Speed Reads

an enigma

There's 'no way' to predict Joe Manchin's reconciliation vote, says former adviser

To the pundits and Capitol Hill colleagues attempting to predict how Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-W.Va.) will move on Democrats' $3.5 trillion spending bill — you're fighting a losing battle.

According to Jonathan Kott, a former senior adviser and communications director to the West Virginia senator, "making any assumptions about what Manchin will or won't do is a mistake," writes The Washington Post.

"Don't assume he's going to vote any way until he actually casts his vote," said Kott. "I went with him to almost every vote and there were times when he made up his decision when he walked onto the floor."

He added, "There's no way to sort of predict what he's going to do."

One thing Manchin will do, however, is "listen to everybody," said Kott.

"He's open to any argument," Kott explained. "He will listen to everybody. People think he has set ways on what he believes. He doesn't. … He only cares about what's good for West Virginia."

And underneath it all, he just wants to find a way to compromise, said Manchin's former Chief of Staff Patrick Hayes: "His default position is to try to find a way to say yes." Read more at The Washington Post.