Ever since Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that he would not be seeking reelection in 2024, people have been trying to guess what is next for the storied West Virginian. Going from a storied run as Governor of West Virginia, he has been instrumental in bringing balance to the Senate. While a Democrat by party and on paper, a lot of his voting has been conservative-minded, especially since Joe Biden became President.
In an interview that aired on November 15th with CNN’s The Source, Manchin was quick to criticize former President Trump but also admitted Biden’s not the right fit either. “And then, I’ve been, to a certain extent, on President Biden, he’s not the person we thought that was…elected being a centrist and moderate. He’s been pushed so far to the left. So, if we have this movement in the middle, maybe we can pull people back to a commonsense middle to where they can go.”
He added that he thinks a second Trump term would be incredibly destructive for the American people and also thinks it would be worse than another 4 years of Biden. This kind of thinking is the one piece that keeps him from being declared a full Democrat In Name Only (DINO) and instead has kept him in good standing with much of his party.
Manchin doubled down on his viewpoints. “You cannot run your life from the extremes. You’re not going to be successful. It’s very difficult. You’re not going to have a successful business if you’re in the extremes. And you can’t continue to run this country. You can’t have open borders, you can’t have the runaway debt, you can’t have the problems that we have, the challenges, crime, all of the things that we’ve got to fight.”
Not just pointing out problems but also coming up with solutions, Manchin solidified that he has a plan for the country. “We’ve got to get our financial house in order. We’ve got to secure our borders. And also, on top of that, we have an awful lot of people that come here that need to have work visas so they can pay their own way and pay taxes rather than just sucking off the system.”
This plan for making the illegals legal and giving them visas is another DINO-blocking idea. A move that could prove disastrous for Manchin in the coming months.
Setting the table as someone who can bridge the gap between conservatives and liberals, Manchin is taking some of the most divisive ideas in the nation and staying firmly on the left there. Getting swing or borderline conservatives to change over to his much-teased third-party ticket will be difficult, especially with this kind of messaging.
Not wanting to take the ticket from either Trump or Biden makes Manchin an outlier. Rumored to be looking to detract the vote enough for him to make a run, Manchin has lofty potential ambitions. Getting people to abandon the two-party line for a Presidential election is incredibly difficult, especially as mainstream media all but rejected any idea of a third party or even Biden losing.
Sen. Manchin’s teasing of a 2024 presidential election run is a unique and very intriguing proposition for the American people. Given how many are willing to deflect from Biden over his support for Israel, his lack of advocation for BLM in 2023, and his poor handling of inflation, Manchin could be their next viable step. Especially since so many voted for Biden only as a way to not vote for Trump in 2020.
While third-party candidates existed in 2020, they weren’t well publicized. Their lack of a strong presence with the mainstream media before announcing their candidacy was their undoing in these efforts. By being well-known before his announcement, Manchin has a tremendous leg up in a potential campaign this time.