Wednesday, January 25, 2006

CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll

Sigh, I would rather give Warner commentary, but since he is off in Europe meeting with Tony Blair there isn't much to talk about. So I am happy a supporter of Hillary has joined the discussion on the blog. One of the best things about Warner being an unknown is lack of baggage, and ability to appeal to a wide range of people. However irrationally, there is significant portion of voters who under no circumstances will consider Hillary no matter how great her policies.

Released today a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll (Jan 20-22) asked register voters about their support for Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2008.

Definitely vote for 16%

Might consider voting for 32%

Definitely not vote for 51%

No opinion 1%

I like Hillary and like her policies, but Democrats are inherently disadvantaged by the Electoral College and our minority Party status in Presidential race. We can't afford to have baggage too.

Read more!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Governor's Approval Ratings

The new SurveyUSA polls for governor's approvals are out. Taken on 1/19/06, Mark Warner has 72% approval rating in Virginia, a Bush 04 state. I have placed all Governors numbers in bold if they are of a different party than their state voted for in the 2004 Presidential election. (Note, Dem Joe Manchin WV has great numbers following his tireless work during the recent miner accident).


1 West Virginia Manchin, Joe D 80% 16% 64% WV
2 Utah Huntsman, Jon R 78% 14% 64% UT
3 Connecticut Rell, Jodi R 75% 17% 58% CT
3 North Dakota Hoeven, John R 75% 19% 56% ND
5 South Dakota Rounds, Mike R 73% 21% 52% SD
6 Virginia Warner, Mark D 72% 22% 50% VA
7 Vermont Douglas, Jim R 69% 25% 44% VT
8 Montana Schweitzer, Brian D 68% 25% 43% MT
9 New Hampshire Lynch, John D 67% 25% 42% NH
10 Oklahoma Henry, Brad D 66% 27% 39% OK
See entire list:

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Gore Campaign Loser Brazile Doesn't Like Warner

Recently Mark Warner appeared on ABC's "This Week" program hosted by George Stephanopoulos to discuss national politics. The reviews are in at least from the Democratic Oracle of Adelphia, Donna Brazile, who has decided she doesn't like Mark Warner. She is especially indignant that he would dare to admire a Republican President from one hundred years ago. (Note to Donna, just wondering if you dislike Lincoln also?)

But Warner's performance in the interview failed to impress Donna Brazile, a Democratic consultant who helped manage Al Gore's unsuccessful bid for president in 2000.

Brazile said she wouldn't have picked Roosevelt as a presidential model.

"Mark Warner has a lot to learn before he's ready for prime time," she observed afterward.

Shocking indeed are her thoughts on Warner. Remember her last opportunity where she "saw into the future," I take you back to two months before the Iowa caucus. In referencing the Al Gore endorsement of Howard Dean:

"It's huge," said Donna Brazile, Gore's campaign manager in 2000. "Al Gore has enormous stature and credibility. This endorsement will give Howard Dean a tremendous boost. It immediately allows Howard Dean to run a 50-state campaign, to raise money and help validate him with voters who don't know him yet, to bring minorities and women to the table who as yet have been undecided." See entire article.

Hmmmmm... Okay now. Returning to the Stephanopoulos interview with Warner.

Former Gov. Mark R. Warner said yesterday that he would not have chosen Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. as a U.S. Supreme Court nominee, but he declined to say whether he would vote for Alito if he were in the Senate.

Warner, appearing on ABC's "This Week" program hosted by George Stephanopoulos, said he objects to Alito's views on the right to privacy. The Supreme Court, in the Roe v. Wade decision, determined that a woman's right to privacy established a constitutional right to an abortion in certain circumstances.

"But I think I would owe him, as I would owe anyone, the benefit of the doubt until I had a real chance to study his record," Warner said, according to a transcript of the program.

Warner, who left office Saturday, said he hasn't decided whether to seek the Democratic nomination to run for president in 2008, but he said he wants to participate in the debate.

He described U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, the frontrunner for the nomination, as "an extraordinarily formidable candidate" and declined to criticize her.

Warner was interviewed for the program last week in Virginia's Executive Mansion.

Asked how he would counter criticism that he has no foreign-policy experience, Warner noted that Stephanopoulos' former boss, Bill Clinton, had no foreign-policy experience when he was elected president in 1992. Warner acknowledged that the post-Sept. 11 environment might have made such experience more important.

