Monday, December 19, 2005

Sexual Orientation in the Workplace

Governor Mark R. Warner is trying to amend the equal opportunity policy of the Commonwealth to prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. I'm sure there will be the usual criticism that here is another politician "changing course" to pander to his base. Well, anticipating this type of unfair criticism, Eddie over at the Draft Mark Warner blog does a good job of listing Warner’s historical efforts to support his GLBT constituents. Read Eddie's blog entry.


Conaway Haskins on the blog Think South gives greater detail into how Warner is trying to accomplish inserting this provision into state law and it is brilliant! Essentially he is turning the tables on the GOP, putting them over a barrel and making them feel the pain for being divisive.

There are too many politicians in Democratic safe seats who blow hot air on social issues, but never are able to actually accomplish anything tangible. They always have "the other" party to blame for their failure. I find it refreshing that Warner instead of just blowing hot air on gay rights (not followed by results) he found a way to insert a crack in the wall of Virginia social conservatives. Results not decibel level should matter...

Conaway Haskins ends with the following observation and lets hope it is true:

If the provision holds, it could signal a shift in the politics of gay rights in Virginia, a cradle of Christian conservatism and home to giants of the Right, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

Read more!

Larry Sabato to Host own Show on MSNBC?

Well if Howard Fineman's Newsweek article is right, MSNBC might just want to offer the Virginia professor his own show. Fineman pens an article titled "The Virginians" starring none other than Gov. Mark Warner and Sen. George Allen. In a theme that we are sure to hear in 2008 many times, the possibility of an intra-commonwealth rivalry between the Virginia titans has political pundits licking their chops.

As young men in law school in the 1970s, neither Mark Warner nor George Allen set the legal world on fire. At Harvard, Warner founded a group called the Somerville Bar Review—that's "bar" as in drinking studies, not professional ones. "I was the only guy I knew who didn't get law-firm offers after summer internships," he says.

At the University of Virginia, Allen lived in a cabin on the mountaintop next to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. But the scenery did more to inspire a passion for deer hunting than textbook reading; his mud-spattered truck was a rare sight in the law-school parking lot. "I probably didn't fit in real well," he says. See more:

Read more!

National Journal Insiders Poll

National Journal released its Presidential insider poll on Saturday. Mark Warner jumped one spot to slide into a fairly comfortable number two position behind Hillary. While insiders still think Hillary is the candidate to beat, Warner has become the viable alternative. John Edwards continues his fall to the number three position, while John Kerry drops three more positions to number eight.

Candidate / Points / 1st Place Votes
1.Hillary Clinton / 440 / 76
2.Mark Warner / 283 / 10
3.John Edwards / 170 / 5
4.Evan Bayh / 105 / 3
5.Tom Vilsack / 100 / 1
6.Joe Biden / 79 / 1
7.Bill Richardson / 72 / 1
8.John Kerry / 69 / 0
9.Al Gore / 46 / 1
10.Wesley Clark / 34 / 0

The Insiders Poll listed Sen. George Allen of Virginia in the number one spot for Republican Presidential favorite in 2008. If you didn't see it last week, Warner Watch linked to a Rasmussen poll showing Warner beating Allen 49% to 44% for President among the voters of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Here is National Journal's commentary about Gov. Warner:

He has some personal wealth, and has received a strong response from the Virginia election this year. He is the Southern alternative, as well as the strongest moderate alternative. Warner has some outsider potential and a good story from the last Virginia election, but clinching the nomination is tougher when not occupying an office - harder to break through and make news.

Can a right-of-center, pro-business Democrat get the Democratic nomination? In any event; already on the short list for VP.

If Warner's recent trip to New Hampshire is any indication, he has a chance. But if he is to beat Hillary, he will need to keep exciting people while also proving he can win in the general election and proving Hillary can't. Warner has to quietly build an organization and educate himself to the land mines of a national run. My fear is that the early spate of good press will give Warner the impression this is a merry-go-round, when it really is a wild roller-coaster ride.

I do like the fact they pointed out Warner's outsider potential. He has a strong case to be the outside Washington candidate for President. A governor/ businessman running against the mess in Washington is always a good story. Why? His competition is the Democratic Senate Club of Clinton, Kerry, Edwards, Bayh, Biden, Feingold, and maybe even former Sen. Gore.

But I still don't think some of the insiders really get Warner. In the Virginia governor, they just see another DLC Democrat who is centrist for the sake of being moderate, but has electability outside Democratic strongholds. But this view misses the direction Warner is headed in entirely. His centrism is not the mealy-mouthed centrism of someone in the middle because they lack conviction. He simply can't be defined by the political left, right or center if he is going to be about grabbing the American peoples attention with powerful ideas and an expansive vision for America's future.

The real issues we face are no longer right vs. left or conservative vs. liberal. They’re about past vs. future. Our challenge, as Democrats, is to reclaim our role as the party of the future. - Mark Warner

Read more!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Left Coaster Attacks Warner - Washington Rolling in His Grave

Gov. Warner's recent (sliced) quote in Times Community paper (Northern VA) are now the subject of controversy by a liberal blogger. The incomplete quote in contention:

“Where I disagree with the president is not any action he took, but in an action he has not taken: His need to make an appeal to all Americans to stand up and be great,” Warner said. “After 9/11, after the war, after Katrina ... We know we have enormous challenges, and we know the problems will not be solved by a Democratic or Republican solution but by Americans stepping up and rolling up their sleeves.”

