There is no way to know the private thoughts of Senator Joe Manchin. However, he has made it clear his political path will not be decided until the end of the year. West Virginia waits and Washington guesses. No doubt he has his sights on being the next President of the United States.
He may be waiting to see if Biden is still viable, to assess political changes in West Virginia, or the number of states No Labels has gotten on the ballot. There is always the important New Hampshire presidential primary for which no date has been established.
If you’re looking for signs there are none better than when he told a West Virginia political talk show he was seriously thinking of becoming an independent. This is a big deal for Joe Manchin a lifelong active Democrat. Plus, he is fed up with the brands of both parties.
It seems Democrats are hoping President Biden will change his mind about running. Maybe that will change Manchin’s course and he’ll set out to re-brand the Democrat party. Never underestimate Joe Manchin.
Little known is an effort called Americans Together established by Manchin’s daughter Heather. Created to advocate for centrist policies and candidates. Manchin has certainly branded himself as a centrist. He is known for his “common sense” approach which voters like. The project is expected to cost at least $100 million.
Senator Manchin is already the “favorite son” of No Labels. An organization seeking to offer voters unhappy with President Biden and former President Trump a new home in 2024. In July Manchin played a leading role in a No Labels “coming out party” in New Hampshire. Former Utah Republican Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. participated.
Not to be overlooked in all of this Senator Manchin has made his name a household word…without spending a dime…plus he does not like to spend money. Wherever we go in Florida and people learn we are from West Virginia…the first thing they ask do you know Joe Manchin. Of course, we do. If Floridians know who he is, you can bet the same is true throughout the country.
Finally, where does West Virginia fit in this picture. It’s uncertain if he plans to seek re-election to the Senate. If so, he will likely face a touch race. More importantly, West Virginians will be the first to brag about a President Manchin.