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Manchin Is Us & Them

Manchin Is Us & Them

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin may be redefining the nation’s political landscape by reconfiguring the middle.

While some say he’s tough to predict, others insist Manchin’s consistency has come to serve as an important political reference point. As the spotlight shines on the toxic battle between left and right, a man with decades in public office recently helped deliver a rare compromise bill through Congress.

For the past two years, Joe Manchin has seemed to be at the center of the political debate between us and them. This episode offers perspective and analysis on Manchin’s political legacy and the future as we weigh consequences of the midterm elections and how they may play out on Manchin’s next campaign.

This episode of Us & Them is presented with support from the West Virginia Humanities Council, the CRC Foundation and the Daywood Foundation.

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U.S. Senate Photographic Studio
Joe Manchin is one of the most polarizing figures in current American politics. He embodies the great national divide between ‘us and them.’  And yet, Manchin has never been the focus of our Us & Them show…until now. 

West Virginia University
David Fryson is pastor of the New First Baptist Church of Kanawha City and is also a Charleston attorney, a diversity professional and frequent contributor to the Charleston Gazette-Mail. As Fryson points out, the African American vote had a lot to do with Manchin’s victory in 2018.
Charlotte Pritt

The West Virginia Encyclopedia
Joe Manchin’s electoral record in West Virginia has been remarkable. Through his long career in politics, he has only lost once, in a 1996 gubernatorial primary. The person he lost to was Charlotte Pritt. Although she’s no longer on the front lines, Pritt has maintained her connections and follows politics closely. She has some provocative opinions about how Manchin fits into the national political landscape.
Denise Giardina

Denise Giardina is a West Virginian through and through. Born in coal country, raised in a coal family, her entire life is rooted in West Virginia. She is also a committed environmentalist. Her unsuccessful run for governor in 2000 was focused on one thing. To raise public awareness of the dangers of mountaintop removal by the coal companies. After the campaign, her continued activism brought her in contact with then Gov. Joe Manchin. She spoke with him during an event at her church.
Anne Cavalier and Joe Manchin

Anne Cavalier and Joe Manchin
Anne Cavalier

Active Southern West Virginia
Us & Them listeners may recognize Mayor Anne Cavalier. She’s someone we check in with from time to time. Like many West Virginia towns, her town of Smithers is transitioning away from a coal based economy and building toward a tourism-based infrastructure. To assist this transition, Sen. Manchin secured federal funds for the Smithers Integrated Trail system.