The Left Coaster angrily responds:

But if you are going to give Bush a pass in an attempt to move beyond the divisiveness and poor judgment of the last five years, then you are not going to get past the primaries.

You’re not running to be a cheerleader here governor, you’re running to show voters why the Democrats need to be returned to the White House and what they would differently to address the country’s challenges. And Stuart Smalley-platitudes like this don’t point out differences, or tell voters why they should vote Democratic in 2008. Ignoring the Bush years is not a recipe for change.

Okay, I have two problems with this blog.

1) I understand that the Left Coaster probably has a chip on his shoulder since Warner is precieved as a "centrist," but it really burns me his how he uses an incomplete quotation from Warner's speech to make the attack.

If he had bothered to do any research before blogging, he would have known exactly the full context of Warner's comments. Matter-of-fact in covering the same part of the stump speech, the Washington Post leads with the title of "Warner Faults Bush for 'Missed Opportunity.'"

Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) criticized President Bush yesterday for missing an opportunity after the 2001 terrorist attacks to rally Americans around solving some of the nation's intractable problems.

After a speech to journalists at the National Press Club in downtown Washington, Warner said that the country yearned to shed partisan differences after the attacks and come together toward a common purpose.

Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner said that "too often, the only people . . . asked for sacrifice" have been military and National Guard members and families. Warner said Bush could have gathered support for such goals as cutting the federal deficit, increasing energy independence and aiding a struggling educational system.

"I wish and pray that it would have happened," Warner said. "Instead, what we got was that folks like me got a tax break. Most Americans are told to go about their daily lives. And, too often, the only people that were asked for sacrifice were the members and families of our active duty, Guard and Reserve."

He said Democrats across the country have "a lot of frustration" with Bush. But he said his "biggest concern with the president is not any particular policy issue. It is really that chance, I think, of missed opportunity." Entire article:

In the stump speeches I have heard, Warner takes on the Bush Administration on various policy issues. Yes, while his speech is full of policy differences with the Bush Administration, but his main attack (biggest concern) is personally directed at Bush for not calling the American people to be great. Warner is saying Bush lacks leadership as reflected by his responses to 9-11 and Katrina. Hey, Warner should know. You don't build a company like Nextel from the ground up without being able to lead and motivate people. Warner is speaking from his heart about the "single characteristic" he values most in President.

2) The other criticism is less bothersome than just blatantly misrepresenting Warner’s remarks. I sense that Warner was not "angry" enough with the President to suit the Left Coaster.

Sen. Barack Obama recently took issue with the “angry left” ascertain that Democrats need to get meaner and madder to beat the Republicans. Barack’s response is a must read for all Democrats.

And lastly, I defer to George Washington’s Farewell Address and his warning to our country about the negative effects of partisan spirit.

Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but in those of the popular form it is seen in its greatest rankness and is truly their worst enemy....

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasionally riot and insurrection…

But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose; and there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

If the Left Coaster wants to call Warner naive for agreeing with the greatest Virginian, then so be it. I, for one, applaud him for trying to move Americans beyond the “baneful effects.”

Read more!

Biblical Bumper Stickers for 2008

When I saw Gov. Warner in Chicago, he told a humorous story about a bumper sticker the campaign printed for his Senate campaign against Sen. John Warner. The bumper sticker simply read:

Mark, Not John

Mark and a staffer were driving around Danville, Virginia. Another car stopped beside the Senate candidate at a red light, motioned to roll down the window and asked, “Mark, not John? What is that some sort of biblical reference?”

At Warner Watch, I am all about having empathy. You know what, I feel bad that other Presidential 2008 candidates don’t have as great a bumper sticker story to tell. So I have done some research, and pulled out some potential “bumper stickers” for the other candidates to use. Here goes:

Thy Holy Hill – (Psalm 43)

John from Heaven or from Men?
– (Mark Chapter 11)

The Lord has Bidden – (Joshua Chapter 8)

Read more!

Other Warner News

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports Virginia Governor Mark Warner will be the speaker at the state party’s biggest annual event. The “100 Club” dinner will be held on February 10th. See link:

This early in the cycle, presidential polls are based largely on name recognition and not what candidate the big money or serious organizers are rallying behind. However, they are however a good gauge for finding out whether lesser-known candidates are starting to break through in name recognition.

A new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll for the Democratic nomination shows:
Clinton - 43%
Kerry - 14%
Edwards - 14%
Biden - 8%
Warner - 3%
Richardson - 3%
Bayh - 1%
Vilsack - 1%

Because Warner is moving up the name recognition polls ever so slowly, I am hoping my early fears that he was peaking too early misplaced.

Still I also found this poll interesting in that Sen. Russ Feingold did not even register. He is my bet to be the darling of the left.

Read more!

