Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Yes to Mark Warner in 2008

In reading various articles, commentaries and posts on the topic of whether the former governor of Virginia, Mark Warner, ought to run for the U.S. Senate, I’ve noticed those who like to think they’re in the know seem to lean toward believing/hoping that Warner will save himself for the gubernatorial race in 2009.

Some offer that Warner is probably better at being an executive, they suggest he is less suited to being one of 100 members of a deliberative body. Others may be licking their lips, as they imagine him facing the bumbling George Allen in 2009, and trouncing the old football coach’s son so thoroughly it will send him and his cowboy boots into permanent retirement in Southern California.

Well, my quick take on it is that Mark Warner ought to run for the retiring Sen. John Warner’s seat in the Senate next year. It says here he would handily defeat any Republican now on the political landscape; I also think he’d make a good senator.

Why not? Plus, I say the Democrats ought to run one race at a time, fielding the best candidate they can find each time.

After Gov. Tim Kaine’s term is done, judging by how it looks today, the Democrats will have a nice list of capable nominees to run against Allen, or anyone else the Republicans come up with. Now that Allen has been exposed as the counterfeit Southern gentleman he posed as during his years in office, he is damaged goods.

Right now, about all the Virginia GOP has going for it is its withering majority in the General Assembly. We’ll soon see how that holds up. Moreover, I don’t see a strong statewide candidate on their roster. Jim Gilmore? Virgil Goode? I doubt either could get 40 percent of the vote.

Sure, someone could emerge, but given its history over the last six years, it is more likely the Republican Party in Virginia will continue to dwell on fighting within its own ranks, and continue to unravel.

So, first things first: Mark Warner runs and wins in 2008, then we’ll see about 2009.

Photo of Mark Warner by F.T. Rea

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