He said his role model as president is Theodore Roosevelt. Had Roosevelt been living today, the progressive Republican likely would have been a Democrat, Warner said. See entire article.

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Who Can Win the Red States? Hillary, huh...

Confession: I am a donor to Hillary's Senate campaign.

But did anyone see Hillary's "Plantation" comments on MLK day? I didn't think anything about it until I saw the video on The Daily Show. I was stunned by how inappropriate and patronizing it seemed. The video really gave me a different perspective on how broad her appeal as a Presidential candidate would be.

Seems some in the Clinton team have been arguing that Hillary can win Red States. The reason why they believe this? She did so well in upstate New York, which they compare to the make-up of red states. Arianna Huffington challenges this argument with a line of reasoning every Warner supporter know.

Sounds very convincing. The trouble is, it's wrong -- as Marisa Katz shows in this week's New Republic in her terrific takedown of the Upstate = Red State myth. "Numbers-wise," Katz writes, "upstate [New York] is far more purple than red." And she reminds us that "even in this less-than-hostile-terrain" Hillary "actually lost upstate by three points to her 2000 opponent, Rick Lazio."

Even more damning is the fact that the presidential runs of both Al Gore and John Kerry attracted more upstate voters -- and carried more upstate counties -- than Hillary did. "If Gore and Kerry won upstate New York," writes Katz, "but couldn't make sufficient red-state inroads, Clinton's loss upstate doesn't seem to bode well for her potential in truly red parts of the country." The final nail in the upstate/redstate coffin: Hillary's upstate numbers are very similar to those of the senior senator from New York, Chuck Schumer -- and, as Katz zings it, "no one is talking him up as the Democrats' best chance to reclaim the White House." Read entire post.

Hillary hasn't even announced yet for President, and we all want her to do well in her Senate race in 2006, so I don't think the case needs to be made yet about who can win in Red States. But in the next few years, Democrats need to find a strategy in at least some Red States to be competitive for the Presidency.

One thing I do know is that Bush beat Kerry by 9 points in Virginia. Warner does not need "iffy" hypotheticals to prove he can win red states.

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"Retirement" Looks Busy

Jerome Armstrong posts an update to the FTblog on what Gov. Warner is doing in his retirement. The summary version below:

UK - Meeting with Tony Blair
Switzerland - Davos Economic forum
North Carolina - NC State Emerging Issues Forum
New Hampshire - Keynote "100 Club" Dinner
California (LA) - American Council on Education
California (SD) - Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society

Read more!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Warner Has Work to do in Iowa

The Fix has an interview with Jeff Link, an Iowa political operative. He makes some good observations on the Iowa caucus in general. He then dives into a good discussion on the 2008 possible candidates including Warner.

"The no. 1 question in Iowa is whether Vilsack is going to get a campaign off the ground and be a candidate," said Link. "People want to know what he is going to do before they get past 'hello' with these other candidates." Most Iowa Democrats are excited about the possibility of Vilsack in the presidential mix but aren't optimistic about his chances. "People are reluctant about Vilsack because they don't think we can elect an Iowan president," Link said.

Link believes that the other potential 2008 candidates can't wait for Vilsack to make up his mind. They need to make several pilgrimages to the state over the next year to begin the "introductory phase" of the courting process, he said.

Take former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner for example. While Warner is riding high among the chattering class and the national media, he is still unknown among Hawkeye State Democratic voters who "don't know the Mark Warner story," said Link.

Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, on the other hand, has made a strong first impression in Iowa, a near-necessity for the Midwestern senator who needs to make a splash in the caucuses to have a real chance in 2008. Link said one of Bayh's most deft moves in Iowa came during a recent visit when he praised Vilsack and referred to them as "brothers." Read more:

Warner is going to do well in the mid-west, but is going to need to get busy in 2006. I don't see Bayh as a real threat to Warner, but Warner does need to start working the Chicago money scene. If noting else he should "dry" up a large source of capital for Bayh.

Read more!

Right Hand to Deliver State of the Union Rebuttal

Roll Call reported on Friday, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine will deliver the Democratic response to President Bush for the State of the Union. This will certainly give Warner another shot in the arm and keep him in the news cycle. It would be hard to image that the former governor isn’t going to be discussed heavily in the aftermath of Kaine's speech.

