Manchin to Decide Political Future in December

Manchin to Decide Political Future in December
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, presides over a hearing on battery technology, at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, on Sept. 22, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Katabella Roberts

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will decide at the end of this year whether or not he runs against President Joe Biden in the next presidential election or for reelection, the lawmaker has said.

“There’s plenty of time for the elections,” Manchin said in an interview with CBS’s “Face The Nation” on March 5. “This is the problem with America right now, we start an election every time there’s a cycle coming up.”

Manchin, a Democratic senator in one of the most Republican states in the country, is up for reelection to the Senate in 2024 but as of yet has not confirmed if he will seek reelection.

“My main purpose right now is to work for my country and my state, that’s my responsibility,” Manchin told CBS. “I’m not going to make my announcement for anything until the end of the year. I’m not going to make a decision, what my political position is going to be or where I’m going to do for my political future. I won’t do it until the end of the year. I got too much work to do now.”

“The bottom line is I will make my political decision in December, whatever it may be,” he added.

Biden Intends to Run in 2024

Manchin also declined to say whether or not he would endorse Biden if he were to be the Democratic nominee in 2024, stating that he would prefer instead to “wait until we see who all the players are.”

The Virginia lawmaker is among a handful of Democrats who have criticized Biden over his handling of classified documents and called for a full investigation into the discovery of several batches of classified materials dating from his time as vice president at his former office and home.

While Biden has not yet made an announcement regarding a 2024 run, he has said it is his “intention” to do so. If Biden were to be reelected for a second term during the 2024 election, he would be 86 years old by the time he leaves office.

Manchin, 75, has repeatedly cast himself as a moderate or a centrist but has found himself at odds with his own Democratic Party on multiple occasions during his career, including on key issues such as a Democrat-led effort to end the 60-vote Senate filibuster threshold last year.

At the time, Manchin joined then-Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in opposing the move. Sinema announced in December that she had officially left the Democratic Party and registered as an independent, citing what she said was everyday Americans becoming “increasingly left behind by national parties’ rigid partisanship.”

Presidential Race Heating Up

Shortly after her departure, Manchin was asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” whether he saw an advantage in the current political environment in becoming an independent.

“I'll let you know later, what I decide to do. But right now, I have no intentions of changing anything except working for West Virginians, trying to give them more opportunities, better quality of life, and basically making sure our country is energy secured,” Manchin said at the time.

“The ‘D’ does not saddle me to everything the Democrats want to do is what’s right. I don’t think the Democrats have all the answers. I don’t think the Republicans are always wrong, and vice versa,” he said.

Manchin’s latest comments mark the first time that he has provided a definitive timeline for when he will make a decision regarding the 2024 elections.

They come after bestselling self-help book author Marianne Williamson announced on Saturday that she is challenging Biden for the Democrat nomination in 2024.

So far, Republicans including former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and entrepreneur businessman Vivek Ramaswamy have formally announced campaigns.