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 to...be 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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