By Mannix Porterfield
Paintings of West Virginia governors grace a long corridor in the Capitol, except for the two immediate past ones, who hang in the reception room.
Manchin’s is unique.
Rather than sitting seriously at a desk, or standing beside a table in his office, he appears outside the Capitol, his hands animated as if engaged in conversation, and the golden dome in the background.
And that’s how he wanted it done.
“That’s not me,” he said of the traditional portrait of a somber governor inside his office.
“I’m an outside guy.”
Manchin only laughed when a reporter suggested the lifetime National Rifle Association member who never saw a pro-gun bill as governor that he didn’t like should have been cradling a firearm in the portrait.
The senator has been engaged this week in a cross-state tour to promote “common sense,” an attitude he says is in rare inventory along the Potomac River.
“It’s hard to find,” he said. “It’s not very common there.”
Even so, Manchin said he was encouraged to see a movement within the Senate by Democrats and Republicans alike to seek common ground on the nation’s problems, especially the financial ones.
“If anything, I see at least now we know where the differences are,” the senator said.
And, he disagrees with the opinion of some that time has run out.
“It’s never too little and never too late,” he added.
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