The political climate in Washington has disillusioned Sen. Joe Manchin to the point he said he's rethinking his role in the Senate and is keeping his options open about returning to West Virginia and a possible run for the state's governor again.
The former West Virginia Democratic governor explained to MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that he was a "productive person." He said since he became a senator, it hadn't been "a very productive time the last three and a half years."
"I keep hearing people say, 'Well, it used to be that way in the good old days. It used to work this way.' Well, I've not been there when anything's worked," Manchin said Monday.
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Manchin said he enjoyed making "a difference in someone's life, waking up excited to go to work." He said he wanted to "feel that again," and explained he would wait until the midterm elections in 2014 "to see what shakes out, see where we are, what we can do to move this country forward."
"If the leaders and everybody don't work together to try to make something happen, and it's just going to be stalemate as it's been, then I've got to rethink it, too," Manchin said. "I keep all options open."
Of particular concern was having to "raise money against a person across the aisle with me," campaign against them, and then be "expected to sit down and try to work something out," Manchin said.
Passage of the Keystone XL pipeline was a case in point of how politics interfered with passing legislation. Manchin said the project "should pass" in the Senate, but that "no one can give me a good explanation why" it wouldn't.
He said he hoped Congress could work better in the future, but he has doubts.
"I'm hoping that we can break out of this. And you know what? It's becoming more contentious. It's becoming tighter and tighter," he said.
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