Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he might forgo another term in Congress and run again for governor.
In two TV appearances in as many days, Manchin, who served as governor from 2005 to 2010, expressed frustration with the partisan gridlock that he said has prevented passage of certain legislation, including a measure to construct the Keystone XL pipeline and a bill to increase the minimum wage.
“I felt more productive as governor than any time in my life in anything I've ever done,” Manchin told CNN on Sunday when host Candy Crowley asked if he would prefer to be a governor again.
“I haven't had that same feeling as Senate. I have had an opportunity to learn and grow as a senator, to see the world differently and see my country differently, and I think now that I've seen it, I would like to be productive enough and be able to contribute to make a difference. If that's going to be stopped because of pure hardcore politics, then I've got to make a decision after this cycle of 2014's over, and I will do it. I kept all options open. I will keep all options open. “
Manchin on Monday repeated his wavering feelings about serving in the Senate on MSNBC, and also told the network if he had been running for office this year, he would not campaign with President Obama, whose sliding approval ratings have prompted an allergic reaction from several vulnerable red-state Democrats who have refused to be seen with him.
Manchin told “Morning Joe” that he would wait until the end of the year “to see what shakes out,” and that if the gridlock persists, “I’ve got to rethink” another run for the Senate.
Manchin first won his seat in a November 2010 special election to replace Sen. Robert Byrd, who died in office. He had to run again two years later to secure a full six-year term, which expires in 2018.
In January, Manchin is poised to become the state’s senior U.S. senator when Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat, retires.
But Manchin said he may walk away from it all.
“If I don't think that I'm being productive and contributing to something in a positive manner, I have got to evaluate where I'm at and where I can maybe be most effective, if I still have the desire of public service, which runs through every part of my vein and body and fiber,” Manchin told CNN.
Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin, the current governor, was elected to replace Manchin. His term expires in 2016 and he is prohibited from running for another term.