The Only Morally Acceptable Course

After recent exonerations from DNA testing in decades old convictions, Gov. Warner ordered a sweeping review of thousands of cases to determine if new DNA evidence would produce more wrongly convicted Virginians. The Washington Post has more on this story.

RICHMOND, Dec. 14 -- Newly tested DNA from rapes committed more than 20 years ago has exonerated two Virginians who had each spent more than a decade behind bars, reigniting a national debate about post-conviction testing of biological evidence.

Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) announced the test results Wednesday. One of the defendants served 20 years in prison for a rape in Alexandria that the new testing shows he did not commit. The other man was released in 1992 after serving about 11 years for an assault in Norfolk. The governor did not reveal the names of the exonerated men because they had requested privacy. Warner said the discovery of two innocent men among the 31 newly examined cases compels an even more sweeping review. He ordered that 660 boxes containing thousands of files from 1973 through 1988 be examined for cases that can be retested using the latest DNA technology. There is no estimate on how long that would take or how much it would cost.

"I believe a look back at these retained case files is the only morally acceptable course, and what truth they can bring only bolsters confidence in our system," Warner said in a statement. Warner's order stems from the accidental discovery in 2001 of a treasure trove of evidence, including some aging biological samples, stapled to the yellowing case files of a former analyst in Virginia's state-run forensics lab. It is not clear why the analyst, who is dead, had meticulously preserved the evidence in the days before DNA tests existed.

Prosecutors in Alexandria and Norfolk have requested that the governor issue complete pardons in both cases. Read more:

Read more!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

DemIowa Blogger? Outreach?

A blogger at (presumably from Iowa) is asking if Iowans want to meet Gov. Warner.

Interested in meeting Gov. WarnerOr better yet, interested in possibly hosting Gov. Warner? He is planning on making a foray into Iowa in Jan/Feb and is looking for possible hosts. My understanding is the only requirements is it be open to the public and this time of year be able to host 20-30 people if lucky. (The closer to caucus the bigger the expected turn out.) If you, or anyone you know, might be interested just leave an email address or other contact information and I will forward it on.

I saw this post yesterday, but the site looked a little sketchy becuase there are only three months of sporatic posts.

The Hotline seems to think it is for real.

Not a surprise: VA Gov. Mark Warner is set to make his first stop in Iowa in either Jan. or Feb, and his Forward Together PAC is scouting out possibilities. With superblogger Jerome Armstrong on staff, natch, they're looking to bloggers for assistance.

Hmmm... I am very skeptical that this is an systematic attempt by the Warner PAC to reach out to Iowa through a concerted effort focused on Iowa bloggers. This is much to do about nothing.

As an Iowa caucus veteran, bypassing usual rounds of the "make-or-break" caucus organizers to meet first with bloggers in the state would be suicidal. In Iowa there are three factors to winning, organization, organization and organization. It is not a primary, where people walk into a voting booth anonymously and leave within fifteen minutes. Iowa caucus goers have to venture forth into the miserable cold, and endure two to three hours of speeches and haggling before they are allowed to leave. Only local political organizers have the ability to deliver enough people to make the difference from precinct to precinct, and they know it. They expect a certain amount of personal attention from the candidate, and certainly expect the proper protocol that when the candidate first comes into town, they are invited to host/attend.

I was one of the Whouley's 500 and witness to the planned massacre Kerry laid for Dean in the last two weeks of election in 2004. No other candidate was even close to Kerry in organization.

With that said about staying away from the unique animal that is Iowa (and I assume NH too), I think it would be great for Warner to start doing a "tour" of the liberal blogosphere and meeting with grassroots groups. He should go hit the big urban areas (NY, LA, Chicago, etc) to help him start building an Internet base. These areas will return Warner's money ten-fold down the stretch and help build his name recognition.

Read more!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Exchange with Blue Dog

Below is part of an exchange I am having with Blue Dog over at his site. He poses the following questions.

Steven Sisson said... Daniel, where does VA Governor Mark Warner rate as far as name recognition with other national Democrats in the state of Illinois? And has our Governor scheduled an appearance in the Mid-Eastern region with the Democratic establishment?

Other than Governor Warner's popularity with pro-choice VA Democrats, what has Warner legislated or accomplished during his tenure as Governor to earn him the title of a "social moderate" concerning his appeal in suburban areas nationwide?

Is Mark Warner considered a fiscal conservative, or a 'tax & spend' liberal Democrat?
~ the blue dog

Later this week, the Blue's Blogisphere will be adding the Warner Watch blog.
My response as follows:

Daniel Dennison said... I saw him in downtown Chicago in a small group luncheon about two weeks before the Kaine victory. Since then he has gained significant name recognition... I have offered to host young professional event for him here, and have no doubt I can pack the place (due to his popularity).

To your question "Is Mark Warner considered a fiscal conservative, or a 'tax & spend' liberal Democrat?" I think both Warner and his opponents have the opportunity to define him as either. Right now within the Democratic community, he is viewed as a fiscal conservative, and known to have cut spending in Virginia, but roundly cheered for tax reform.

To your question of "social moderate," the standard is different than that of a social conservative or liberal. Those are both terms defined by "action" while social moderation is defined by being savvy enough to nagivate around the landmines of the culture "wars."

