"While I believe the 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' policy will be repealed someday, and probably should be repealed in the near future, I do not support its repeal at this time," Manchin said in the statement. "I truly understand that my position will anger those who believe repeal should happen now and for that I sincerely apologize. While I am very sympathetic to those who passionately support the repeal, as a Senator of just three weeks, I have not had the opportunity to visit and hear the full range of viewpoints from the citizens of West Virginia."
It's a weird apology: I'm sorry for voting according my belief that repeal shouldn't happen right now. It's clear Manchin is somehow trying to have his cake and eat it too, but why?
As for his "as a Senator of just three weeks" comment, I call bullshit. He's just been through a campaign in which he took plenty of strong stands. There is no "probationary Senator" time: You've got to go to the Capitol with your big-boy pants on. And are we really to believe that a man who won election to federal political office had never really given thought to the prospect of DADT repeal? Unlikely. You made the vote, Joe Manchin, you should own it. Your avoidance just compounds the offensiveness of your original vote.