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Is This the Closest Indication Yet That Joe Manchin Could Be Running for President?

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

This upcoming move from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has increased the chatter that he is running for president, or at least considering it. As the Daily Mail reported, Manchin will headline the No Labels event next Monday in the early voting state of New Hampshire, at Saint Anselm's College. The former honorary co-chair will be headlining along with former Gov. Jon Huntsman (R-UT) at a townhall meeting. 


As the report further detailed:

At next week's event in New Hampshire, No Labels is launching its its 'Common Sense' agenda, which includes the debut of a policy booklet that offers 30 ideas to tackle America's challenges, including on the federal budget, immigration, energy, inflation, education and the nation's global standing. 


The event is a townhall, according to No Labels, and will give 'the American public to see two leaders practice what they preach – taking part in a meaningful dialogue across party lines to address the pressing issues that our country faces,' the group said.

That American public happens to be in the New Hampshire, a state that holds the first nominating contest in the presidential primary system and is an important early forecaster in the presidential race.

The townhall is No Labels' first major public appearance on the presidential stage as it explores running a third-party candidate.

It's no secret that such a run has worried Manchin's fellow Democrats, as is mentioned in this report and plenty more. Manchin, who has yet to give a direct answer as to whether or not he is running for president or for reelection, has often spoken about the importance of coming together in the middle and having a "Plan B" option.

As the Daily Mail mentions:

Many Democrats, however, are worried a third-party candidate would siphon votes away from Biden and propel Trump to victory. 

And some are starting a concentrated effort to stop No Labels in its tracks. 

Former House Democratic leader Richard Gephardt will launch a new bipartisan group next week to oppose No Labels' efforts, The Washington Post reported, citing sources familiar.

Signing on board are former Democratic Senator Doug Jones, who is close to Biden, and Republican strategist Stuart Stevens, who's worked for Mitt Romney and George W. Bush.

Other party officials are storming on Capitol Hill to try and kill off talk of a third-party contender.

Officials from the progressive group MoveOn and centrist group Third Way plan to brief Senate Democratic chiefs of staff on July 27, Politico reported.

The invite tells chiefs of staff that the two groups 'want to share some information that they have on No Labels.' 

Third Way, in its analysis of the role a third-party candidate would play in the 2024 election found that 'a No Labels ticket cannot win the presidency and will be a spoiler that re-elects Trump.'


Among those recent reports highlighting Democrats' concerns also include Mother Jones' "Top Democratic-Run Firms Won’t Discuss Their Work for No Labels" and POLITICO's "Dems’ mission to stop a third-party presidential bid hits the Hill." Those concerns were also discussed in a POLITICO report from June. 

Manchin may not be the problem, though. Rather, it's the Democratic Party itself. The Hill also reported on Wednesday that "Democratic jitters grow over Cornel West’s third-party bid."

Further, USA Today's David Paleologos wrote late year that "Americans are practically screaming for a third-party presidential candidate - or at least anyone who isn’t a Democrat or Republican."

The Daily Mail speaks to how President Joe Biden has supposedly sought to placate the conservative Democrat by inviting him to events. However, the president and his administration savagely went after Manchin in December of 2021 when he torpedoed the Build Back Better Act, which included making up quotes from the senator. Manchin did, however, vote in favor of the Inflation Reduction Act, While it's something he's now spoken out against, it could be too little too late.

The senator has also looked to go against the Biden administration by holding up nominees. 

Following such reports CNN's Manu Raju caught up with Manchin, who responded to claims that a presidential run could hurt Biden's chances. "Here's the thing," Manchin offered. "The most important thing is: how do we help democracy do what it's supposed to do," as he suggested having "commonsense discussions to find out what the American people would like to see accomplished," and also warned about "the toxic atmosphere we have because of political parties." 


Manchin reminded he hasn't ruled in or ruled out anything either way, emphasizing "this is just strictly a conference that we're having on commonsense." He also had said that he's friends with one of the founders of the group, according to Raju. 

Regardless of whether or not he does run, we're not likely to know his plans until "at the end of the year," as he indicated to "Meet the Press" in April.

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