Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has spent enough time in Washington to know that he’d rather be just about anywhere than Capitol Hill.
The former governor of the ever-Republican Mountain State might vie for his old job in Charleston next year.
If so, any hopes that the Democrats will reclaim their Senator majority will almost certainly go by the wayside.
Hot Air reports:
The Democratic senator said in an interview Thursday that he’s once again “thinking about” running for the “best job in the world”: governor of West Virginia.
“I think about it every minute of every day. Now, thinking about it and doing it are two different things,” Manchin said. “I’ll make a decision this fall sometime. I don’t think there’s any hurry at all.”
This might be a rare moment in which a political development means bad news for both Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, although not in the long run. In the short short term, a decision by Manchin to run for governor in 2020 means nothing at all, since his Senate term runs through 2024, having won another term last November. If he loses, no biggie — he can keep his Senate seat. Manchin could choose to resign first, but that would give now-Republican governor Jim Justice the opportunity to flip the seat by appointment. So Manchin won’t be resigning unless he wins the governor’s seat … and has been sworn into it, too. He can then appoint a Democrat in his place.
If that happens, McConnell will lose the last of his Democratic moderates who occasionally provide a veneer of bipartisanship to conservative measures. Most of the other moderates got chased out, and the one remaining — Montana’s Jon Tester — has a grudge against Donald Trump. (He’s also got almost six years remaining too, so there isn’t much pressure to cooperate this session.) Manchin and Trump get along and do see eye to eye on a few issues, though, so a replacement Democrat with less independence from Schumer’s leadership complicates matters a bit for McConnell.
That said, Manchin is an endangered species – as probably the last Democrat with enough goodwill to win West Virginia’s conservative electorate in a statewide race.