Another Go as Governor for Joe Manchin?
2 July 2014
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin lives on a Potomac River houseboat named
“Almost Heaven,” according to the June 30 Time — but he may leave
the boat and seek another term as West Virginia governor in 2016
because he’s disgusted by the hateful political gridlock that
stymies progress in Congress.
The national newsmagazine says the houseboat “is Manchin’s home
when he spends the night in Washington three nights or so a week
during session.” It quotes him as saying: “I wasn’t crazy on
buying any real estate in Washington, not at all.”
The boat serves as a floating party barge where Manchin invites
fellow senators to develop personal friendships and try to ease
the bitter gulf that keeps Democrats and Republicans from
cooperating on anything. But his effort produces scant results.
“I know dysfunctional families that function better than the
Senate does,” he said. “It’s just crazy.... I’ve never been in a
less-productive time in my life than I am right now in the U.S.
Senate.... My worst day as governor was better than my best day as
The West Virginian believes in negotiating earnestly to reach
common ground and pass compromises acceptable to both sides — but
it rarely happens. “You can never put your opponent in an
impossible position,” he said, “and that happens way too often up
It’s a shame, because sincere give-and-take negotiating is the
only workable way to attain good government. West Virginia’s
former chief executive deserves praise for his cooperative
efforts, despite few results.
Frustrated, Manchin yearns for his good old governor days, when
accomplishment was easy.
“Why wouldn’t you want to get something done?” he asked. “That’s
why I liked being governor — you were measured every day by what
you’d done that day.... I wore that Governor’s Mansion out. I went
through more booze and food than you can imagine.”
Since his voting record is more middle-of-the-road than any other
Senate Democrat’s, Manchin was asked whether he might turn
Republican, but he answered: “I just don’t see that. I can’t see
turning on a whole lifetime of beliefs.”
Time asked the stymied West Virginian if he will return home and
run for governor again in 2016. He replied: “I’m going to wait
until the 2014 election is over, and then I’m going to see what I
West Virginia’s future will be affected by Manchin’s choice. In
the meantime, it’s disheartening that Washington politics have
become an ideological cesspool obstructing nearly every attempt to
- See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140702/ARTICLE/140709963/1103#sthash.CH5Dhr2x.dpuf