Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) seems to have some regrets.
The centrist Democrat spent five years as West Virginia's governor, even winning a second term before quitting in 2010 to join the Senate. But now, "people back home" are telling Manchin to ditch the Senate to run for governor again, and he's thinking about it, he tells The Hill.
Manchin's Senate votes align more with President Trump than any other Democrat in the body, likely because he comes from a very red state. Yet even though he was reelected for another six years just a few months ago, Manchin already seems to be sick of playing the wild card. "I haven't been happy since I've been here," Manchin tells The Hill, saying there's no room for bipartisanship in the "legislative graveyard" Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has created.
Manchin's attitude hasn't gone unnoticed. One unnamed Democratic senator recalled Manchin getting "all pissed off" and saying "'I'm going to be out of here.'" Another claims Manchin has "been fed up for a long time" and has mentioned how "so many people" are trying to talk him into running for governor. And a third says when they ask Manchin about his future, "All he says is, 'I'll be here until 2020,'"The Hill reports.
In contrast, Manchin has called his time as governor "the best job in the world." Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), another Democrat from a red state, also pointed out that Manchin "had a helicopter and an airplane and all that stuff when he was governor." But while the Senate job "is different from that," Tester, who calls Manchin "a friend," says he doesn't think Manchin will end up quitting.