National Democratic leaders today will ask Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) to deliver the party’s response to the president’s State of the Union address, believing that the new governor can best deliver their 2006 message of inclusiveness, American values and high ethical standards. Read More:

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Spicy, not bland

Too funny for words is the only way to describe what the "staff/allies" of other potential Presidential candidates are calling Gov. Warner. The U.S. News and World Report's Washington Whispers reports Warner is being derided as "Nutmeg Mark."

"And, strategists add, he might not face Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Seems a lot of pols still believe that Al Gore will enter the race as the 'anti Hillary.' But don't dismiss another Democrat, former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner. How do we know? The moderate is being assailed as a fake southerner by allies of other Democratic candidates, a sure sign they see him as a threat. Some deride him as "Nutmeg Mark," a reference to his growing up in the Nutmeg State, Connecticut." Read more:

I think it is funny that Warner’s detractors are stretching so hard to criticize him. They can’t touch his record of delivering results in Virginia. He is the American dream, a middle class kid who was first in his family to go to college and ended up building a Fortune 500 company. What his detractors are actually trying to say is, “he is pretending that he is something he is not.” Well since you brought it up…

First, I have never heard Warner call himself a southerner in the cultural sense, only a Virginian (geographic).

Second, the fact, he lived all over the country is a plus for our now transient society. Can't image having lived in Connecticut will hurt him in New Hampshire or his childhood in Indiana/Illinois hurts him in Iowa.

Third, Southerners actually like Warner. This being despite his mid-west roots in Indiana, Illinois and northeastern experience in Connecticut. Can you say that Southerners like Hillary, Kerry, Bayh, Biden, Feingold and the rest of the legion of Democratic Senators in the race? Hmmmmmm...

Fourth, being southern is a state of mind.

Fifth, please keep giving Warner more publicity even naming him after spices as it only helps. And by the way, thanks for all the recent hits to the site.

Given our recent Democratic attempts at the presidency, I would like to point out the benefits of nutmeg on ones health.

Regarding its health benefits, nutmeg is believed to aid digestion and relieve nausea and the sensation of vomiting. Read more at

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

National Review on Warner

The main magazine of conservativism has two articles focusing on Mark Warner this month. Much like a boxer pacing before a bout, conservatives are sizing up a formidable potential challenger. For Warner, this should be the ultimate form of flattery to have the "main organ of conservativism" after you three years before the election.

In article one, Jim Geraghty nervously wonders if there is a nefarious Mark Warner-Deaniac courtship occurring. He seems to suggest by Warner reaching out to bloggers like Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, it has made him palatable to the Dean revolutionaries.

There are two conclusions to be drawn from this. One is that Mark Warner shouldn’t be caricaturized as the “conservative,” “centrist,” or “moderate” candidate in the race when he's willing to associate himself with the fervent antiwar left for his support. Secondly, some (including myself) have predicted that the Deaniacs of 2004 would be a ready-made engine for a liberal challenger to Hillary Clinton in 2008 — Feingold, Gore, or perhaps some other Democrat seeking to represent “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.” That assessment ought to be reconsidered; at least some of them appear to be demonstrating they’ll back any Democrat who looks like he can win some red states. Read entire post.

John Miller pens another article called A Dem Golden Boy. Largely he is struck by the "stupidity" of Virginians on how Warner could break his tax promise and "gasp" get away with it. Read entire post.

From Miller's article, looks like conservatives mode of operation is to paint Warner as a "tax and spend" liberal. Oh boy, this tired line to use on a businessman job creator and governor who decreased unemployment. This could be fun if that is all they got!

Read more!

In a relatively brief post on his Forward Together PAC blog, former Gov. Warner joins the ranks of bloggers and discusses having to learn to drive again after four years of being His Excellency.

He does "slip" with his Presidential ambitions when he refers to attending foreign policy sessions on Iran as on the Forward Together front. Sounds to me there should be no mistake, FT means a Presidential run in 2008.

On the Forward Together front, I've been going through a series of meetings on foreign policy with some special emphasis on the situation in Iran.

I leave soon for a trip to London and a policy conference in Switzerland so the schedule stays very full. Read entire post.

If anyone knows who is advising him on Iran, I would love to know. It would tell a lot about which direct a Warner administration would take in foreign policy.

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Ouch! Allen Gets Sacked by Warner for 25 yards

Larry Sabato's UVA Center for Survey Research conducted a Presidential poll of Virginians in the wake of Kaine's victory in November. Pitting Gov. Warner versus Sen. Allen resulted in a rather one-sided result heavily favoring Warner for President.

