There’s something about Manchin. Yes, it could be a movie, a political thriller. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Joseph Manchin, III, is the senior United States senator from West Virginia. He’s a lifelong Democrat and a longtime holder of elective office.
Sen. Manchin first got elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1982, 40 years ago. In 1986 he was elected to the West Virginia State Senate. That was followed by election to Secretary of State (2001), Governor (2005) and, finally, United States Senator in 2010; winning a special election following the death of Robert Byrd.
Sen. Manchin is the current chairman of the United States Senate Energy Committee. Also, an important biographical note is that Sen. Manchin was born on August 24, 1947; making him less than one year younger than President Trump. Manchin bills himself as a “centrist, moderate, conservative Democrat.”
And why all the fuss? Because Manchin is a bipartisan, unity senator who keeps the Democrats from running the table, passing “reconciliation” bills and killing the filibuster.
Consequently, the Democrats have applied heavy pressure for him to be a team player and pass Build Back Better and the nuclear option of repealing the filibuster. That would pave the way for the Voting Rights Act and expanding the United States Supreme Court.
And, not surprisingly, the Republicans are applying equal pressure for Sen. Manchin to switch parties and give the Republicans a 51-49 Senate majority. That would make Mitch McConnell Senate Majority Leader and Chuck Schumer Senate Minority leader.
That would also make all the Senate Committee chairmen Republicans and end the Biden Agenda.
And Manchin? He would remain Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, this time as a Republican.
Another potential benefit for a Republican from West Virginia is electability. So long as Manchin remains a Democrat his reelection chances in West Virginia are bleak. Indeed, Manchin is the only statewide or federal Democrat currently holding elective office in West Virginia. Trump won every county.
It would seem like Republicans have the stronger argument. So why is Manchin still a Democrat?
Or, as Freud might ask: What does Manchin want?
And here I will digress and remind my readers of the Gretzky rule: “Don’t go to where the puck is. Go to where the puck is going to be.”
And after the November, 2022, mid-term elections, the puck is going to be in a very different place. The Republicans will control the House and Senate, with or without Manchin. And today’s 50-50 leverage will be just a fond memory.
Furthermore the 2024 presidential election will be looming large. What are Manchin’s options? Well, for starters he could run for reelection in 2024 for another six-year term.
Been there. Done that. That term would end in December, 2030, and the good senator would be a spry eighty-three. I’m guessing this option has little or no appeal.
Hanging around for eight more years of committee meetings may be a tad unexciting. Retirement seems like a better option. It’s definitely not a financial issue.
So, what do Manchin and I see that seems to elude many others? We see a gravely wounded President Biden, a totally discounted Vice President and a hemorrhaging left wing of the Democrat Party.
We see a total lack of interest in the Biden/Harris/AOC/Newsom/
Beto/Buttigieg/Warren/Sanders/Abrams/Pritzker/Cuomo far left Presidential wannabees. This shock will be shortly followed by a (Democrat) partywide call for viable centrists.
Who would answer that call? Joe Manchin and Tulsi Gabbard. In other words, as a Democrat, Manchin has a path to the Oval Office. As a Republican he is stuck behind the Trump/DeSantis wall.
My guess is it’s better to run for president and lose than charge up the hill in search of another Senate term. What do you think?
I’m going to stop right here, for now. Clearly, I am in one of two places. I may be totally delusional and missing the current arc of history. Or I may be slightly ahead of my time, waiting for the political world to catch up.
Either way I expect to write more about the senator from West Virginia and the unique position he currently occupies. After all, there really is something about Manchin.
To all my readers, a very Happy and Healthy New Year.
Sid Dinerstein is a former chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party. Read More — Here.
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