New US Senator Joe Manchin is speaking at the debut event today of No Labels, a centrist group headlined by names such as Michael Bloomberg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Joe Lieberman, Evan Bayh, Mike Castle and Charlie Crist. (UPDATE: Joe Sestak too.)
Here's how the group describes itself:
Put the Labels Aside. Do What's Best for America.
We are Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who are united in the belief that we do not have to give up our labels, merely put them aside to do what's best for America.
It's notable that most of the politicians backing the group are ones who have been burned by ideological elements within their own parties. (There's something about politicians not "seeing the light" until they lose.) Castle and Inglis both lost Republican primaries against more-conservative challengers this year, Lieberman lost a Democratic Senate primary in 2006 before winning as an independent candidate, and Davis opted not to run for the Senate in 2008 because of the strength of conservative party activists in the nomination process.
Check out the group's website below. The group has lined up an impressive list of strategists from both sides of the aisle, including Republican message guru Mark McKinnon and big league Democratic operative Nancy Jacobson.