Six months into his new job on Capitol Hill, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has been busy pursuing his brand of consensus building.
The freshman Democrat's approach to politics helped him twice win the governor's mansion. It's also keeping him in view of West Virginia voters as the 2012 election nears.
But Manchin also finds himself sometimes at odds with fellow Democrats and under constant attack from the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Manchin says he's trying to foster bipartisanship while being a voice for West Virginians regardless of his seniority.
For now, Manchin has won over critics like Kurt Helms. During last year's Senate race, the retired miner feared Manchin would vote in lockstep with national Democrats. But Helms says that hasn't happened.
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