I won’t do any more posts about college football for a while, but I do have to report I was able to attend the Georgia-Georgia Tech game in Athens yesterday. As you may have heard, Georgia won a thriller, 15-12, over the nationally ranked Jackets (out of respect, I won’t call them Dirt Daubers today), their sixth straight win in the intrastate series. Tech goes on to play in the ACC championship game against (surprise) Wake Forest, while Georgia has salvaged a disappointing season with back-to-back wins over Auburn and Tech, and will probably go to the best of the non-BCS bowls, the Chick-Fil-A (formerly the Peach Bowl).Georgia true Freshman Matthew Stafford showed why he will probably, if he stays healthy, be an all-American QB before he leaves Athens. But perhaps the two biggest stars were on defense: the routinely brilliant LB Tony Taylor, who alertly plucked a Reggie Ball fumble from a pile-up and ran it in for Georgia’s first TD, and defensive back Paul Oliver, who held superstar Tech receiver Calvin Johnson to two receptions for 13 yards, and made an interception to ice the game.It was truly a fun late afternoon and evening in the Classic City, and left me looking forward to next season like a child counting the days until Xmas.NOTE: In my next post, I’ll explain some significant changes in this blog and my own professional life. It’s not as dramatic as The Moose’s sudden blog shutdown and his departure for Liebermanland, and certainly won’t get any attention beyond regular readers, so I’ll make it snappy and return to previously scheduled blogging.
TDS Strategy Memos
Latest Research from:
By Ed Kilgore
You might have missed a potentially significant political story involving a non-candidate for president, so I wrote about it at New York:
One variable in the fraught and complex 2024 presidential election has now been put to rest: Democratic senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has announced he will not pursue an independent or “unity ticket” candidacy for president this year, as USA Today reports:
“Manchin made the announcement during a speaking engagement at West Virginia University for his recently created nonprofit group Americans Together, which is aimed at connecting and empowering moderate voices.
“’I will not be seeking a third-party run, I will not be involved in a presidential run,’ Manchin, 76, told the crowd. ‘I will be involved in making sure that we secure a president who has the knowledge, has the function and has the ability to bring this country together.’”
He argued that “the system right now is not set up” for candidates not affiliated with either major political party to win the presidency but said that in the “long game” there could be room to make a third party viable.
Manchin’s vow not to be “involved in a presidential run” seems also to preclude a vice-presidential candidacy, which had seemed a possibility if No Labels, the nonpartisan organization with which Manchin has been closely associated, winds up sponsoring a ticket headed by a Republican. His subsequent comment about the kind of president he wanted to help the country secure could indicate that for all his third-party flirtations and ideological heresies, Manchin might endorse a second term for Joe Biden. He could not possibly have been talking about Donald Trump by referring to a president who had “the ability to bring this country together.”
In any event, Manchin’s decision was good news for his party’s 2024 prospects. There’s likely a ceiling on Trump’s support well short of a popular majority, so it’s a strategic imperative for Biden to corral anti-Trump voters without too much competition from minor candidates, and particularly from a well-known Democrat.
The announcement obviously takes away one option for No Labels, which is reportedly in the process of interviewing potential candidates, even though the group has not formally decided whether to undertake a campaign (it has, however, secured ballot access in 13 states so far).
It also likely means Manchin has run his last campaign. He chose not to run for a third full term in the Senate this year, likely because West Virginia had turned so bright red that even a relatively conservative Democrat would have no real chance of winning, particularly in a presidential-election year. With no electoral base, the 76-year-old former governor will wind up his Senate service and presumably retire to his houseboat. His family already dodged one calamity this year when Manchin’s wife, Gayle, survived a serious car accident. A futile presidential run would not have improved their quality of life.