Let's translate into reality:
Sen. Jay Rockefeller and West Virginia were an odd mix at first
He was and is a carpetbagger.
a Harvard-educated native New Yorker from one of the nations richest families arriving in one of the poorest states.
To repeat: a carpetbagger.
Through a half century of public service, he made it work.
He made it work...for him. Little has changed in or for the state he purports to represent. His infrequent visits to WV involved the usual rubber-chicken circuit in which he promised to 'fight' for coal mining without ever defining the terms of combat or the end goal. He softsoaped seniors and other dole recipients with promises of increases - but such increases were tied to inflation, CPI, etc. and were more or less automatic with or without Jay Rockefeller.
And as he heads into retirement as the last member of the Rockefeller family dynasty in political office
Buying politicians was less efficient and less of a guarantee of results than buying offices outright.
and the only Democratthe five-term U.S. senator leaves a blueprint for fighting to fix real-life problems for burdened families and to protect the nations coal miners.
Pure fantasy. Coal is on its last legs, besieged by the coastal environmentalist elites who think windmills are a substitute for BTU content. Coal has been targeted by Rockefeller's party comrade and current president.
The only 'protection' involving Rockefeller and coal miners were the dues paid to a corrupt union who in turn bankrolled a corrupt senator who didn't really need the money but would accept it anyway. These same miners, acting on union orders, cast their votes for Barack Obama, a man they wouldn't trust to take $2 to the store to buy a loaf of bread.
Rockefeller was the states junior senator for 25 years, yet carved his own path of influence in Sen. Robert C. Byrds immense shadow.
Byrd openly looted the public treasury to build monuments to himself throughout the state and to move, for no good reason then or now, entire departments and offices out of DC to WV. Rockefeller had to be a bit more subtle but there was definitely influence involved - but not the kind the writer implies.
Naturally, such a shameless apple-polishing article will not mention Rockefeller's brazen, constant attempts to undermine George W. Bush and the Iraq War and the War on Terror by leaking vast quantities of classified intelligence data. It was treason, pure and simple, for any American to act in such a manner but for a US Senator it was a violation of his oath of office and unambiguous grounds for impeachment and removal.
AP Leftist Hagiography Alert!
I’m tempted to say that the wrong Rockefeller was eaten by cannibals, but that would be uncharitable so I won’t.