Joe Manchin Announces Exit From Senate, Hints At White House Run

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) revealed on Thursday that he would not be seeking re-election to the Senate in 2024.

Manchin shared his decision through a video posted on X, in which he expressed his reasons. “I’ve made one of the toughest decisions of my life and decided that I will not be running for re-election to the United States Senate,” he stated. 

Explaining how he got into politics, he recounted, “When I told my dad that I was going to run for office, he said, ‘Oh Joe, politics is a bad business. I’m telling you right now, stay out of it.’ I didn’t disagree that often with my father, but that time I did. I reminded him of the famous line from President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address: Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” 

“To the West Virginians who have put their trust in me and fought side by side to make our state better – it has been an honor of my life to serve you. Thank you,” he captioned the video.

While Manchin said in the video that he “accomplished” all he set out to do for West Virginia in the Senate, he is not quite done with politics, as he also hinted at the possibility of a White House run.

“But what I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking out to see if there’s an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together,” he stated.

With Manchin’s exit from the Senate race, Republicans may see a glimmer of hope as it holds the potential to strengthen the party’s position in Congress. The Senate is currently narrowly controlled by the Democrats, and Manchin’s departure opens up the possibility of the GOP gaining a crucial seat. 

Manchin’s decision comes after months of expressing concerns about the deep divisions and polarization in the United States. He lamented that “common-sense” individuals often feel politically homeless in today’s political climate. In August, he even hinted at the possibility of breaking ties with the Democratic Party.

He has also been dropping hints about a potential third-party White House campaign in 2024. Speculation has arisen about a partnership between Manchin and former Republican Utah Gov. John Huntsman, especially after they appeared together for a No Labels town hall event in July. No Labels, an organization focused on promoting bipartisan cooperation, praised Manchin as a “great leader” and indicated that they are considering a “Unity” presidential ticket, with a decision expected in early 2024.

Manchin’s political career in West Virginia spans several decades, from serving as governor to representing the state in Congress since the early 1980s.