a Democrat. Last year, when Manchin was running for his first full term in the Senate, he wouldn’t confirm he was voting for Barack Obama, while the Daily Kos assured its readers based on an analysis of his votes that he was still closer to the socialist Bernie Sanders than any Republican. Apparently he just doesn’t want to talk about it. 

h/t John