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There are two basic reasons we believe that Manchin will eventually come around, in some fashion. The first is that the incentives for him to get on board are enormous. If he's a loyal party man, this is the Democrats' chance to achieve some of their main priorities. If he's in it for West Virginia, this is his opportunity to score enough pork to keep Hormel in business for the next century. If he's in it for himself, he could have any committee chair he wants, or an eight-figure donation for his reelection PAC, or just about any other boon his heart desires.

The second reason is that Manchin's explanation for his intransigence is not especially believable. He has yet to say, for example, why he was ok with the For the People Act last term, but now he opposes it. More broadly, he has been in the United States Senate for more than a decade. He saw then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) steal a Supreme Court seat. He saw Trump skate on two impeachments. He saw the Joint 1/6 commission go down in flames. It is implausible that he thinks a new era of bipartisanship and kumbaya is just around the corner; he's too smart for that. It's almost as implausible that he believes bipartisanship is of such paramount importance that it's better for Congress to do nothing than to pass legislation supported by only one party.

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