Warner 49%
Allen 32%
Undecided 20%

When Daily Kos linked to the story, numerous posters said the selfless choice for Warner is to run for Senate in 2006 against Allen. Granted, most likely these posters are supporters of other Presidential candidates, but I think they miss Warner's real appeal as a leader. My tongue-in-cheek response below:

Warner would be a wasted talent in the Senate.

First, he is former CEO, an entrepreneur heart. He is best at focusing on results, creating and selling a vision. The atmosphere in Washington is so poisoned, who could stand two years in the "do nothing, but talk Senate." After all, how would you like to go from hard-charging executive focused on bi-partisanly solving policy issues to reactionary legislator focused solely on scoring political points?

Second, he doesn't have the Senatorial verbosity to play the Senate game well. He isn't well spoken enough for the intellectuals in the Democratic party to like him. How cares if he connects to rural Virginians so well if he can't one-up the Republicans on "Meet the Press?"

Think Bill Clinton / Al Gore 1992... Youth, vision, energy...

Can you image that ticket? And best yet, it gets Obama out of the Senate in 3 years before he can be corrupted into "alternative reality of the Senate!"

If you want to join the discussion on Daily Kos to throw in your two cents, click here.

Besides the poll, Sabato's Crystal Ball website has an excellent round up on the possible Democratic nominees. View the excepts relating to Mark Warner below or click here for the entire post:

And now to the Democrats. The most compelling element of the 2008 contest for the Democrats, in the Crystal Ball's view, will be their burning desire to end GOP control of the White House. George W. Bush's reign will have extended over eight years, but to Democrats, who deeply despise this President, it has already seemed like an eternity. Hatred of a President among party activists can produce wise or unwise outcomes. Democratic true believers may incorrectly think that their fellow citizens fully share their opinion of Bush and will inevitably elect the person they choose as their nominee in order to punish the Republicans for Bush's multitudinous sins. Or Democrats may allow reason to triumph over emotion by picking a nominee who does not fulfill all their liberal fantasies but has a good chance of winning.

Today much of the Washington punditocracy is betting that Democratic ideology will once again trample electability, producing a left-wing or controversial presidential candidate who will elect McCain, Allen, or whoever secures the GOP nod. The Crystal Ball understands this, given the Democratic Party's modern history, but we choose the opposite scenario. We guess that, for once (or more, if you count Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992), Democrats will select a more moderate, possible winner--perhaps after an early flirtation or two with more ideologically pleasing contenders.

The moderate Democrats have several options, but one now stands out above the rest. Governor Mark Warner has just finished a successful stint in Virginia's top job, having well managed a difficult fiscal situation and also having elected a more liberal successor, Tim Kaine, in a conservative Red State. Warner built an attractive record in a wide variety of areas, from education to mental health to the environment, and he truly made the most of the one four-year term to which Virginia's Constitution still limits its governors, consecutively. Although a certified suburban yuppie, Warner made deep inroads in rural areas by lavishing attention upon rural people and their problems. He adopted NASCAR, country music, and an antipathy to gun control. With roots in Indiana and Connecticut, not just Virginia, Warner has the wealth and the appeal to run an impressive national campaign. Southern Democrats and many DLCers have flocked to him especially in the wake of Warner's 2005 off-year triumph in November. Having praised Caeser, Brutus should note Warner's drawbacks as a presidential candidate. The rich communications mogul has only served a total of four years in public office; he has no foreign policy experience at all; and he famously broke his insistent, George H.W. Bush-like 2001 campaign pledge that he would not raise taxes. Whether Democrats or the country as a whole actually care about any of these sour notes, only the 2008 campaign itself will demonstrate.

Surprise candidates are just as possible on the Democratic side as the Republican. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois would automatically land in the top tier the instant he announced. He says he won't run in '08, and likely he is telling the truth--though the VP slot is a real possibility for this charismatic African-American.

As always, the presidential contest will be decided in November 2008 by the big issues of war and peace, the economy, and scandal. Yet the personalities, characters, and positioning of the candidates loom large as well. Should one party pick a nominee who is manifestly closer to the nation's large moderate, independent pool of voters, that party will be on track to victory--especially if the other party has selected a standard-bearer widely viewed as an ideologue of left or right. The age-old clash of ideology versus electability will be visible on both sides of the partisan divide in 2008. The party that veers nearer to the practical pole of electability will be more
likely to prevail at the voting polls in November.