Read more!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Warner is Just Instinctively likeable

There are some themes that I am continuing to hear about Warner in the blogosphere. People just love his self-effacing humor and plain speaking manner. He has a genuineness not evident in most politicians. Even Grouchy over at Liberaltopia seems dangerously temped to fall "in love."

The Tattlesnake could go on, but what’s the point; yes, most politicians are lily-livered scoundrels — it seems to accompany the territory — and they are notorious, artful and ardent prevaricators, compared to the rest of the population, who only lie a little occasionally to get by.

Taking all this into account, Tattlesnake was impressed yesterday listening to a speech by outgoing Virginia Gov. Mark Warner on C-Span.

He exudes a quiet charisma that is a meld of RFK and Jimmy Stewart’s Jefferson Smith; he has an array of funny self-deprecating anecdotes, and the blue-collar offering that he is the first to graduate from college in his family, a claim one hopes is more accurate than Joe Biden’s 1988 campaign trail fraud with the same rose-from-the-working-class ornament that Biden stole from a successful British Labour Party politician. Warner also jokes about the mistakes he made in business before striking gold with Nextel, a refreshing change from the standard neo-Republican denial of all human error, past, present or future.

Encouraging as well is that he can speak plain English, unlike the finely-diced phrases of the Gore of 2000, or the verbal tossed salad of George W. Bush; and he can explain such things as the successes of his education program in a few concise paragraphs, mercifully free of the ponderous and soporific Washingtonese of John Kerry. In a debate with Hillary, Warner would be the honest Common Man to Sen. Clinton’s cunning and calculating pol.

As he pointed out in his C-Span speech to a South Carolina Democratic group, when he was elected governor of Virginia, the state was staggering under billions of dollars in GOP debt. In four years, he managed to balance the budget through surgical cuts, while paying bonuses to teachers, improving the educational system, and bringing good-paying jobs to rural areas of the state. He even made some friends among Virginia Republicans along the way. All of these talents will be needed in the next president, and no other Dem currently in the running (officially or not) possesses them, although New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson would be a close second to Warner in these qualities, but Richardson doesn’t have the photogenic appeal.

A close female friend who watched Warner’s speech mentioned his lanky handsomeness and energizing straightforwardness, with just enough friendly salesmanship to win an election without the off-putting hard sell; she said she would find it very easy to vote for him for president. He’s also smart enough to do what Howard Dean was ridiculed for suggesting in 2004; he took his gubernatorial campaign right into the heart of Red State country in southern Virginia, advertised at NASCAR rallies, and spoke to rural audiences, but not down to them, and they listened. He didn’t concede any voting bloc to the Republicans and he won. In a national campaign, vital tier GOP states like Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Missouri and his home state of Virginia would fall easily to Warner’s mid-southern charm; even Deep South states might not drop automatically into the R column, especially in the wake of Republican bungling of post-hurricane disaster relief. And, like Bill Clinton, northern, midwestern and coastal states would not be put off by his hint-of-Dixie likeability, fused as it is to a can-do progressive sensibility and a track record of competent accomplishment.

If Tattlesnake were a Republican, he’d be shaking in his tasseled loafers over a Dem ‘Dream Team’ of Warner for President and Wes Clark for Veep. Hillary may worry the GOP; Warner and Clark would be their cold screaming nightmare.

Qualifier: Of course, Warner may turn out to be the emptiest suit in presidential history, but he sure as hell looks promising, and electable, at the moment.

Read more!

Warner in the Blogosphere & Media

There is rather lengthy and "spicy" debate going on over at the Drudge Retort about Mark Warner. Join in the fun here.

In case you missed it, Daily Kos calls Warner the candidate to watch. Yup, I think we got it covered.

I don't see it, but the guy over at Oval Office 08 in the post seems to think Evan Bayh and Mark Warner are interchangable candidates for President. Ick, Bayh excites me as much as helping my wife (a teacher) grade her school papers.

The Penndit runs down Warner news articles over the last couple weeks. While most have already been featured on this blog or in the sidebar roll of articles, he has brief descriptions to help you sort through what you want to see.

The RCP blog has a comprehensive entry on Vilsack, Edwards and Warner's Florida visit. Best detail I have seen yet. St. Petersburgh Times with more here.

Time Magazine Mike Allen made the following statement on Meet the Press yesterday:

Democrats are trying to find someone to respond to the State of the Union address. A lot of people obviously wanted Congressman Murtha. Democrats have decided that he can't because he doesn't speak to everyone. So now I would look for a new face, like Governor-elect Tim Kaine of Virginia to give that response.

Raising Kaine has a good suggestion if not Kaine... How about Warner? Oh, I can just see the sleepless nights for about six Senators named Clinton, Kerry, Bayh, Biden, Feingold and Edwards. How dare the DNC let this governor with no Washington experience speak for Democrats?

Capital Sunday 7 interviewed Gov. Warner. Video here.

Read more!

Behold the NY Times Awakens

Maybe the New York Times has avoided covering Warner's meteoric rise in the last three weeks due to deference for the "hometown" gal Hillary, maybe not but for whatever reason the Warner coverage drought has ended... Published today, an article reviewed Warner's last few weeks while containing enough prefunctory Hillary ass-kissing presumably to let the Big Apple know their Senator was still the "top dog" in the race.

