Manchin and Huntsman: Nobody's Dream Team

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Joe Manchin (D-WV) has been in the news a lot lately, mostly due to speculation over a vote-splitting Presidential run. He’s become the Don Quixote of American politics, and now, today, he’s in the news again — as ABC News reports, this time with a potential running mate.


No Labels, the third-party bipartisan group that is considering launching a “unity” campaign in the 2024 presidential race, on Monday will host a major event to discuss its platform — and will be joined by two notable politicians from across the aisle.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., a Republican, will speak at the group’s “Common Sense town hall” at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The event is being described as the first public opportunity to highlight the group’s policies.

ABC goes on to add a qualifier:

Manchin and Huntsman foreshadow what a potential No Labels ticket could look like next year (and Manchin has conspicuously not closed the door to running for president). However, Monday’s event is not the debut of No Labels ticket, and the group hopes that any candidates chosen would conform to their new platform.

Just for fun, let’s postulate that a Joe Manchin/Jon Huntsman ticket does materialize, running on the slate of some third party. They stand essentially zero chance of election; the question, then, becomes, which major party would they hurt most?

Neither man is popular within their own party. Huntsman has long been considered an establishment GOP type and is frequently tagged with the Republican in Name Only (RINO) label. His involvement with No Labels won’t do him any good with voters who see him that way. Manchin is one of the last serving moderate Democrats, but he has made some pretty bad miscalculations lately — like trusting Chuck Schumer — although he’s managed to salvage a few of them.


Even so, it’s hard to debate that the political parties, both of them, are pulling away from the center. But today’s Democrat office-holders are increasingly adhering to policy positions that are anathema to large swaths of the American electorate — like pornography in schools, overt racism, the sexual mutilation of children, and the shutdown of our modern technological society, for example.

If the GOP is smart enough to run on free markets, education reform, low taxes, low regulation, and, you know, liberty, they might just pull off a major upset, in which case the Manchin/Quixote ticket wouldn’t make any real difference.

Both parties are being dragged away from the center. There are issues that hurt each party and that help each party. But the Dems have been embracing some major-league weirdness (see above) that will cost them a lot of their traditional base, that being blue-collar, private-sector labor-union types: Truman Democrats. It’s likely that a ticket that tries to split the middle, as the No Labels Manchin/Huntsman ticket would doubtless try to do, may take some disaffected voters from both major parties, but those weirdnesses from the Dems are liable to alienate more moderate voters than the GOP’s stands on, say, abortion.

Either way, there’s virtually no chance that the Manchin/Huntsman ticket will get even one electoral vote. The No Labels people appear to be hedging their bets:


“There is no way on God’s green earth that they can get to 270 electoral votes,” former Sen. Doug Jones, an Alabama Democrat and staunch Biden ally who has joined a group to counter No Labels, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”


Greg Schneiders, who worked as President Jimmy Carter’s deputy assistant for communications and founded the Prime Group, a research firm, has conducted polling for the anti-No Labels group that includes Jones.

Schneider maintains that their plan is “fantastical and not credible.”

“No third-party candidate in recent history, or perhaps any history of third-party candidates, has improved their standing once they went from kind of being the generic option to being a particular individual,” he said.

All that is true. But that might not stop Joe Manchin. The world, after all, has no shortage of windmills to tilt at.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos