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Joe Manchin May Run For Senate After All

Joe Manchin loves keeping the political world on edge. The Hamlet of West Virginia, the senator and former governor of the Mountain State, a rare successful Democrat in a dark red state, has played a game of will he or won’t he over the past year. 

Last November, Manchin broke Democratic hearts when he announced that he’d not be running for re-election, sparking concerns from his party that he’d be running for president under the No Labels banner. The group is looking to run a moderate to serve as an alternative choice to Biden and Trump II. 

Now, as the Senate primary heats up in his state, Manchin is again asking the eternal question: to be or not to be.

The Washington Examiner writes

The 76-year-old Democrat had discussed a situation where he may make a late entry into the Senate race as an independent with the backing of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) but also conceded he is unlikely to reconsider his decision not to run for reelection. 

“I think that’s a long, long, long-shot scenario,” Manchin told CNN. “So I don’t anticipate that happening.”

Democratic sources with knowledge of the senator’s thinking say he could decide to get into the race if Don Blankenship wins the Democratic primary in the state. The former West Virginia coal executive filed paperwork in late January to run as a Democrat in the seat that’s being vacated by Manchin after losing the election by a wide margin when he ran for Senate as a Republican in 2018.

Blankenship was found guilty in 2015 of conspiring to violate federal safety standards at a coal mine that suffered a 2010 explosion that killed 29 people, and Manchin admitted his thinking could change if Blankenship became the nominee and faced off against Republican front-runner Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV).

Manchin has been a major Democratic critic of Joe Biden, especially when it comes to the Inflation Reduction Act, which he claims has been captured by the left to suit their own purposes.  

Last week, according to Politico, the senator “said President Joe Biden has allowed his staff to push him to the left and put his reelection in jeopardy at POLITICO’s Health Care Summit on Wednesday in Washington.

‘He’s been pushed so far left it’s unbelievable,’ said the West Virginia Democrat, who recently declined a third-party challenge to Biden and his GOP rival for the presidency, Donald Trump. ‘I have been raising hell from day one.…This is not how you’re going to get reelected.’

Under questioning from POLITICO Congressional Bureau Chief Burgess Everett, Manchin took aim at Biden’s handling of the fentanyl crisis and the border.

‘The FDA started it. They keep bringing more products,’ Manchin said of the agency that approved the prescription opioids that started the opioid addiction crisis.”

Studies have shown that the fentanyl crisis has gotten significantly worse under the Biden presidency. 

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