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Friday, January 13, 2006

Gov. Warner's Farewell Address

Washington Post has an article on Warner's farewell speech.

"Virginians have told me three things," Warner said. "That results matter, that they're proud of the direction we're going, and a third thing: You know, they really appreciate it when we work out our differences and work together to get things done."

The businessman-turned-politician, who can still be called "His Excellency" for a few more days, said lawmakers in both parties deserve to share the credit for an improving state economy, higher student test scores, more jobs, stronger colleges and a more efficient state government. But Warner said he is proudest of "something that can't be measured" and praised "a cooperative spirit that, actually, no balance sheet shows." Referring to bipartisan efforts to pass legislation, he said the public believes "we changed the tone in Richmond." Read the entire article.

Sadly if you read down into the rest of the article it looks like the tone in Richmond is changing back. There is something to be said for strong personalities.

Read more!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

FP on Blogs

Seems Joe Johaneman has made his choice for President over at Blogcritic. There is a healthly discussion going in the blogs comments from supporters of other Presidential candidates who have "Warner" envy. lol

Finally, there's Mark Warner (Governor, Virginia). Warner seems to be the best choice for the Democrats in 2008. He's certainly one of the most popular governors Virginia has ever had, with approval ratings near 75%, and this is in a state that is primarily Republican. He has broad appeal, and is popular with Independents and moderate Republicans. Like Easley, he isn't well known at the national level, but he is known by Democratic political insiders, thus making it possible for him to raise a substantial amount of money to support a campaign. He has been criticized for being too low-key, but this is simply a result of him choosing his battles carefully.

And so, as 2008 slowly approaches, here is a potential map for the Democrats: nominate Warner and throw every dollar available into his campaign. He may very well be the best candidate for the Democratic Party, and for the nation. Read more.

Reading in the comments, it really kills me that many Democrats (mainly Biden supporters) still think you need foreign policy experience to convince the American people to TRUST you on foreign policy. The reality is actually, the more FP experience you have, the longer your record, the more the Republicans have to pick it apart. The American people don't want the Harvard Professor with 10 honorary degrees to run the White House's foreign policy. Their wishes are more simply stated, they want someone who they "trust to do the right thing."

But to call Warner an international Neophyte is downright silly. He is the only Democrat in the field who has CREATED an international Fortune 500 company, Nextel. Last time I heard Walmart was the eight largest economy in the world. We had better start leaving the simple national paradigm of the neo-cons behind, and start thinking of the world of ethnic and religious groups, cultures, corporations, and NGOs in competition with traditional states. Who is better suited to lead us into that future than Warner?

I'd take an entrepreneur over a verbose Senator any day in trying to gain America's trust on any issue. Give me the guy who grew up middle class, went to public schools and made a million. Now that is the American dream!

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How Did I Let This "Gem" Slip By?

I just discovered this Washington Post article from 01-02 about how Warner is getting high-tech companies to set up in rural Virginia. Must have missed it due to bowl games... Roll Tide!

Virginia under Warner's leadership requires any company bidding on multi-billion dollar state contracts has to set up shop in rural towns of the Commonwealth. The state has been using other funds to build the telecom infrastructure to support these high-tech businesses.

LEBANON, Va. -- In this town of 3,300 people, cow pastures encase the local high school, churches outnumber nightclubs 14 to zero and the unemployment rate is almost twice as high as the rest of the state.

This is where government contractors CGI-AMS Inc. and Northrop Grumman Corp. will in the next few months start building multimillion-dollar technology centers and hire hundreds of software engineers at salaries far above the region's average, bringing a taste of Washington's lucrative tech sector to a coal country enclave. Read more.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Good Article By the Post

The Washington Post has a must read article by Michael D. Shear taking a look back at the Warner's time in the VA Governor's mansion.

You really get a sense of who Warner is from this article: half-energizer bunny and half Rocky. He is a guy with the deck stacked against him, just keeps coming back with boundless energy.

The article is verbosely titled: Warner's Triumphant Legacy No Easy Feat: Bipartisan-Minded Governor Broke Tax Vow but Revived Va, but once you get beyond the title there is some real meat. Excerpts from the article below:

On the Warner Narrative:

RICHMOND -- Mark Robert Warner, the businessman-turned-politician, faced an immense budget gap, a steep learning curve and a legislature happy to see him fail when he was inaugurated as Virginia's 69th governor in 2002.

