Is Joe Manchin positioning himself for a presidential race?

Its. Joe manchinJoe ManchinOvernight Energy & Environment – Presented by the American Petroleum Institute – Biden seeks to tackle methane Biden rallies nations to reduce methane emissions Democrats give Manchin warning about lack of progress on spending bill MORE (DW.Va.) has suddenly emerged with the ever-changing title of “Most Powerful Person in Washington.” For the past few months, Manchin, along with the senator. Kyrsten CinemaKyrsten Sinema Democrats listen to Manchin for lack of progress on spending bill Democrats on the cusp of broad agreement on Biden’s agenda Biden says Manchin will support final version of spending bill MORE (D-Ariz.), has stalled President BidenJoe Biden Five Takeaways from a Bleak Night for Democrats Youngkin Wins Virginia Governor’s Race Michelle Wu Chosen as Boston’s First Mayor MOREnational legislative centerpiece, the Rebuild better plan, a virtual Christmas tree of progressive dreams to drastically change America (although many progressives might resist the association with Christmas as a more misguided, traditional, awakened and joyous celebration of the majority of Americans who still believe in those “backward” ideals of family and spiritual light, and prompts progressives to create additional grievances to further divide Americans … so cancel that metaphor!). In any case, let’s move on.

Manchin has taken two totally centrist positions that would strengthen Biden’s political position and perhaps even garner broad bipartisan support.

First, he lobbied the House heavily to pass the infrastructure bill that was passed by the Senate with the closest bipartisan support we’ve seen in years.

Second, he raised detailed concerns about the Build Back Better plan based on its overall cost (which he claimed would hurt the U.S. economy) and specific details (which he believes are unnecessary overreach, not necessary, and not will be effective). He met with the president and many members of the House and Senate to discuss his concerns. He held press conferences to clarify his views and concerns.

In response, the House progressive bloc, led by Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalLegislators Demand Answers to Detention of Iranian Americans at US-Canada Border On The Money – Presented by Citi – Democrats Close to Agreement on Biden’s Agenda Democrats on Cusp of Comprehensive Agreement on Agenda by Biden MORE (D-Wash.), Has refused to go ahead on the infrastructure bill until some form of the Build Back Better program has achieved full approval from House and Senate Democrats.

Politically, Joe Manchin has set a bear trap, with the help of Kyrsten Sinema, and progressives, along with the leadership of the Democrats in Congress, are trapped. They will have trouble escaping. Manchin seems adamant that he wants the infrastructure bill to pass the House now and that the Better Rebuild Bill will require much more discussion and cuts. He has made clear his resistance to environmental policies, much of the social spending, the expansion of Medicare, paid licenses and the total amount of the bill. Sinema remains steadfast in resisting drug price proposals.

Its. Bernie sandersBernie SandersShontel Brown wins special election to replace Marcia Fudge in Ohio House district Democrats give Manchin warning about lack of progress on spending bill LIVE COVERAGE: Youngkin wins in Virginia ; New Jersey gubernatorial race in a tie MORE (I-Vt.) And House progressives are left with the tough decisions to backtrack and pass the infrastructure bill now, to give the White House at least one victory, or agree to pass a Build Back program. Better largely destroyed with much of his wish list on the cutting room floor. Doing neither would leave Democrats tethered to an increasingly unpopular president with failed domestic politics and a series of foreign policy disasters. The uncertainty and confusion now will also make the debt ceiling negotiations in December much more complex, risking both a government shutdown and a default on US debt.

Although currently isolated, along with Sinema, in the Democratic Party, Manchin has made it very clear that he has no plans to leave the party as an independent, a Republican, or to form a third party.

All of this could frame some of the most effective and courageous political calculations in a generation. There is a real possibility that Manchin and Sinema could create a tidal change in Democratic Party politics that Manchin could lead to the White House, or at least to the leadership of the Democratic Party.

If progressives blink, back down, and pass the infrastructure bill now, it may give Manchin a great opportunity to form and lead a moderate bipartisan bloc in the Senate and attract independent voters that Democrats are now bleeding to death. Donald trumpDonald Trump Republicans are poised to sweep Virginia, wowing Democrats Five takeaways from a bleak night for Democrats New Jersey’s gubernatorial race is too close to call for MORE due to his radical politics of awakening. If progressives hold out and hamper the infrastructure bill and Build Back Better bill and create chaos in the debt ceiling negotiations, they will be entirely to blame for a Republican landslide in the 2022 midterm elections. with the opportunities for Biden or for the vice president. Kamala harrisKamala HarrisAmerica Latest: Biden Fills Up With Oprah, Considers 0K Payments To Illegal Immigrants Separated At Border Harris Makes Final Pitch For McAuliffe McAuliffe, Youngkin Posts Closure Announcements Before Virginia Elections MORE (and probably for any Democrat except Manchin) in the next presidential election.

In this scenario, Manchin contributes a lot to a possible presidential race. On the central issue of immigration, Manchin has visited the border this year (unlike Biden and the irresponsible Harris, neither of whom have visited the border since). Harris’s visit in June). Unlike Biden, Harris, and other likely opponents, Manchin has demonstrated managerial competence and has effectively execute a state as governor. He also had a successful business career.

But more importantly, Manchin has proven to be a strong and fearless advocate of moderate bipartisan politics, making him attractive to independents as well as moderate Democrats and Republicans, all of whom fear another successful Trump run for the US. White House.

Will Manchin decide to consolidate his growing power and lead the Democrats and the country out of the desert of awakening? Time will tell.

Grady Means is a writer ( and former corporate strategy consultant. He served in the White House as a policy assistant to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. Follow him on Twitter @ gradymeans1.

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