Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Warner - I am not running for VP

The NY Times reports Gov. Mark Warner openly questioned Hillary's ability to compete across the entire country. I wouldn't call this the first salvo in the Democratic primary, but as Craig Crawford recently pointed out Warner is only going to be viewed as a potential running mate for Hillary unless he starts to challenge her. (Hattip to PoliticalWire)

But unless one of the newcomers, such as former Gov. Mark Warner of Virginia or Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, shows some inclination to openly challenge her pre-eminence, it is safe to assume that they are running mates in waiting.

The NY Times article shows Warner in a very confident light.

After saying he had "tremendous respect" for Mrs. Clinton and calling her a "formidable candidate" for national office, Mr. Warner said that Mrs. Clinton was not the presumptive Democratic nominee.

"I think Senator Clinton can be competitive across the country, but I think one of the things we as a party are going to have to do is look at the ideas on how we get the country back on the right track," Mr. Warner said, in an interview on NY1 News last night.

"We need to not simply look at the personality, but look at the ideas," he said. "But I find all across the country there is a real sense that what we as Democrats have to do is not simply be competitive in 16 or 17 states, but actually have candidates that can win all across the country."

I am so glad to hear Gov. Warner making a statement that he isn't in the race to be runner up. Notice how he is appealing to the Netroots by echoing Dean’s comments of being competitive in all parts of the country.

Warner is exactly right to get out there early questioning Hillary viability as a candidate. Best yet, he is the first to say what most Democrats know.

Many Democrats seem to forget that even in our beloved Bubba's re-election in 1996 that he didn't get 50% (49.2) of the vote. But he did at least win 4 southern states. Democrats can't win the Presidential election with peeling off a couple of southern states. We simply have to make the Republicans defend their base with resources and money.

So what southern state does Hillary bring into the Democratic fold?

And I love Warner's feistiness in later comments. I’m very glad to see he really showing this type of passion.

Later, he added, "Simply having anger at Bush or his administration isn't going to get us there."

Many Democrats, particularly in New York, view Mrs. Clinton as the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008. Some have painted Mr. Warner and other potential nominees as the alternative to Mrs. Clinton, and in the interview Mr. Warner bristled at such a suggestion. "You folks in the press are trying to find a quick sound bite to describe me," he said. "I'm not an alternative to anybody."

Read more!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Warner Courts Bloggers

Gov. Mark Warner is slated to host a lunch Saturday June 10th at the Yearly Kos convention in Las Vegas. This gathering will be a whos-who of on-line progressive activists. One would think the liberal blogosphere would have little in common with the red state governor. Refusing to count anyone out is actually Warner's style, or so to speak his MO. However showing his sincerity and open/thoughtful side has won over bigger detractors before.

You would have thought the self made millionaire Democratic nominee would have had very little in common with rural Virginia voters, and maybe you would be right. But he courted those voters non-stop, and he just keep showing up talking to them about their issues. On election night, he did something no other southern Democratic gubenatorial candidate has done in the last twenty years. He won 51% of the rural Virginia vote. I certainly don't count the blogosphere out.

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Gov. Warner's Mapchangers

It shows Warner is really taking the Internet seriously. Jerome Armstrong's Internet team at Forward Together PAC has come up with a strong program to keep Warner's name out there. The idea is simple: the Netroots can go on-line and nominate a candidate for either a congressional race or state wide race. Candidates in the top-ten will get a contribution from Warner's FT PAC. Then one finalist will get a fundraiser with Governor Warner and probably well financed by Warner's donors. Heck, who doesn't love to give away other people's money.

The benefits for Warner are obvious, he shows that he is out there fighting for Democratic candidates in red districts, and he builds a sizable chuck of e-mail addresses for his Presidential run.

I have forwarded this onto hundreds of people supporting either John Pavich and Dan Seals here in Illinois. It would be great to see either one of them get nominated, and get the national attention. After all, any political reporter worth their salt, is keeping close tabs on Warner at this point.

Go vote for your favorite and forward it on.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Warner in New Hampshire

Salon has an article chronicling the Democratic Convention in New Hampshire. The focus was on Warner and Feingold, and their two "divergent views of the Democratic Party." Feingold as Warner Watch readers may remember was picked as the darling of the left by this blog last December and in Al Gore's absence is quickly assuming the mantle.

Excerpt from the Salon article written by Walter Shapiro:

In June 2002, I made my first trip to New Hampshire for the 2004 presidential cycle. Observing Feingold and Warner this weekend for the first time in a primary state, I was intrigued to discover that both candidates are more adept at this stage than their counterparts were four years ago.

As the Senate's longtime naysayer, Feingold offers an authenticity in his left-wing political persona that Howard Dean -- the moderate governor of Vermont who went on to oppose the Iraq war -- could never match. Warner boasts the magnetic appeal of a John Edwards and the easy charm of a winner. (Asked about his resemblance to Bobby Kennedy, Warner joked, "It's my horse teeth.") But, unlike Edwards in 2002, Warner brings with him a hefty record of accomplishment as a governor.

In fact, maybe the best headline for the weekend should be, "New Hampshire Democrats Get Along Fine Without Hillary. Read more: "

Warner is really charting a third way. There is a real yearning by Americans to escape the ideologues on either side. Why do you think the third party website Unity08 has gotten so much coverage? Simply Americans are sick of the powers to be fiddling while "Rome burns."

Warner's favorite quote speaks to this sense of uniting America, "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." This is the essence of Warner the media is still missing. They have tried to fit him into the DLC centrist in order to "not rock the boat" mode. What they miss is

Eric Davis said in a recent e-mail something I thought answered the "Why Warner" question beautifully.

I guess because I've already jumped into the ocean about Howard Dean I'm less willing to do it with Russ. And the arguments for why Feingold won’t win – and we HAVE to win – are more compelling. I am not, however, pushing the same "electability" argument that Kerry etc. al. used against Dean. Warner is whom we SHOULD elect, not just whom we CAN elect.

The one thing I'm almost as tired of as the daily betrayals of everything I know is right and moral and just by Bush and the wacko right is that we've lost all sense of our civil society. America is broken. It's cracked in half. While Feingold will get the far left exercised again – that's it. We need a candidate who can bring the country together again, to remind us that we're all Americans again. Obama makes this argument and he's right.

The #1 reason that Howard lost was that he forgot that at the end of the day Americans take their Presidential choice very personally. They need to like the person at least at some level. Russ is just too angry, to willing like Dean. Warner isn’t right because he’s somehow less offensive to the center-right; he's the right choice because he understands that once we win, we have to be able to govern. And he’s right because he’s someone you can feel good about voting for.

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