Over the next four years, he slashed the state's budget, stumbled repeatedly, proposed two tax increases -- and wound up as one of the most popular governors in the commonwealth's history. In November, Virginians chose a successor who campaigned as the second coming of Mark Warner.

As Warner prepares to deliver his final State of the Commonwealth speech tomorrow before leaving office Saturday, his future in politics could well depend on selling his Virginia story to the nation.

On the Virginia Story:

He turned a $6 billion shortfall in the state budget into a billion-dollar surplus, a narrative he used to re-brand Virginia's Democratic Party as the party of fiscal discipline.

Mayors of rural towns applaud him for creating jobs. Teachers say their schools have more money. Governing Magazine cited his efforts in areas including procurement and technology consolidation as proof that Virginia is better managed than any other state.

More children have insurance. Graduation rates are higher. The state's sprawling and still underfunded Department of Transportation now finishes most projects on time and under budget.

Through it all, Warner faced a hostile legislature controlled by Republicans, whose march to power in the 1990s had swept Democrats from government leadership.

On Raising Taxes and Schlitz beer

To get elected, Warner had looked into the camera and said: "Let me set the record straight: I will not raise taxes." But he concluded that the scope of the state's budget mess -- the shortfall had ballooned to $6 billion -- justified breaking the pledge.

For months, he hosted town-hall meetings across the state, becoming Virginia's PowerPoint governor. He compiled binders listing moderate Republicans he thought he could sway, then wined and dined them. Once, he sent a private helicopter to pick up the Senate's leading Republican and whisk him to a dinner at a Williamsburg resort.

Perhaps fittingly, Warner, who made millions in the early days of the cellular telephone industry, was glued to his cell phone, calling key Republican lawmakers to plot strategy five and six times each day and often late into the night.

Those late-night sessions continue even now. Last month, on the day before his final budget speech, Warner invited his finance chief and two of his key allies in the tax fight -- Sen. John H. Chichester (R-Northumberland) and Sen. William C. Wampler Jr. (R-Bristol) -- to the governor's mansion, where the four drank Wild Irish Rose and Schlitz Malt Liquor and ate from a box of Slim Jims until late into the night.

In 2004, the one-on-one efforts paid off -- barely. After a long stalemate, the legislature narrowly approved a plan to raise $1.5 billion more in taxes over the next two years.

On Warner's Gut, Energizer Bunny and Kaine's Victory

Early in 2005, the private polls looked ominous.

Not for Warner, whose popularity was soaring after his victory in the tax fight. But for Democrat Timothy M. Kaine, the lieutenant governor, who was trailing Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore (R) in the contest for governor.

Warner had to make a decision: Back Kaine heartily and risk political damage if he lost, or play down his support for Kaine early.

He chose the former, for the second time betting against conventional wisdom in Richmond. On the campaign trail, he was more obsessive than Kaine. At parades, he shook more hands and frequently egged Kaine on. In the motorcades, he whipped out his cell phone to demand more information from staffers, while the more mellow -- and less worried -- Kaine grabbed some shut-eye.

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It's the Future, Stupid

Eric Davis made the following post to the Forward Together blog. I thought it was very good especially the Obama piece.

Note he is responding to someone suggesting a Warner-Clark ticket. Re-posting here for him:

Right answer, wrong answer

I second the LOL about the idea that Sen. Kerry would get close to the nomination. No means no. The country has taken a close look at him and enough of them simply didn't like him enough such that they held their noses and voted for He Who Should Be Impeached instead. But the Warner/Clark idea has no legs. Gov. Warner, a red state, pro-gun rights NASCAR junkie who governed as a moderate, will already bring in 80-90% of the people that Clark would appeal to. Clark will, however, make an OUTSTANDING Secretary of Defense in the Warner Administration, and I would think that Gov. Warner should announce him as such once he gets the nomination.

The race in the 2008 primaries is to see whose name will be in front of Barack Obama's on the bumper sticker. For my vote, go to The reality is, with Sen. Obama on the ticket we will get a vigorous 100% of the African-American vote (unless of course they put Sec. Rice on the ticket, which the racist wing of their party won't allow), we plug the leak with the Latino vote, not to mention allowing Warner to stay moderate/centrist rather than having to appease the left. Plus, Warner-Obama is upbeat and all about the future. Two living American success stories v. either a too-old war hero from the past whose dad was an Admiral (McCain, but it won't be him) or Allen (a silver spoon Reagan wannabe who might in fact be nuttier than Bush).

