Sen. Joe Manchin’s decision to provide the deciding vote on the farcically-named Inflation Reduction Act has proved fateful. Once a unicorn within the Democratic Party, enjoying broad Republican support in his state of West Virginia, Manchin threw all that goodwill away in a misguided attempt to play the hero.
According to reports at the time, left-wing Sen. Chris Coons convinced his colleague that he could “hit a homer in the ninth inning” and pacify the radicals who had been attacking him all year. The results were predictable.
Promises made to Manchin by his own party members on permitting reform weren’t honored while the White House once again waged war on the coal industry. Meanwhile, the far-left gave Manchin no quarter, continuing to publicly oppose his attempts at bipartisanship at every turn.
By April, things had gotten so bad that the senator started signaling that he no longer even supported the Inflation Reduction Act. Then there were the little jabs, such as Joe Biden mocking Manchin during a speech in June and calling him a “friend,” a political death sentence in the deep red state the senator hails from.
Perhaps some revenge is on the table, though?
SCOOP: Joe Manchin is headed to New Hampshire on Monday with No Labels amid speculation of a third-party challenge to President Biden. He and Jon Huntsman will headline a No Labels event in Manchester: https://t.co/gj3pmQfYm0
— Emily Goodin (@Emilylgoodin) July 12, 2023
Senator Joe Manchin is headed to New Hampshire next week for an event with No Labels as the group looks to run a third-party candidate in next year’s presidential election and frantic Democrats are trying to stop it out of fears it could siphon off votes from Joe Biden to hand Donald Trump a victory.
Manchin, a former honorary co-chair of the group, will be the headliner of the gathering along with former Republican Governor of Utah Jon Huntsman at the townhall meeting, which will take place Monday, July 17th, at Saint Anselm’s College in Manchester, No Labels told DailyMail.com.
No Labels is a centrist group led by former Republican Jon Huntsman (who you may recall from the 2012 race) that has been wooing Manchin for the better part of a year in an attempt to get him to run as their third-party candidate. This isn’t some fly-by-night organization, either. They’ve got real resources and donors, and Democrats are terrified of what it could mean for 2024.
What should be more concerning for the far-left is that Manchin has nothing to lose. It looks increasingly unlikely that he’ll run for re-election to the US Senate, given Jim Justice’s entry into the race as a heavy favorite. Presidential campaigns are lucrative on multiple levels. Why wouldn’t Manchin want to jet around the country, presenting himself as the moderate alternative to the two-party system?
Obviously, he wouldn’t win. But if Manchin takes even 2-3 percent of the vote, it could heavily affect who wins the presidential race. I actually suspect he could do better than that, given his name recognition and the statistical unpopularity of the two current front-runners. The people who would vote for Manchin are likely to be center-left independents who wouldn’t vote Republican anyway, and that’s what has Democrats so thoroughly spooked.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not back on Manchin’s side by any means. I think he sold his political career down the river by betraying Republicans who had trusted his word. But if Manchin is going to wave the white flag in West Virginia, as he should given the odds, perhaps he can be useful. I’m all for him sticking it to Biden in 2024 for how he was treated.