Article: Manchin Actively Contemplating Transition to Independent Status

Senator Joe Manchin (D-VA) is seriously considering a shift to an independent status due to concerns about the reputation of Washington Democrats.

Manchin expressed a desire for personal “peace of mind” and disclosed his growing discomfort with the labels ‘D’ and ‘R’, echoing the sentiments of some Americans who feel increasingly alienated by the extreme partisanship prevalent in recent politics.

As reported by Fox News, Manchin, who has faced occasional criticism for not fully endorsing certain parts of President Biden’s progressive agendas, has previously hinted at the possibility of changing parties. Despite his commitment to distancing himself from the extreme factions within both the Democratic and Republican parties, this recent statement underscores his ongoing frustration with both political entities.

According to a Washington Post report, during an interview with West Virginia MetroNews’ Hoppy Kercheval, Manchin highlighted his belief that both the Republican and Democratic “brands” are suffering due to heightened partisanship.

He was forthright about his misalignment with the approach of Washington Democrats and advocated for a more balanced governance approach in contrast to the current state of polarization.

“I have to have peace of mind, basically. The brand has become so bad, the ‘D’ brand and ‘R’ brand,” Manchin told West Virginia Metro News’ “Talkline” host Hoppy Kercheval.

“I’ve been thinking about that for quite some time,” Manchin added. “I haven’t made any decisions whatsoever on any of my political direction, I want to make sure that my voice is truly an independent voice.”

His statement on this matter followed rumors of a potential presidential run as a third-party candidate, particularly after he refrained from outright dismissing the idea during a recent No Labels event.

Addressing concerns about the potential negative impact on President Biden’s reputation, Manchin contended that the consequences of such a decision are not easily predictable.

If Manchin were to proceed with the shift to independent status, he would be emulating the path taken by Senator Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., who also transitioned away from the Democratic party within the past 10 months.

Manchin’s affiliation with the bipartisan group No Labels and his criticisms of specific policies within the Biden administration, such as the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, contribute further to the speculation surrounding his potential independent candidacy.

Even though he holds some policy differences with the Biden administration, Manchin’s significant Senate influence becomes especially apparent due to the Democrats’ narrow majority, enabling him to secure specific policy concessions.

Manchin has not yet reached a conclusive determination about his political trajectory, encompassing choices regarding reelection or a prospective presidential candidacy. However, he has suggested that he will arrive at a decision before the year’s end.