Photo courtesy of politico.com
Really interesting piece here from Manu Raju (an esteemed member of the all-name scribe team) of www.politico.com, as he breaks down the various angles of all the political implications involved with the ongoing Louisville – WVU battle for the Big 12. Included in the article, is a bit of government smack-talking (my personal favorite kind of smack talking). After all, nothing spells ‘gangsta’ like a couple of decrepit old white guys howling to the media from their multi-million dollar estates.
Sources familiar with the Big 12 Conference’s deliberations said McConnell has been quietly doing his bidding for Louisville behind the scenes — even as West Virginia was thought to have the inside edge at joining the conference. For weeks, he’s methodically called up top university officials and presidents to make the case for Louisville, talking up the university’s state-of-the-art facilities, how his hometown is a sports friendly city that can easily host visitors for major events, according to people involved with the talks.
But Manchin and the senior West Virginia senator, Jay Rockefeller, are under a different impression: that McConnell may have run a trick play after the Big 12 actually made a preliminary decision to grant West Virginia its bid.
Manchin isn’t mincing words, suggesting that the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee — which is chaired by Rockefeller — should potentially investigate any “unethical” actions by McConnell and the Big 12.
The smack-talking has only just begun.
“Tell him to bring it on!” Manchin told a West Virginia radio station emphatically on Thursday. “But I’m going to fight. And I respect that, if Mitch wants to fight. But Mitch, if you lose the fight, go back and retrain and get better. OK? Louisville doesn’t have the record. They don’t have the standings or the merit that West Virginia has. You know what, Louisville? Go back and toughen up a little bit. Get better. And maybe you’ll be part of the Big 12 later on.”
A Republican source warned that McConnell has a long memory and won’t forget this tiff.