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West Virginians can be forgiven if they’re tired of hearing the name “Joe Manchin” every 30 seconds.

Sen. Manchin, D-W.Va., is a centrist who, over the past two years in an evenly divided Senate, has attained an outsized influence over his party’s agenda that defies comparison. His tactic of stringing along negotiations on major policy, getting Democrats to concede to everything he wants and then pulling his support anyway befuddles and angers his colleagues and many of his constituents but endears him to right-wing news media, the fossil fuel industry and the ultra-wealthy. That has its perks.

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