Monday, October 01, 2007

Mark Warner's reasons

Mark Warner, the still popular former governor of Virginia, will be a formidable candidate in next year’s race to win the seat in the U.S. Senate that Republican Sen. John Warner had held since winning it in 1978.

As could be expected there are several Republicans who are considering entering the race to take on Mark Warner, who almost certainly will be the Democrats’ candidate. The list includes Warner’s Republican predecessor in the Governor’s Mansion, Jim Gilmore. And, if the Republicans in Virginia are crazy enough to nominate Gilmore they will probably get what they deserve -- something less than 40 percent of the votes.

Meanwhile, Mark Warner should consider how to best clear up something soon. He could do it by sitting for an interview with a writer who would ask him about a number of topics. Among them should be a couple of questions something like those in the paragraph below:

Question: When you discontinued your exploratory campaign for president, you said you were doing so largely because of family considerations. So, has something changed since that decision, family considerations-wise? Or, is a statewide run for the Senate so different from a nationwide presidential campaign that those same considerations didn’t weigh as heavily on your recent decision to become a candidate again?

Then, again, Warner could do it by simply commenting on this post at SLANTblog. Or, he could just issue a statement. But I think the interview process would work best, because the interviewer could follow up. Plus, I think this sort of clarification would fly best in the midst of an interview covering other areas, too.

Why does Mark Warner need to respond to those questions?

Reason No. 1: He needs for anything that has to do with his political career to be an open book. Everybody knows politicians/bureaucrats who say they have dropped out/resigned, because of their need to see more of their families -- wink, wink ... nudge, nudge -- are frequently not telling the entire story. Warner needs to separate himself from those who cynically use such explanations as cover for the real reasons.

Actually, I do think Warner’s citing of family considerations did tell us something about at least part, maybe even most of what convinced him to withdraw. It is no secret that his wife, Lisa Collis, does not always relish the bright-lights scrutiny of being the spouse of a celebrity politician, living in a fishbowl. And, he has three daughters, ages 13, 16 and 17, he obviously wants to see and talk with more than every now and then between fund-raising appearances.

Nonetheless, a more thorough explanation of why Warner quit one political campaign, only to decide to take up another a year later, would do much to provide insight into his decision-making process.

Reason No. 2: Because as long as such questions seem unanswered some of Warner’s opponents are going to exploit the apparent void by speculating that there are hidden reasons that would be embarrassing if they were revealed.

After all, Republican strategists know they can’t beat Warner with any candidate unless they knock down his consistently high approval rating several notches. So, I suspect the rumors circulating that there is something dark and damaging out there, which is being withheld for the time being for some unexplained reason, will continue to be repeated.

Frankly, I doubt there is such a bombshell waiting to scuttle Warner’s run for the Senate. That’s mostly because I think if Warner’s enemies in either party had such material in hand, we would already know plenty about it. Such secrets don’t keep well these days.

So, if Warner moves soon and smoothly to allow sunlight to shine on this matter, then the speculative rumors being promoted now with innuendo will gain no traction whatsoever, none outside of the overactive imaginations of those who are simply wishing there is something wrong with Mark Warner, something convenient and unnoticed before.


Anonymous said...

Good idea, but don't expect him to take you up on it. There'd have to be truth to his previously stated reasons. Otherwise, any interview he gave would only leave more unanswered questions and this will fester even further.

F.T. Rea said...


When you choose to say "fester" it makes me think you're one of those pushing the whisper campaign against Warner my post mentioned.

That you made you comments anonymously speaks for itself.