An article published earlier this week on Politico.com again led to discussions in the Mountain State as to whether U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., would leave Washington for a chance to return to the governor’s seat in 2016.
He told the beltway publication he was “absolutely” considering a run for the top spot in West Virginia. In the past he’s said he loved being governor and doesn’t like the “dysfunction” of D.C., but an absolutely is a (perhaps subtle, but important) difference.
I’ve asked his spokesman repeatedly since Tuesday for comment from the senator. Manchin declined comment to the Daily Mail. No direct comment from Manchin about the possibility of running for governor appeared in a Gazette story today either.
Here’s what his spokesman sent me Wednesday (and the Gazette, apparently):
“Senator Manchin loved being Governor of West Virginia, and has made no secret of his frustration with the partisan gridlock and dysfunction of Washington. He is fully committed to his job as Senator and fights every day to improve the lives of the people he is honored to represent. Senator Manchin is leaving all his options open for 2016, and will continue to look for the best way to bring commonsense to Washington.”
In the past the senator told me he wouldn’t make a decision about anything until after the 2014 election. He didn’t answer questions about his future plans then either.