"Clearly, Hillary Clinton is the first among equals," said Don Fowler of South Carolina, a former Democratic National Committee chairman. "But clearly, Warner is now among the people you have to take seriously."

"I don't think 'front-runner' is too strong a word in describing her," said Mr. Fowler, the former Democratic chairman, referring to polls showing that Mrs. Clinton enjoys greater support among Democrats than anyone else mentioned as a possible presidential contender in the party.

The article did point out the strength Warner has: he isn't Hillary, and he has no baggage.

Still, some strategists maintain that Governor Warner may benefit from the fact that he is an unknown quantity. It provides him with the opportunity to fill in the blanks, these strategists say, as he introduces himself to party regulars, whereas Mrs. Clinton is already considered a polarizing figure.

As Mr. Fowler put it, Mr. Warner has "no known negatives" at this point. "He has an opportunity to write on a clean slate," Mr. Fowler said. Read the entire article:

Read more!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Warner's Easy Popularity

Warner has come from nowhere in a matter of weeks to one of the frontrunners. When this blog started, Warner was a statistical footnote on presidential polls.

I don't believe most Democrats who are hearing about Warner know very much about him at all. What I do believe Warner's rise clearly shows is that the Democratic base is not going to be told, "Hillary is your nominee." I think we are in a pretty rebellious mood right now both lefties and centrists.

The truth is Feingold / Edwards / Gore will probably be the next "Presidential flavor-of-the-month" after the left finds a candidate to love. But the result is Warner continues to solidified himself as the centrist candidate making it very hard for Vilsack, Bayh and Clark to emerge. Plus Warner is expanding his base by locking down the South in his camp (see recent visits to FL and SC).

If the press gets a tantilizing three way, the other candidates are probably out in the cold.

Read more!

Eleanor Clift Newsweek Blog: Clinton vs. Warner

I blogged a couple of weeks ago that I was increasing becoming uncomfortable that Warner has pushed to the forefront of the pack too early and relatively effortlessly. No doubt, he is now considered a front-runner. But I'll be honest, I don't like the Hillary-Warner match-ups this early. First, I am not convinced Hillary is even going to run. She might be using the speculation to build up a huge Senate war chest to help her push into Senate leadership. Second, the frontrunner always has a sore tail by the time the first caucus comes around. It would be better if Hillary or even the liberal candidate Feingold / Gore were front-runners until the primary season rolls around. Then Democratic voters usually leave their "flirtations" for someone electable like Warner.

But we have to have the horserace, what else would I blog about? In the new, but rapidly growing genre of Clinton vs. Warner writers, please let me introduce Eleanor Clift. In her Newsweek web only content, she pretty much trashes Hillary. Please Eleanor enough! We need Hillary around for another year and half...

It’s not just the left-right thing that could slow Hillary’s march to the nomination. It’s the transparency of what she’s doing that has even her biggest fans worried. It doesn’t look authentic. If primary voters conclude they need a Red State friendly candidate, Virginia Gov. Mark Warner is the real thing. Why settle for Red State-lite Hillary? Warner is already where he needs to be on the right, and he’s inching to the left, an easier task all around.

If there’s a formula for electing a Democrat president, Warner is the latest iteration. Like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, he’s a son of the South, although by way of Indiana, Illinois and Connecticut. Warner was not born in Virginia, but his cultural adaptation has been flawless. It must drive Hillary bats to watch Warner glide seamlessly left while her lurches to the right are cast as opportunism.

His challenge is to demonstrate expertise in national security, which he doesn’t have. Democrats want to win, and they’ll abandon Hillary in a New York minute if they think there’s a new more competitive model coming on line. See entire article:

Read more!

Warner's Florida Trip Roundup

Jerome Armstrong has a blog up on the Forward Together PAC site about Warner's trip to Florida.

Hotline's Marc Ambinder was at the event. His follow up blog entry is the best condensation that I have ever seen of a political stump speech. Read his blog entry The Warner Stump.

Ambinder also throws in these observations.

Closing thoughts: "if you think the changes of the last 10 years economically, culturally or technology have been significant, you haven't seen anything like the change that's going to come during the next 10 years."
Reaction from journalists/Dem strategists: for a guy two years away from a presidential bid, he has a darn good message
Audience reaction: the only featured meal speaker to get a standing ovation upon introduction. And during the speech.

Read more!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Warner in the Blogosphere

On Vintage blog the "Case Against Hillary" and essentially the case for Warner.

Warner is a Democrat with pride and power. Warner is a Democrat who can win, should win, and very well could win, the presidency in 2008. Warner has the appeal of being a successful moderate liberal in a conservative state. He has “real guy” appeal and a sense of humor. This country needs a president who represents his party’s true values, rather than runs from them, and who connects with America’s majority--the middle class. Mark Warner is that guy; Hillary Clinton is not even close.
Warner's in the Money from the Last Polka blogspot...

