No Go for Manchin Show, Senator Opts Out of 2024 White House Run

February 16, 2024 by Dan McCue
No Go for Manchin Show, Senator Opts Out of 2024 White House Run
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., at a Capitol Hill press conference in July 2021. (Photo by Dan McCue)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., will not be running for president in 2024, declaring in a speech at West Virginia University that he has no intention of being “a deal breaker, or, if you will, a spoiler.”

“There’s too much at stake right now,” he said.

Manchin’s decision ends months of speculation about his making an independent bid for the White House, and comes as a relief to Democrats who feared such a bid would siphon off some moderate votes that otherwise would go to President Joe Biden.

Manchin, who announced his impending retirement from the Senate in November, revealed his intentions during a look back at his life and public career at the 157-year-old land-grant university.

He reportedly came to grips with his decision at the end of a recent cross-country listening tour, during which he said he wanted to see “if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together.”

The tour and his decision to leave the Senate, both of which came on the heels of his appearance at a No Labels town hall in New Hampshire last summer, helped fuel speculation that he was considering a potential independent run on the nonpartisan organization’s ticket.

With Manchin’s announcement it’s not clear who, if anyone, No Labels will turn to as a possible candidate. 

Last week, former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, another much-discussed contender for the role, announced his intention to run for the U.S. Senate.

Now that he’s out of the presidential race, Manchin is said to be planning to focus on his work with a new organization, Americans Together, which works to promote moderate politics. Its slogan: “Let’s Get  Sh*t Done.”

Among those responding positively to the news was Jonathan Cowan, founder of Third Way, the center-left public policy think tank based in Washington, D.C.

“Sen. Joe Manchin has been a friend to Third Way since his days as West Virginia’s governor and through his remarkable and consequential tenure in the U.S. Senate,” Cowan said, adding, “We are delighted that Joe Manchin has opted against a third-party presidential run.”

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @DanMcCue

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