2024 Has a New Senate Seat Up for Grabs; Manchin Done

Katherine Welles / shutterstock.com
Katherine Welles / shutterstock.com

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has been the self-imposed thorn in the Democrat’s side for years, but especially since COVID. He served as the Governor of West Virginia until he was pushed into the Senate by a special election in 2010. Now, he has his predecessor as Governor, Republican Jim Justice, chomping at the bit for his seat.

Announcing his departure by video on November 9th, Manchin opened with JFK.

“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. I made a vow to serve all the people, friend or foe, and not just myself…I believe in my heart of hearts that I have accomplished what I set out to do in West Virginia. I’ve made one of the toughest decisions of my life, that I will not be running for re-election to the United States Senate.”

While making no distinct plans for service public, Manchin added that he wouldn’t be resting on his laurels. Rather, he would be “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.”

As donors, polls, and representatives have demonstrated, Manchin has an option for running as a third-party candidate. Given his voting vs political affiliation record, he is already seen by many as a third-party politician. He could automatically walk into getting a 21% share of the popular vote with little effort if it’s Biden vs Trump as the “main” candidate.

This alone makes any potential run worthwhile and turns him into a viable candidate. When asked repeatedly about the possibility of running, he has refused to rule anything out. On July 17th, he appeared at a town hall that was put on by a third-party group called “No Labels.” With ballot access in dozens of states, the group poses some of the strongest presence to challenge a Biden/Trump ticket.

Since Biden took office in 2020, Manchin has been one of the only Democratic voices with a conservative take on it. Taking up a stance as the lone voice to Biden’s blank check called the “Build Back Better Act” as well as a bill to codify abortion as a right, he’s been the only voice of reason in the left looney bin. He’s also been a major opponent of modifications to the Senate’s rules regarding “cloture” to limit debate, known commonly as a filibuster. This is where most measures need 60 points to get through the chamber.

Fellow Democrats have largely been complimentary of his actions and his ambitions. They want to see Manchin succeed, and they appreciate the job he has done for the left. While they were reluctant to bring up hit times of opposition, they seemed to respect that he stuck to his guns, and he represented the views of his constituents in WV. After 13 years as a Senator, Manchin has earned the right to walk away with his head held high. His work has been instrumental in fixing the Senate into what it is today.

The decision to run for President in 2024 could be very interesting. If he decided to oppose Biden and challenge him for the Democratic ticket, he stands a damn good chance of taking Democrat-only primaries and an even stronger one in open primaries. Getting through that, he would present a win-win no matter which way the American people voted if Trump is his opponent.

As a fox in the henhouse for the conservative voice, he has been what the GOP has needed for 50 years. He can slide in and bridge the gap. To get the liberals to understand that they took things way too far left and bring them back to right of center. Rare capabilities like these are something were need more of in politics these days.

Here’s to going out on top of the left, and thanks for the votes, Senator Manchin!!