There is a lot of buzz about this guy - my general feeling is he is for real. I've noted before how I feel about a Warner campaign. He's got everything the Democrats have been lacking in the last 2 elections. Everywhere he's gone since his Lt. Gov. got elected to be his successor, Warner has been received very well. Democrats and activists in important primary states are getting excited about this guy. Again, I say...Watch out Hillary (and any other ambitious Dems).
The Next Prez has the buzz on Presidential rankings.

1. Hillary Clinton (steady) -- The New York senator remains the clear front runner for the Democratic nomination by a wide margin in national and state-specific polls, but has generated little enthusiasm on the Internet so far. 2. Mark Warner (rising) -- The soon-to-be former Virginia governor is barely starting to register in Democratic preference polls nationally, but blockbuster fundraising events in Virginia and South Carolina show that he will be a serious contender by 2008.

Although I was not aware Warner held a fundraiser in South Carolina. He just attended a Democratic dinner there.

Read more!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Warner - Zogby and Rasmussen

A friend of mine, who is regularly polled by Zogby, got another request yesterday. About 1/3 of the survey was on Presidential candidates. Only five (potential) candidates were included in the Republican versus Democratic head to heads. Included were three Democrats Hillary, Kerry, Warner, and two Republicans Rice, McCain. There were also several biographical questions on Warner to find out what level of name recognition and exactly how much people knew about him.

If the Zogby poll is giving candidate Warner so much attention this early, sounds like he is going to be considered top tier for the presidential hunt. Hope this poll will be made public...

Released today - Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports surveyed Virginia voters to find out who they would prefer in a head-to-head match-up between their Senator and Governor for the President in 2008. Just in case you were wondering Virginia was won by Bush by 9% in 2004. The state has 13 electoral votes, but for Democrats this would represent a 26% swing. Drum roll please...

Survey of 500 Likely Voters
December 7, 2005
Election 2008

Virginia President
George Allen (R) 44%
Mark Warner (D) 49%
Other 8%

December 9, 2005--Virginia Senator George Allen (R) and outgoing Governor Mark Warner (D) are both mentioned as serious contenders for their party's Presidential nomination. If both capture their party nominations, Warner holds a slight edge in the race for home state bragging rights and Virginia's Electoral Votes.

The latest Rasmussen Reports election poll in Virginia shows Warner the favorite for 49% of the state's Likely Voters while Allen is the choice of 44%. Warner leads by 12 among women while Allen has a two-point edge among male voters.

Allen is viewed favorably by 67% of the state's voters. For Warner, the figure is 71%. Forty-one percent (41%) of Virginia voters believe Warner should run for the White House. Thirty-eight percent (38%) say the same about Allen. Read text:

Read more!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

South Carolina Visit - Smashing Success

Warner visited South Carolina as the keynote speaker of state Democratic Party's Governors Appreciation Dinner.

South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Joe Erwin was pleased Warner was attending the dinner. "Mark Warner is quickly becoming a rock star on the national level and I can't think of a better keynote speaker," Erwin said.

And the results are in, Homerun! South Carolina's Post and Courier reporting:

"You are going to be one heck of a president," said former Gov. Jim Hodges, who lost his re-election bid to Republican Mark Sanford in 2002.

"I believe like the rest of you that we have a real winner here tonight," added former Democratic Gov. and U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings.

Dick Harpootlian, a former state party chairman and vocal Warner supporter, took one step further: "I think the people in this room heard the next president of the United States. He was inspiring."

This led political pundit Tom Schaller, who was on hand for the event, to one conclusion: "He just won the South Carolina primary." Schaller, a professor at the University of Maryland-Baltimore College, said, "He practically got the endorsements of almost every speaker on stage this early." Read more:

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Warner's Last Virginia Budget

As a business consultant managing international projects, I love it that Warner gets the new knowledge economy and the importance of education and nationalized R&D. Right now I am sitting in Costa Rica working on a project, and find my colleagues to be highly educated, enthusiastic and will work for a heck of a lot less than the American worker. Costa Rica's government is putting a lot of resources into making sure their people are well equipped to compete globally. And it is working... And they are not alone. India and China are investing heavily in their people.

We are essentially living on the gains of America's post-WWII industrial dominance and massive government investment in infrastructure and military. Remember the Sputnik kids, Manhattan project, even the Internet... Ah, but today's Darwinist America, our citizens can rest "easy" knowing they are left to fend for themselves, but at least the "big bad" government isn't mucking up the market. Hey after all, if the government fails to educate its people to be able to compete in a global market, we'll just recruit educated classes of immigrants to come over and fill the void. Heck it is cheaper since the government doesn't have to make an investment that way, right?

Until Thomas L. Friedman's latest book I was never a fan, but his recent work The World Is Flat is truly enlightened work. The last time I heard Warner speak he quoted Friedman liberally. Granted it would be hard for anyone who is an international businessman to not come to the same conclusion as Friedman on his own accord. If you haven't read it, pick it up for your holiday vacation reading. NY Times article here if you want to read more. From his book:

When I compare our high schools to what I see when I'm traveling abroad, I am terrified for our work force of tomorrow. In math and science, our fourth graders are among the top students in the world. By eighth grade, they're in the middle of the pack. By 12th grade, U.S. students are scoring near the bottom of all industrialized nations... The percentage of a population with a college degree is important, but so are sheer numbers. In 2001, India graduated almost a million more students from college than the United States did. China graduates twice as many students with bachelor's degrees as the U.S., and they have six times as many graduates majoring in engineering. In the international competition to have the biggest and best supply of knowledge workers, America is falling behind.

