Maybe that’s a good thing and maybe it’s not. Sen. Joe Manchin, at least on paper, doesn’t appear to be playing favorites given the decisions he’s made throughout his political career. A square peg in a round hole, he is described by many, the West Virginia native has never played straight politics.

A Democratic politician, Manchin has repeatedly been called out and criticized by his colleagues and Americans on the left because of his heavy hand behind Republicans on some burning issues such as abortion, gun violence and even choices. of voting.

Perhaps his worst criticism came when he developed a relationship with President Donald Trump and even voted for his nominee for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. To be fair, Joe has also voted against Republicans several times, including in an effort to appoint Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary and in an effort for Trump to repeal Obamacare. One thing is clear, Manchin, who has been described as a knockdown Democrat, appears to embrace true bipartisanship and vote his conscience instead of toeing a party line.

The senator served as governor of West Virginia from 2004 to two years into his second term, before stepping down to fill the senator seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Robert Byrd.

Joe Manchin’s life and career has truly been an interesting roller coaster. So who is Joe Manchin really? Here are some things to know about the Blue Dog Democrat.

5 facts you need to know about the senator

Joe Manchin inherited a political legacy

Born in 1947 in the coal mining town of Farmington, Manchin is a third-generation politician. Growing up, he saw his grandfather, Joseph, and his father, John serve as mayor of Farmington. He also has an uncle, AJ Manchin, who served in the West Virginia House of Delegates and later as Secretary of State.

Early in his life, it appeared that JoeManchin was going to take another path. He played football in high school and earned a football scholarship to study business administration at West Virginia University. This was not the case, after suffering an injury at the end of his career at the institution and, after graduating, he returned home to help out in the carpet and furniture store of his father.

The political bug finally caught up with him in 1982, when he was elected as a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates. He was 35 at the time and hasn’t looked back since.

He has hardly ever taken a break since his foray into politics

Since 1982, Senator Manchin has worked hard for almost every year since then. After serving as a member of the House of Delegates on December 1, 1984, he took a two-year hiatus and returned exactly two years later, on December 1, 1986, as a member of the West Virginia Senate.

He served in this political capacity for 10 years culminating on December 1, 1996. A five-year hiatus followed, although it was unplanned. He ran for the seat of state governor, but ended up second to Charlotte Pritt in the Democratic primary election. Four years later, he was elected to the post of Secretary of State for West Virginia.

Joe Manchin as governor in 2004’s victory was made easier when incumbent President Bob Wise chose not to run again, due to scandals over him. Joe won a landslide victory, a feat he repeated against Republican candidate Russ Weeks in 2008.

In 2010, due to the death of U.S. Seats Senator from West Virginia, Robert Byrd, Manchin became his replacement in the U.S. Senate and ended Robert’s term. He then ran for a first full term and was re-elected.

He is as centrist a politician as ever.

It has always been clear that the senior West Virginia senator is not playing partisan politics. In fact, he has often opposed his party in ways that shock even one from a Republican perspective.

In early 2018, a few polls, news and data publications in the collection published a study showing the Democrat had abnormally heavy conservative leanings. According to a study by Congressional Quarterly, the senator voted in favor of Trump’s decisions 71% of the time. Five years prior, The National Newspaper gave Manchin a score of 55% conservative and 46% liberal.

Manchin is a firm believer in reaching out across the hall and working with everyone, no matter what party they belong to. He proved this when, after his election to the United States Senate, he visited each of his 99 Senate colleagues, with the aim of establishing a relationship of trust with each of them.

Joe Manchin did not support Obama’s candidacy for president.

The senator has done a lot to piss off the Democratic position of the Senate and the entire left. Some of his apparent atrocities include voting against federal funding for Planned Parenthood in 2015, though he would later change his stance in 2017. He is also adamantly opposed to the abortion of pregnancies under 20 weeks old. Manchin is a proponent of gun control and has worked with Republicans to introduce tough gun sales requirements. The Farmington native was also opposed to the January 2018 shutdown of the largely Democratic-led government and even threatened not to run for re-election if his party did not shut down.

All of these and more often put him at odds with members of his party, but one of the most crucial was evident in his opposition to Obama’s candidacy when he ran for re-election as president. Joe said he disagrees with the incumbent president, particularly when it comes to his views on economic and energy policies. To be fair, he also didn’t show support for Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who he feared didn’t understand the struggle of real Americans on the ground.

He was alleged to have obtained an MBA from his daughter in an unethical manner.

Heather Bresch, Joe Manchin’s eldest daughter with his wife Gayle, earned an MBA from West Virginia University in 2007. This qualification allowed her to tap Mylan Inc. to take on the role of COO. However, the company, the university and the senator all landed in hot water when the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a publication suggesting that the University had falsified its transcript and altered some of its grades in order to make the possible price.

It didn’t help that then-president Mike Garrison in college was a personal friend of Sen. Joe Manchin. The MBA controversy culminated in the institution having to remove Garrison from his position with the Dean of the Business School. The scandal nearly cost the school its integrity, status, and credibility as a premier academic institution. Of course, Joe and his wife Gayle consistently dismissed the allegations, but the award was overturned, although generic pharmaceutical giant Mylan Inc. refused to let Heather leave the company and retained her as director. of operation.