The Acela Media have gone into howling conniptions over the idea that U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) might run for president in 2024. The latest instance of such howling comes via Politico’s Jonathan Martin who, on ABC’s This Week, fretted over a potential GOP takeover of the Senate as a result of Manchin’s retirement, before saying that it is “imperative” that President Biden talk him out of entering the 2024 race.
WATCH as Martin urges Biden to summon Manchin and Mitt Romney to the White House and do a little “democracy”:
JON KARL: So, J-Mart, let me start with you. Manchin.
JONATHAN MARTIN: Yes.
KARL: Is he going to run for president as a third-party No Labels candidate?
MARTIN: Well, first of all, I think that this almost guarantees that the GOP takes over the Senate next year. It leaves almost no margin for error for Democrats. They now have to win a series of tough states including Montana and Ohio. So I think that's the headline. Yeah, look. Manchin is still teasing the possibility of running third party, and I think the combination of that tease from Manchin that you just played, and Jill Stein, a name that will trigger Democrats out there- Jill Stein's entry as a Green Party candidate this week should really wake Joe Biden up to the multi-dimensional threat he could face next year. A four-way or five-way race that could be which--
KARL: Bobby Kennedy Jr…
MARTIN: Yes. Jill Stein…
KARL: Cornel West…
MARTIN: Cornel West, and potentially a No Labels type candidate. And, Jon, I think it's imperative, and a lot of Democrats do as well, that President Biden get people like Joe Manchin, like his buddy Mitt Romney who he's talking to a lot these days, by the way Manchin is, get them to the White House and say, you don't want Trump to be president again any more than I do. The only way to stop him is for me to win re-election. Maybe you don't like everything that I have done as president, but the goal has got to be to keep Trump out of the Oval Office. Stop the BS, guys. Let’s stop Trump.
Martin's rant is eerily reminiscent of ABC's earlier coverage of Manchin's potential moves as somehow "imperiling democracy". This isn’t the first time that Martin has gone into "protect the precious" mode over third-party candidacies, either. During an appearance on Morning Joe, Martin framed the idea of multiple third-party candidacies as “a much tougher scenario for Biden to survive.”
Yeah, head-to-head, he probably would beat Trump. But in a four-person race, when he is facing the threat from the left in Cornell West, who’s taking a couple points from his left, and then facing potentially a kind of center/center-right candidate, former Republican governor or senator, I think that's a much tougher scenario for Biden to survive.
As I mentioned earlier this week, it is outright Orwellian to suggest that individuals exercising their right to run for office as "imperiling democracy". The idea that Biden should pull everyone into the Oval Office and talk them out of running has that same Orwellian tinge, and further clarifies that the Acela Media care less about actual democracy than they do about power. Power for Democrats, and the preservation of their access to it.