It appears that Joe Manchin is gauging whether to launch a third-party presidential bid.
As if we didn’t suffer enough, Joe Manchin would flirt with the idea of running for president.
Earlier this month, the U.S. senator from West Virginia did what many believe was a tease for a presidential bid.
For some time now, political group No Labels, a mix of centrist Republicans and Democrats, has been open about its desire to get a third-party unity ticket in the upcoming 2024 presidential election — promising to spend $70 million to to realize it. they find preferred candidates.
It appears that Manchin, a conservative Democrat, is actively gauging whether he should lead such an effort.
While the group has been largely secretive about its inner workings and overall strategy, Puck protected audio of a conference call that No Labels recently organized with its donors.
“The hope is to keep the land we have, and you can’t do that by pushing both sides to the extreme,” said Manchin, who joined the call as a capstone. “Let’s try to get people together again for the sake of the country, not just for the sake of the party.”
Separately, Manchin gave a speech to Iowa business and community leaders in Washington, D.C. — which others took as a sign that he was preparing for a third-party bid for the presidency.
“When people say, ‘What’s your politics?’ I say I’m fiscally responsible and socially compassionate, which I think most Americans are,’ Manchin said in a 30-minute speech, Axios reported.
When a politician uses empty slang for elites who lived in early presidential primary states, it’s good to deduce what price they might be setting their sights on.
For the record, when someone like Manchin says he is “fiscally responsible and socially compassionate,” that roughly translates to “Poverty is bad, but don’t burden me to end it.” But it’s the sort of superficial statement you’d expect from a corporate shill like Manchin. And it’s the kind of meaningless, hackneyed political slogan that grabs the attention of people like him.
Unfortunately, those people dominate the media and the way news is made, so it’s no surprise that someone like Manchin, known for his attention whoring, is exploring his options here.
President Joe Biden is currently headed for a rematch with his predecessor, former President Donald Trump — a scenario that remains deeply unpopular with Americans, as expressed in bearing.
Given the rampant lack of enthusiasm the general public has for another Biden vs. Trump election cycle, groups like No Labels are reportedly seeking access to 50 states for a hypothetical bipartisan presidential ticket in 2024. Let’s face it, America needs a centrist alternative to the extremism of both political parties. While one cannot dispute how the racism, queer and trans antagonism and general authoritarianism that fuels the GOP ideology makes them extremists, the Democratic Party is led by Joe Biden, a longtime white centrist.
Biden has passed surprisingly progressive legislation, but he is not a wrecking ball for political conventions.
There is a limited call for a third party full of self-proclaimed moderates, no matter how much attention it might get in the coming months as the press fills the void between now and Trump’s supposed formal coronation as the Republican nominee next year.
Others, however, are concerned about the damage a Manchin presidential bid could cause.
“If No Labels takes a Joe Manchin against Donald Trump and Joe Biden, I think it will be a historic disaster,” Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips from Minnesota told The New York Times. “And I speak for just about every moderate Democrat and frankly most of my moderate Republican friends.”
“I can think of nothing worse than another Trump presidency and no better way to help him than running a third-party candidate,” Illinois Democratic Representative Brad Schneider told the outlet.
This is unnecessary fear. Every election cycle produces complaints about third-party candidates from political parties seeking excuses for their failures. As much as you might understand why the likes of Ralph Nader and Jill Stein annoy selected Democrats, Al Gore didn’t run the best campaign and eventually lost to the Supreme Court. In Stein’s case, the votes she received may not have helped Hillary Clinton’s attempts to defeat Trump, but the fact remains that Clinton was told for months leading up to Election Day that her support among black voters was weak.
The white moderate is not the miracle worker or election decision maker that some who are already moaning about a possible Manchin candidacy would like to make.
Manchin is one of the country’s most unpopular senators.
He has until January to decide whether to run for re-election – a race he is expected to lose if his opponent is current GOP West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.
With a tough election cycle ahead, he’s looking for something to do. This potential third-party bid sounds like his latest attempt to showboat and steal the spotlight while he still can.
However, some close to him argue that he will not Real join a No Labels ticket, which is why he’s also reportedly considering another option: running for president of West Virginia University.
Manchin has not publicly expressed interest in the job, but at the age of 75predicts The Spectator that he will “weigh all options that don’t involve near-certain defeat at the West Virginia ballot box next year.”
That includes the fear of embarrassing defeat on a third-party ticket.
I don’t like Joe Manchin. I find his politics cruel and his attention to them irremediable. He is the kind of politician who best illustrates why so many Americans deeply dislike politicians.
But in order not to waste anyone’s money, he should take that job as president of his alma mater. It’s as close to the presidency as he will ever come. As for concerned Democrats worried about what Manchin will do next year, please stop worrying and focus on the Democratic base, which will actually determine whether Biden is re-elected.