Manchin Helps W.Va. in the Senate | The Intelligencer/Wheeling News Register
The U.S. Senate has been called the world's most exclusive club. Most of its members seem to feel keenly the distinction voters have granted them, along with the enormous power of the Senate.
Full acceptance by other senators is not automatic, however. New members must earn respect.
Within the Senate, additional demands are made by Democrat and Republican loyalties.
For some time, even as he was doing excellent work for our state, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., did not seem to quite fit in among many other senators. That made serving uncomfortable and challenging for a man who had been accustomed to a certain amount of deference during his terms as governor.
That led to speculation Manchin would not run for re-election to the Senate but would instead come home and campaign for another term as governor.
Manchin ended the guessing game Sunday, revealing he hopes to remain in the Senate.
That is excellent news for West Virginians, both Republicans and Democrats - in large measure because of the very actions that made the Senate a challenge for Manchin.
During much of his time there, he has been something of an outcast within his party, because of his refusal to act as a rubber stamp for Democrat President Barack Obama and then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
But in doing that, Manchin has been standing up for the interests of fellow West Virginians. He has accomplished some good in that stance.
Now, with Republicans in control of the Senate, Manchin is viewed as a "swing vote" - and has more clout than ever.
His decision to make use of his new influence and his reputation as a maverick will be of great benefit to West Virginians in the future.
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