After announcing his retirement from the Senate, Democratic senators from other states were alarmed to hear that West Virginia’s Joe Manchin was considering a third-party presidential candidacy. Democratic legislators think that if Manchin runs for president as an independent, it would undermine Biden’s reelection chances and might result in what they perceive as the worst scenario of electing Donald Trump to a second White House term.
While considering a moderate candidate to run against the final Democratic and Republican candidates, Manchin has attended meetings by No Labels, a centrist political party. As a moderate who has frequently voted against his party on crucial issues, political watchers have long seen Manchin as a possible No Labels candidate. Former Arkansas governor and Republican pundit Mike Huckabee has said that Democratic incumbent President Joe Biden would lose support if retiring West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin ran for president in 2024.
A few months ago, when it seemed like Manchin was still going to seek another Senate term, Democratic lawmakers were less anxious about a hypothetical Manchin presidential candidacy. However, Manchin has teased that he has “plenty of time” to make a choice and has not ruled out running for president on the No Labels ticket or another independent platform. He dismissed concerns from other Democrats that his candidacy might hurt Joe Biden’s reelection chances.
Manchin indicated he would decide whether to run around Super Tuesday, making it unlikely that he would run as a Democrat against Biden and instead go for an independent strategy like RFK Jr.
He pledged to do all in his power to energize the center ground. He is concerned that we are headed in the wrong direction and that Donald Trump may become president again.
Centrists, in this heavily politically divided country, are lost in the fog of discourse, not seen as reasonable as much as inconsequential, if not spoilers.