Things just got a little more challenging for the Democratic hopes of keeping the Senate after the 2024 election. Moderate Joe Manchin, a moderate from West Virginia who defied odds and won three Senate races in the Mountain State, said he will not try to do it a fourth time.
To the West Virginians who have put their trust in me and fought side by side to make our state better – it has been an honor of my life to serve you. Thank you. My statement on my political future: pic.twitter.com/dz8JuXAyTL
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) November 9, 2023
“I have made one of the toughest decisions of my life and decided that I will not be running for reelection to the United States Senate,” the senior senator from West Virginia said in a video on social media.
“But what I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together,” he said.
What Manchin said after announcing he would not seek another round in the Senate, however, is what raised some eyebrows and has sent some Democrats into panic mode.
The West Virginian teased running for president as a third-party candidate in his new video announcing he’s not running for reelection.
“I’ve made one of the toughest decisions of my life and decided that I will not be running for reelection to United States Senate,” Manchin said.” But what I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together.”
“Throughout 2023, Manchin’s maintained ties with the “No Labels” political organization that’s pledged to back a third-party candidate in the upcoming presidential election,” wrote Business Insider.
Over the summer, while “speaking at a No Labels forum, Manchin refused to rule out the possibility of running as a third-party candidate.
‘I’ve never been in any race I’ve ever spoiled. I’ve been in races to win,’ he said. ‘And if I get in a race, I’m going to win.’
Recent polling suggests that the 2024 race between the two most likely major candidates, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, is deadlocked as neither candidate has been able to substantively break away from the other.”
Manchin has been a thorn in Biden’s side ever since he broke promises to the Senate moderate following the passage of the poorly-named Inflation Reduction Act.
New Conservative Post wrote last spring, “He might be a slow learner, but Senator Manchin has caught on to the fact that his Democratic colleagues and the White House misled him to get his crucial vote during discussion of Biden’s signature accomplishment, the Inflation Reduction Act. Now to get back at the White House, Manchin has announced that he’s opposing Biden’s pick for the next IRS commissioner, Daniel Werfel.
Newsmax writes that “Manchin, who has often blocked Biden’s legislative priorities, said he was opposing Werfel on the basis of the Biden administration’s implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, a sprawling tax and climate bill that Manchin was key in passing.”
The West Virginia Senator said, “At every turn, this Administration has ignored Congressional intent when implementing the Inflation Reduction Act. First and foremost, the IRA is an energy security bill with clear and direct guidelines to ensure we are able to onshore our supply and manufacturing chains. But instead of adhering to Congressional intent and prioritizing our nation’s energy and national security, the Treasury Department has pandered to automakers and progressive extremist groups and continued to sacrifice the national security of the United States of America. While Daniel Werfel is supremely qualified to serve as the IRS Commissioner, I have zero faith he will be given the autonomy to perform the job in accordance with the law and for that reason, I cannot support his nomination.”
Nothing would likely scare Biden more than a moderate, more likable, and more cognizant of the world around him Democrat running as a third party next November.
Earlier in the year, Manchin hit Biden for breaking his promise to try and unite the country, saying, “I can tell you one thing: I feel, like most Americans, we’ve got to come together. Americans want to be united, they want to be together and right now we’re going further apart,” he said.
He predicted that voters are going to be looking for “somebody” to bring the country together but didn’t say whether he would be the politician to do that as the next president.
“I’m not saying I have any aspirations’ to run for the White House,” he said, adding a caveat: “I’ve been [in Washington] 12 years. I don’t like what I see; I don’t the direction we’re going and I’m going to work and commit myself to try to get people who want to do the right thing to find the pathway forward, bringing the country back together.”
With a potential Senate re-election bid no longer hanging over his head, would Joe Manchin toss his hat in the ring?