Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has left everyone speculating about his plans for 2024. He may run for reelection to the Senate, as this would provide the best chance for his party to retain the seat. Alternatively, he could run as an independent on a No Labels presidential ticket. Another option reportedly under consideration is for Manchin to retire and become the president of his alma mater, West Virginia University.
West Virginia University is currently facing a budget shortfall and has proposed significant cuts to its world languages programs. Allies of Manchin have suggested that he might be enticed to lead the university and steer it in a new direction, given his close attention to affairs in the state. The university is currently led by E. Gordon Gee, who returned for a second stint as president in 2014.
However, Manchin faces various political pressures. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has urged him to run for reelection, recognizing that he is the only Democrat who can possibly hold the seat in the deeply Republican state. Democrats are also urging Manchin to drop any presidential bid, concerned that it could harm President Joe Biden’s chances of reelection.
While some Senate aides believe that Manchin is seriously considering a White House bid, others believe that he may be using the possibility as a way to stay in the headlines and continue pressing Biden on important issues.
The anticipation surrounding Manchin’s decision has left many curious about his next move. However, his Senate office has not provided any comment on the matter.