So this afternoon, I'm walking around downtown Charles Town and I see a small crowd on the sidewalk across the street in front of the barber shop. Now me being me, I wander over to see what's going on, and what do I find but a bunch of people wearing "John Raese for Senate" shirts all surrounding one Joe Manchin.
Manchin, for those of you not from around here, is the former Governor of West Virginia and it's newest senator.
Sen. Manchin was being loudly harangued by two men in particular, one wearing a "Raese" shirt. This guy was loud and obnoxious and he stormed off and went down the block about the time that I got over there so I missed any points that he had other than some apparent belief that Manchin had no business being here while the Democratic National Convention is going on in North Carolina. (Most of us who pay attention know that Manchin does his best to distance himself from the wildly unpopular Barack Obama every chance that he gets so it's not really a surprise that he's here this week.)
The other guy appeared to just be one of those free-range crotchety old men who sit on benches outside barber shops all day. He was going on and on about KAL 007, the jetliner that was shot down back in 1983.
To his credit, Joe Manchin was polite and respectful to both of these guys and didn't even try to make an excuse to walk away from him like politicians so often do when they're confronted by someone who disagrees with them. Manchin sat right there, responding to them respectfully and basically being the bigger man.
Now full disclosure--I'm going to be supporting Raese just because I want the Dems out of majority control of the US Senate. Manchin, though a moderate Dem, is still a Dem who will vote to retain Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader or some other tool if Reid decides not to run for it again. He's also much more conducive to Obama's agenda than John Raese will be. I will be voting for Raese this year, not just because I think that Manchin's party is bad news for America but because I believe that Raese with his private-sector business experience is the better man for the job. But that said, I still have to give Manchin props for the way that he handled himself today.