The Times West Virginian

Opinion

October 16, 2012

Manchin is best choice to continue to lead W.Va.

The name Manchin is almost synonymous with public and community service in Marion County. But a name is a just a name unless you live up to it.

And we strongly believe that U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III has fully lived up to the Manchin name and then some. He has exceeded every expectation since first elected to the House of Delegates in 1982, the West Virginia State Senate in 1986, the West Virginia Secretary of State in 2000 and then as governor in 2004 and 2008.

And we believe he has taken what was instilled in him at a very young age right here in Marion County through his public service ... all the way to the U.S. Capitol.

Joe Manchin has not only demonstrated leadership qualities through various tenures of office, but a common-sense approach that invites everyone to the table to discuss the issues. And by everyone, we mean Republican or Democrat, rich or poor, average citizens or experts in their fields. Manchin has repeatedly promoted fiscal responsibility while serving the best interests of the United States and the state of West Virginian.

“ I will always put this country first,” Manchin told the Times West Virginian editorial board recently. “I will never put politics or the party I belong to ahead of the betterment of this country and this state. It is going to be the United States and West Virginia before the party or myself.”

And we believe his record reflects that.

He has been known to vote across party lines if it’s in the best interest of West Virginia and the United States. He’s also been known to make some hard decisions.

It’s unfortunate that he was elected senator at a time when there’s a deadlock — when the House passes bills that the Senate won’t touch and the Senate passes bills that the House won’t touch. But each each vote represents that Joe Manchin Marion County elected to office for the first time in the 1980s. Politics haven’t changed him. Elevation in office hasn’t changed him.

He communicates that to the voters by the media and through different platforms. When he first started serving in the Senate, a lot of national media refered to him as a “DINO” which is an acronym for as a Democrat In Name Only. But as he has said many times, “I’m just “Joe.” He’s not Washington Joe, or Conservative Joe or Democrat Joe. He’s just Joe Manchin, who is successfully representing the state of West Virginia and now the nation as a whole.

We know there’s an effort to tie Manchin to the Obama administration, accusing him of being a henchman in the War on Coal. Those charges are meritless. He’s been endorsed by the the labor and business side of coal, who don’t lend their support without careful consideration. And Manchin hasn’t been quiet about his displeasure with the administration’s failure to promote an all-in energy policy, which includes the continued use of coal.

This state is in a better position to have that message heard with a man like Joe Manchin representing us in the U.S. Senate. With that, the Times West Virginian fully endorses Joe Manchin for U.S. Senator.

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