Speed Reads

a rare show of bipartisanship

Watch this Democrat's warm introduction of Rick Perry

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) had nothing but warm words for his "friend" former Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) when he introduced Perry on Thursday at Perry's Senate confirmation hearing for his nomination to be energy secretary. Manchin, who has a record of vouching for Republicans, defended Perry against criticism he lacks the experience for the job, arguing that he is actually "uniquely qualified to hold this position." Manchin pointed to Perry's leadership taking in storm evacuees during Hurricane Katrina, and noted that nobody "gave us a manual before we became governor." "We had to learn while were were there," said Manchin, who served as governor of West Virginia in the early 2000s.

Manchin, a proponent for the coal industry, also praised Perry's "all of the above" approach to energy policy. "I think he is going to do a great job not only for the Energy Department, but for all of us in America," Manchin said. If confirmed, Perry will be charged mainly with maintaining America's aging nuclear arsenal.

Watch the Democratic senator's introduction over at C-SPAN.