What Next

The Most Powerful Man in Washington?

Just how much sway does Joe Manchin have?

Illustration depicting a female with a microphone

Listen longer

Slate Plus members get ad-free versions of all Slate podcasts, plus extra segments, bonus episodes, and more. Try it free today.

Join Slate Plus

Episode Notes

As soon as the Democrats won a slim 50–50 majority in the senate, the jokes about President Joe Manchin started flying. The Senate’s self described “conservative Democrat” from West Virginia is in a key position to influence legislation during the Biden administration. How will he wield that power?

Guests: Jim Newell, senior politics reporter for Slate, and Ken Ward Jr., co-founder of Mountain State Spotlight and distinguished reporting fellow for ProPublica

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.

Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Davis Land, Danielle Hewitt, and Elena Schwartz.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

All episodes


  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.