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No Labels, Mo’ Problems

Nancy Jacobson, joe manchin, jon huntsman
The No Labels gambit was doomed to fail because it was misaligned with the guiding north star of any politician: self-interest. Photo: Amanda Voisard/Getty Images
Peter Hamby
April 8, 2024

When No Labels announced late last week that they were finally abandoning their multimillion-dollar effort to field a centrist, third-party ticket for president this November, I texted a Democrat close to Joe Biden’s campaign to see if they wanted to gloat. “Ha, negative,” this Democrat said. “That’s how little they matter.” 

That’s been the vibe lately, sure. No Labels has been positively necrotic for months now. They asked some 30 politicians (plus The Rock) to run for president under their vapid banner of bipartisanship and “commonsense solutions.” All of them said no. It all became an embarrassing, barrel-scraping exercise that emasculated the No Labels cause in real time, as one after another would-be candidate announced to the media they weren’t interested in risking their necks for a doomed cause. (The Rock returned to the WWE instead.) After the death last month of their founding chairman, Joe Lieberman, it felt like the end was near for No Labels, too.