As we've said before, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is partly a DINO (Democrat in name only). He stands with Republicans on some major issues -- in contrast to West Virginia's senior senator, Jay Rockefeller. Manchin won't even say whether he will vote for Democratic President Obama, and he refused to attend the Democratic National Convention, to avoid identification with the national ticket.
The Democratic Party put Manchin (and various relatives) into public office, yet he won't stand solidly with it.
However, when you enter the voting cubicle Nov. 6, you must choose among names on the ballot -- and Manchin clearly is the best choice.
He has some good points: He's trying to end the pointless war in Afghanistan and reduce wasteful military spending. When he was governor, he used surpluses to pay down West Virginia's pension and medical debts -- so the state wasn't crippled when the Great Recession struck.
Manchin is popular in the Mountain State, and seems headed for victory. Nearly all important organizations, from labor unions to the West Virginia Coal Association, support him. So we join the crowd.