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Joe Manchin and his daughter are pitching a $100 million centrist project as presidential rumors swirl

 August 31, 2023

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and his daughter, Heather Manchin, are reportedly seeking support for a $100 million centrist project called Americans Together, amid rumors that the lawmaker is considering leaving the Democratic Party and mounting a potential third-party presidential bid in 2024.

Manchin and his daughter are reportedly currently pitching to donors an initiative targeting the "political homeless."

Heather Manchin, the former chief executive of EpiPen-maker Mylan, revealed in an interview how she officially registered the politically active nonprofit organization called Americans Together in late July and is planning to hire staff in the coming weeks, Fox News reported.

Manchins launches centrist project

The venture comes amidst uncertainty about whether Joe Manchin will run for re-election in the Senate in 2024 or launch a presidential campaign as an independent.

Heather Manchin told the Wall Street Journal:

What we both very much agree on is the system is very broken and actually in deep trouble. We have been thinking about what can be done to bring people together.

She intends for Americans Together to give "the politically homeless a voice" at a time when she sees the two major parties "normalizing the extremes on the fringes."

The memo circulated to donors advertises the project as creating a coalition that would "mobilize the middle" and advocate for a shift to the political center.

Manchin's political future

Last month, Sen. Manchin told West Virginia radio personality Hoppy Kercheval in an interview that he was seriously considering leaving the Democratic Party.

Though the senator has not made any formal decisions regarding his future, he reportedly is mulling a third-party presidential run on the No Labels ticket.

According to the WSJ, Manchin’s daughter’s new project is not affiliated with No Labels.

Ken Langone, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot and a major Republican donor, told the WSJ that Manchin and his daughter have sought his support on Americans Together.

Because of its 501(c)(4) status, Americans Together will not be required to publicly disclose its donors and cannot spend a majority of its budget on electoral politics.

Re-election challenges

If he does choose to run for re-election, Manchin faces one of the toughest Senate fights of his career in deep-red West Virginia.

The state’s popular governor, Jim Justice, and Rep. Alex Mooney are both running in the GOP primary for the chance to face him.

Heather Manchin is the head of the fledgling group, which she said is not tied to her father's political prospects or possible campaigns.

The project proposes a coalition that would support a shift toward the political center, according to a memo sent to potential donors and reviewed by the WSJ.

Changing the national narrative

According to the memo, at least $100 million is needed "to change the national narrative and garner support for those willing to prioritize policy and country over party and politics."

Critics suggest that the work of Manchin and his daughter is compromised by their energy and biotech connections.

Distancing from Democrats

Manchin faces an uphill reelection battle in a state that voted for former President Trump by nearly 40 percentage points in 2020.

Manchin has spent the past year distancing himself from President Joe Biden and fellow Democrats, repudiating parts of the Inflation Reduction Act and even threatening to oppose Biden's Environmental Protection Agency nominees.

He headlined a New Hampshire town hall last month hosted by No Labels, a centrist group that is laying the groundwork for a potential third-party presidential ticket. However, the new project, Americans Together, is not affiliated with No Labels.

Conclusion

  • Heather Manchin revealed the registration of Americans Together and plans to hire staff.
  • The project aims to "mobilize the middle" and shift to the political center.
  • Sen. Manchin is considering leaving the Democratic Party and possibly running for president on the No Labels ticket.
  • Americans Together is not affiliated with No Labels.
  • Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot, has been approached for support.
  • Americans Together has a 501(c)(4) status, meaning it does not need to disclose donors and cannot spend a majority of its budget on electoral politics.
  • Manchin faces tough competition if he chooses to run for re-election in the Senate.