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The Running Man
Joe Manchin is not running for re-election But he's running for something....
Today West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin announced he was not running for re-election to the United States Senate.
If you listen to his remarks carefully, however, he certainly sounded like a guy running for something……
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….
…every incentive in Washington is designed to make our politics extreme. The growing divide between Democrats and Republicans is paralyzing Congress and worsening our nation’s problems. And most Americans are just plain worn out.
Our economy is not working for many Americans, from the rising cost of food and fuel and everything in between. We have a border crisis, with illegal drugs entering our country and killing Americans every day. Our national debt is out of control. And Americans don't feel safe, even in their own communities. We are providing critical aid to two of our allies fighting wars for their survival, and we must prevent being pulled into a major war ourselves.
These are not Republican or Democratic challenges. These are American challenges. They affect every one of us, and we need to face them together. I know our country isn't as divided as Washington wants us to believe. We share common values of family, freedom, democracy, dignity, and a belief that together we can overcome any challenge. We need to take back America and not let this divisive hatred further pull us apart.
Public service has and continues to drive me every day. That is the vow that I made to my father over 40 years ago. And I intend to keep that vow until my dying day.
What we watched today was not Manchin’s speaking of leaving the Senate. It sure seemed like a soft launch of Manchin’s third-party bid for the Presidency.
Unless Manchin simply wants to become a tourist with heavy media coverage, that sure sounds like an expression of interest in becoming the presidential candidate of the allegedly post-partisan No Labels movement, with which he has been closely identified for a long while. No Labels itself has been tight-lipped about its plans as it uses its shadowy donor money to get access to 2024 ballots. But lately a deadlock-the-election strategy is being kicked around No Labels circles that could make it vastly easier to justify a candidacy than under its original plan, which was to launch a presidential campaign only if a clean win seemed plausible.
The likelihood of Manchin being the Presidential or Vice-Presidential nominee on the No Labels ticket certainly seems more likely with him not concerned about running for re-election and already committing to barnstorm the country taking about “creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together.”
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice can likely start measuring the drapes (and the doorway) for his U.S. Senate office. But Manchin’s announcement likely makes the 2024 Presidential Election just a bit more chaotic.