U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., hit the ground running when he took the Senate seat held for so long by the late Robert C. Byrd. During less than two years in the Senate, Manchin has proven time and time again the faith West Virginians placed in him was well-founded.
Mountain State residents need Manchin's dedication to principle rather than party in Washington. Voters in the Nov. 6 election should cast their ballots for Manchin in the U.S. Senate race.
Among Manchin's priorities are balancing the nation's budget and beginning the process of paying down our staggering $16 trillion debt. He has been a champion of enacting recommendations made by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, sometimes known as the Simpson-Bowles panel. Solutions proposed by that bipartisan study involve a program that can really work to get our nation's fiscal house back in order.
In doing so, the senator believes it is not necessary to endanger programs such as Social Security and Medicare, on which many West Virginians rely.
At the same time, some entitlement reform is imperative, Manchin emphasizes. Exploding costs for the Medicaid program must and can be controlled, he believes.
Our national debt amounts to more than $50,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States. Manchin is right to insist that more lawmakers worry about it.
A true "all of the above" energy policy - with coal playing a key role - is a necessity, Manchin has stressed.
He understands that even as tens of thousands of West Virginians depend on mining-related jobs, tens of millions of Americans rely on reasonably priced electricity from coal-fired power plants.
In many other policy issues important not just to Mountain State residents but to the entire nation, Manchin has solid, achievable goals. Education reform, affordable health care, safeguarding the interests of our veterans and senior citizens and creation of good jobs are among his priorities.
Manchin has battled steadfastly against the partisan political bickering that often seems to block progress in Washington.
He has opposed his party's president, Barack Obama, on key issues of importance to West Virginians. At the same time he stands up for the principles held by most Mountain State residents.
When you add it all up, it means that Manchin deserves re-election when West Virginians go to the polls on Nov. 6.