Americans are tired of feeling bad about themselves and Warner-Obama lets them feel good about the future. Plus, as an ambassador to this movement from the proud-to-be left - and Jerome knows this- I can tell you there are legions of experienced progressive organizers who would walk on their knees through broken glass for a ticket with Barack Obama on it.

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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Warner Legacy Articles

(Hat tip to the Forward Together blog)

Four great articles about Warner's legacy each worth reading the entire text.

"Strong finisher" by Michael Sluss of the The Roanoke Times:

Mark Warner got off to a rocky start in Richmond, but leaves office on a roll with his ties to rural Virginia stronger than ever. Read entire article.

"Notable term for Gov. Warner" By Chelyen Davis of the Free Lance-Star:

Strong finish for a governor who began his administration with a shaky start, under difficult circumstances. Read entire article.

"Mark Warner's rising stock" by staff on The Roanoke Times gives a time-line of Warner's governorship.

Jan. 12: Warner sworn in as 69th governor. He vows to launch "a little revolution" by "changing the way we do business in Richmond." Read entire article.

A land deed Fauquier County VA is actually the first recorded history of the Dennison family passing land from one generation to another (1802) even though my ancestors had been in America since colonial times. I must admit linking to a Fauquier Times-Democrat story gives me a kick.

"Gov. Warner: The man who could be president" by George Rowand and Michael Rowand in the Fauquier Times-Democrat adds a personal touch to the mix of stories.

When Mark Warner was campaigning for governor five years ago, he made a habit of not saying what he would do if he were elected. It probably was the businessman in him -- he always said, "If the people of Virginia hire me for this job ..."

Now, with his time as governor coming to an end, he can look back on a successful term of office. Read entire article.

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Feingold - Warner - Clinton - The Political Side

Back in November I wrote Feingold was destined to become the darling of the Left unless Al Gore entered the race. The political punditry is also seeing this trend. Ronald Brownstein has an LA Times article from the day after Christmas talking about essentially a three-way race between Clinton, Feingold and Warner. Brownstein on Warner:

In the center, this year's winner was outgoing Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner. As Warner begins traveling the country, he is laying claim to a clear brand: the red state savior. Warner presents himself as the candidate whose message of fiscal discipline and social moderation can win back some of the culturally conservative states where Bush romped twice.

In November, Warner received a powerful boost for that case. His popularity helped Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine capture the Virginia governorship, even though Kaine (unlike Warner) opposed the death penalty. Kaine's strongest argument was that he would continue Warner's direction. And when Kaine won, it burnished Warner's reputation as the Democrat who had cracked the red state code.

"His ability to transfer his own popularity to elect an anti-death-penalty successor speaks volumes about his ability to go beyond the base," said former South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian. Harpootlian was so impressed with Warner at a recent South Carolina speech that he signed up to support the governor if he runs.

On both sides, the nomination is won most often by the candidate with the broadest appeal across the party. So candidates, in defining themselves, must always take care not to create a ceiling on their support (that seems especially a risk for Feingold with his dovish trajectory). Yet in a race with a potential front-runner as formidable as Hillary Rodham Clinton, the initial challenge is building a solid floor to stand on. More than any of Clinton's other potential rivals, Feingold and Warner laid down the first planks in 2005. Read more:

The AP quotes Joe Trippi in an article about Feingold where he mentions Mark Warner as a top rival.

Joe Trippi, who ran Democrat Howard Dean's anti-war presidential candidacy in 2004, said Feingold has helped to separate himself from other potential rivals.

"He and Mark Warner are the only two people who have cut a more stark profile that people are paying attention to - Feingold on the left and Warner in the middle," Trippi said, referring to the Virginia governor. Read more.

The Washington Times reports Warner is returning to New Hampshire to speak at the annual 100 Club dinner. Read more. The Daily Press also reports on Warner's upcoming trip to New Hampshire. Read more.

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No Holidays for Warner

Hope everyone had relaxing holidays. My wife and I ordered out five meals of Indian food from Devon Street (Chicago) on Christmas eve like we were stocking up for a natural disaster. Other than doing minor work for a local congressional candidate and eating Indian food, my holiday mainly consisted of watching TV, reading and just generally relaxing. First Christmas in some time we haven't visited family, so my stress levels are very low.