Okay enough of my tangent... Here are two articles on Warner's new Virginia budget.

Washington Business Journal covers Gov. Warner announced $255m for higher-education facilities that focus on medical research.

According to a statement released by Warner's office, state universities are committing up to $299 million to match the governor's proposed allocation. This amounts to an investment of more than $500 million to research and treat diseases, develop new technologies and build state-of-the-art facilities that will help attract experts to Virginia.

"This is a historic investment in Virginia's future," Warner says. "Our state dollars will leverage federal and private funds to help attract the best and the brightest scientists and students to our universities.

This funding will further our advances in biomedical research and help lead to potential breakthroughs in treating cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other serious diseases." Read More.

The Washington Post has in an article titled "Warner Seeks $255 Million for Science." I guess in the era of the Bush administration this must actually be big news in Washington. lol

The governor said the new spending is crucial because Virginia lags behind nearby states in research and development spending at its colleges and universities. Both the University of North Carolina and the University of Maryland separately do more research than several Virginia institutions combined, Warner said, and the commonwealth must be able to match its neighbors.

"This is putting a very significant marker down in terms of the long-term economic future of Virginia," Warner (D) said before several hundred college administrators, students and state lawmakers at the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park in Richmond. "What better place to make an investment than in research and development based around our colleges and universities across the commonwealth? There we find tomorrow's products and tomorrow's cures."

The initiative includes money for a new bioscience facility at George Mason University as well as funding for cancer biology research there. It also calls for creating or enhancing several programs at the University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Virginia Commonwealth University.

And from the Hampton Roads Daily Press and announcement on mental health services.

RICHMOND -- Gov. Mark R. Warner today proposed rebuilding two state mental hospitals, including Eastern State in Williamsburg, as part of a historic $460 million investment aimed at shoring up the safety net for Virginia's most vulnerable citizens.

At a packed press conference, Warner said the time had come to transform the state's outdated, inefficient hospitals that have served for generations, and construct state-of-the-art care centers.

At the same time, the state should begin caring for more people in the community, closer to their homes. The plan calls for $290 million to rebuild Eastern State, Western State Hospital in Staunton, and three training centers. It also involves spending almost $170 million on community-based services, such as group homes. Read more.

Read more!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Fun Horserace Calculations

The blogger over at HorseRace08 came up with a system to rate the performance of the Presidential hopefuls. The calculation is done by assigning a percentage to each of the "buzz" factors that can be quantified for a candidate, and then assigned a weighted percentage. You could quibble with the percentages assigned, but I think it is an interesting way to look at the races.

35%-Betting odds from Trade Sports
25%-PAC cash in the bank
20%-Number of blogs referencing the candidate according to Technorati
15%-PAC money raised weekly human poll

1. Hillary Rodham-Clinton (0.67)
2. Evan Bayh (0.46)
3. John Kerry (0.41)
4. Mark Warner (0.35)
5. John Edwards (0.22)
6. Tom Vilsack (0.19)
7. Bill Richardson (.018)
8. Joe Corzine (0.14)
9. Russ Feingold (0.12)
10. Wesley Clark (0.11)

Read the complete blog entry here.

The only major flaw I see is that the leadership PAC fundraising is weighted so high. Maybe someone knows for sure, but I think Senators can transfer their campaign war-chest into a Presidential fund, because both are federal. If I recall correctly, Kerry did this 2004. The reality is a Senator like Hillary/Biden/Kerry/Bayh/Feingold/Edwards would be better off raising money for their Senate campaign and just rolling it into their Presidential funds. This certainly is Hillary's strategy right now and seems to be better than putting money into a PAC with all the restrictions. Please someone correct me if I have it wrong about being able to transfer the funds.

Back to the Horserace, Evan Bayh came out relatively high because he had raised over $1.7 million year to date in his leadership PAC. After last night's $2.5 million fundraiser, I assume Warner would pass Bayh in the number two spot (Since Warner had not raised money for his PAC before the calculation, 25% of his previous score was zero).

Updated from Horserace08:

The $2.5m leadership PAC would propel Warner into a first place tie with Hillary at .61 percent. See more.

Read more!

Warner's PAC Pulls in $2.5 Million Last Night

Articles are starting to break about Warner's first big fundraiser. I'll keep a running tally on this blog entry. The result was BIG! Warner hauled in $2.5 million in one night in Northern Virginia. Between the Kaine victory and his first fundraising haul, I think Warner has moved up from a long shot to a top tier candidate. Handicapping the race now, I would call it Hillay, followed by Edwards, Feingold and Warner.

MCLEAN -- The budding presidential ambitions of Gov. Mark R. Warner were nourished last night with the commodity all national political aspirants need -- a large dose of cash. Warner's new political-action committee, called Forward Together, collected more than $2.5 million during its first fundraiser, setting a record for Virginia politics.

