Manchin weighs another term as his influence peaks

The West Virginia Democrat is steadily padding his campaign coffers, raising $1.6 million in the first six months this year and sitting on nearly $4 million for a potential race that wouldn’t occur for three years. His colleagues say he’s not acting like a senator in his last term, despite his famous assertion during his last campaign that Washington “sucks.”

And as the 50th Democratic vote, Manchin is charting a bipartisan course for the Senate alongside a like-minded band of moderates in both parties, not to mention serving alongside a president who shares his back-slapping and horse-trading DNA. Instead of sucking, Manchin now says Washington has “accomplished more than we have for the 10 years I’ve been here.”

“You never know. You don’t know. There’s always a chance, absolutely,” Manchin said in an interview. When it comes to a potential reelection campaign alongside a presidential race in 2024, Manchin said: “You better be prepared, that’s all I can say. And I’m being prepared.”

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