But WOW, Gov. Warner was busy. I didn't even know where to start to catch up until I saw the Daily Press's article, "Warner working until the last possible minute."

Outgoing Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner is still keeping busy well into his final days in office.

Set to leave office on Saturday, Warner has ended with a rush, packing significant work into the final weeks of his administration.

Blessed with a fat budget, he has proposed rebuilding two state hospitals, including Eastern State in Williamsburg. Legislative leaders say the plan is something that comes along once in a generation.

He is pushing for a record investment in water quality and wants to spend half a billion dollars to boost research efforts in higher education.

He has ordered a broad review of past criminal cases where DNA testing could play a role. It came after DNA tests showed that Virginia had wrongfully convicted two men of rape, which earned them full pardons. Most recently, he helped broker an agreement to re-test evidence that could prove Virginia sent an innocent man to the electric chair in 1992. See more:

1) Proposing military spending to take care of national guard members. Read more:

RICHMOND, Va. Governor Mark Warner is proposing nearly 38-point-five (m) million dollars for the Department of Military Affairs to increase the work force at Fort Pickett, provide recruitment incentives for the Virginia National Guard and maintain the state's 49 armories.

It would up the department's budget by two-point-eight (m) million dollars to further support the guard and other state agencies.

The largest part of the department's budget -- that's 26-point-five (m) million ollars -- goes to defense preparedness, including operations and maintenance. The remainder is for support like tuition and financial assistance for guard members and
their families.

Warner spokesman Kevin Hall says Warner considers stepping up funding to improve Fort Pickett and other training facilities a top priority.

2) Proposing conservation of Virginia forest areas. Read more:

A move by Gov. Mark Warner to protect roadless acreage in the George Washington and Jefferson National forests could affect 38,649 acres in Rockingham County, according to the National Forest Service.

Warner is asking the federal government for the protection. Warner’s petition comes under a rule, promulgated by the Bush Administration, that repealed the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule in Virginia last May. The rule permits governors to request changes in roadless areas.

3) Announcing the creation of new jobs in Newport News, Virginia. Read more:

Virginia Gov. Mark Warner last week said Wolseley, a distributor of plumbing and heating products, is investing $30 million to build a 220,000-square-foot headquarters in Newport News.

The new location eventually will add more than 400 jobs to the area.

Mr. Warner, a Democrat, also announced that Stihl Inc. will invest $78.4 million to expand its facility in Virginia Beach, creating 150 jobs.

The company makes the world's largest-selling brand of chain saws and a full line of hand-held power tools.

The state competed successfully against Brazil, Germany and Switzerland for the project.

4) Building education infrastruture to help rural areas compete in the global economy. Read more:

MARTINSVILLE, Va. - The Harvest Foundation’s Doug Payne recalled a rather stressful dinner he had with Gov. Mark Warner in September as the two discussed his plans to bring a four-year state university to Martinsville.

Warner said the dinner focused on Payne’s ability to formulate a realistic plan for the college - one that involved partnering with existing institutions, garnered visual support from the state and local governments and had a good chance of surviving the legislature.

“We have made significant progress toward that goal over the last few weeks and months,” Payne said Monday as he thanked Warner for the $4.5 million in state funds the governor included for the New College Institute in his 2006-08 budget proposal.

5) Building government infrastruture to help respond to diasters or terrorism. Read more:

Richmond, Va. (AP) - Governor Mark Warner conducted the first live, public transmission of Virginia's new Statewide Agencies Radio System.

The system - known as STARS - provides Virginia's state level first responders with integrated voice and data communications. Warner says that using the system, Virginia's 21 state agencies will be able to communicate directly with one another.

During an afternoon press conference, Warner demonstrated the radio system by talking to Virginia State Police Trooper Gary Horner, Jr.

In November 2002, Horner was shot seven times at an Interstate 64 rest area in New Kent County. It took him four tries to get in touch with a state police dispatcher in Richmond.

The state entered into a $329 million dollar contract with Motorola for the system in July 2004. STARS is being integrated into the state agencies over a six-year period. It is expected to be fully implemented by the summer of 2008.

Virginia is preparing to compete in the global economy from physical infrastructure, education, good paying jobs while still practicing conservation and investing in government response. But without Warner's leadership on the tax system overhaul early in his governorship, his latest budget would not be possible.

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