"I have never seen this kind of enthusiasm for a potential presidential candidate," said former Lt. Gov. Donald S. Beyer Jr., the committee's treasurer. "This is the kind of intensity we saw only after John Kerry got the nomination in 2004."

The money will help pay for Warner's travel and political staff as the soon-to-be ex-governor showcases himself around the country before his presumed presidential bid. It will also finance like-minded candidates around the country, giving Warner a base of support for his presumed run. Read More:

From the Hampton Roads Daily Press, there is a slightly different take with the focus on Warner's credentials.

"There's so many people who see Mark as the single most legitimate alternative to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination," said Donald Beyer Jr., a former lieutenant governor who is serving as finance chairman for Warner's political action committee.

Clinton, who has captured the hearts of her party's liberal base, is widely touted as a formidable presidential contender. Warner supporters are betting that Clinton would be too easily tagged as a liberal - a label that could dash the party's hopes of recapturing the White House.

"Democrats know the only way we can win in 2008 is with a centrist Democrat, and that one person is Mark Warner," said Thomas J. Lehner, director of public policy for the Business Roundtable and once a top aide to former U.S. Sen. Charles Robb, D-Va. Read more:

The Washington Post has an article here:

"I need your help, your ideas, your energy, your resources," Warner told the crowd. " Together, we can shake things up. Together, we can find leaders who see a little farther down the road. This nation can, and must, do better. If we can do it in Virginia, we can do it in America."

Also another from the Hampton Roads Daily Press here.

Read more!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Warner Yucks it up at the Gridiron Club

Gov. Warner was at the Gridiron Club's winter dinner to deliver the laughs. Nice slam on the President and Sen. Allen: (Hat tip

"One of the things I'm most proud of is my commitment to bipartisanship," said Warner, who has formed a national fundraising committee and visited such key presidential states as New Hampshire and Iowa.

"That's why, if I do run for president, I may ask Senator Allen to be my running mate. Think about it -- what's more presidential than this:

"I'm a red-state governor, who failed at a couple of businesses, and I liked to party too much in college, and I recently got in a well-publicized bike accident," Warner said.

"He's a guy named George who's done nothing more than live off his dad's legacy. Together we wouldn't just get elected president -- together, we already are the president."

Read more!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Warner Bio Response to Mathew Gross

Eric currently having trouble posting, but sent me his response to a blog from Mathew Gross.

Gross contends that great Southern hope Warner has already "crashed and burned" his shot in the Democratic primary based on his Iraq positioning. Read more:

Eric Davis responds:

Your comment that some have adopted Warner early (as I have) based on his biography is right and yet it misses an important point. I plead guilty to having taken a serious look at Warner because of his bio. And yet, I then STAYED with him because of his bio. THEN, I have (since) had the pleasure of meeting and hearing from him, and I'm hooked. Now mind you, I was a Dean Meetup Host in April of 2003, and on the surface there was only a few superficial similarities (governor, balanced budgets, Net savvy).

The thing is, Warner's story is a large part of why he's the right choice for America. In addition to his personal qualities and the quality of his ideas and direction (a bit on this below), his story is an important reason. It's the key to why.

This sounds corny, but such things often resonate more in Middle America than some on the left (I call us "people who read") are comfortable with. But it's true. Mark Warner is the kind of person a lot of parents hope their kid will grow up to be. The first in his family to graduate from college, he then went to Harvard Law. After a stint at the DNC, he took a few flyers on business. The first failed after six weeks, the second after six months.

The third was Nextel. Money beyond all reason, followed by more from capital investments.

What did he do? After contributing all he could he signed on and ran Doug Wilder's campaign, getting the first black Governor of Virginia elected. A bit after that, he took on fossilized conservative John Warner for Senate - and did NOT get crushed but made a very respectable show in a very Red state. He also self-funded a healthcare initiative and a rural broadband program. Then he ran and won for Governor. He took a $6 bil deficit and made it a $500 mil surplus - but getting both sides to agree to cutting everything but education before resorting to a tax increase that over 20 R's in the VA legislature voted for along with the D's. Along the way, he passed landmark legislation protecting the Chesapeake Bay and got VA to where Governing magazine ranked it the best managed state in the US.

First in college, then Harvard. Self-made zillionaire who turned to elect Doug Wilder and then into public service himself. A proven Governor who is WILDLY popular in VA.

And have to hear him. His character comes through. Easygoing, has a good sense of humor. And big ideas. Large ones. Understands the potential of tech and education to tranform us - knows its the key to a stable future. Pro-choice - I heard him say it six times. Like Dean, he has a ruralist's policy on guns; but also like Dean is up front about it, doesn't Bayh/Biden/Kerry it.

Knows that the way out is not to focus on left or right but on future or past. Knows that Americans are ready for some good news, that we need to feel that there is hope for the future, that there is a way out of the Bush catastrophe. Knows how to make government work. Is a leader. Can't be bought. Gets both "bubba" and the blogosphere.

The right guy at the right time with the right credentials and the right character. Mark Warner is about renewing the promise that is America.

Read more!

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