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Mark Warner Steps Into the Arena

Last night at Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner, Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (D) took a huge first step toward a 2008 presidential run, hosting an event that raised between $2.5 million and $3 million for his Forward Together PAC.

The fundraiser had all the trappings of a presidential level event: Guests wore badges with Warner's visage, a slickly-produced short film documenting Warner's accomplishments preceded his speech and there were even four ice-sculptures (Statue of Liberty, a cactus, a steamboat/riverboat and the St. Louis Arch) at the food stations. (For more details, check out Post reporter Michael Shear's excellent "Richmond Report" blog and the story he wrote on the event for the paper today.)

The only thing not entirely presidential about the night were the remarks by the candidate. Having traveled with Warner earlier this year, he is excellent in small-group and one-on-one settings.  But he struggles with a larger groups, and that was clear last night.

Speaking in front of a triptych of images of himself, Warner delivered an address cataloging his accomplishments during his four years as governor of the Virginia. "It happened here because results matter," he said, sounding his main theme in the speech.

While the content of Warner's remarks (improved economy, improved education opportunities for Virginia's schoolchildren etc.) are a strong start for a national campaign, he meandered somewhat threw the laundry list; as a result the speech had few obvious applause lines to gin up the crowd.

One thing Warner did well in the speech was differentiate himself from so-called "Washington-style politics" -- a key wedge he will use against many of his likely rivals for the 2008 nomination. "In Washington, success can be viewed as nothing more than making the other guy look bad," Warner said in the most biting of his references to politics on Capitol Hill.

Steve Elmendorf, a Washington lobbyist and former senior adviser to the presidential campaigns of Richard Gephardt and John Kerry, said the event was integral to Warner's national hopes. "For anybody running for president it is going to be important to demonstrate they have a significant financial base in their home state," Elmendorf said. Jim Jordan, another high-level party operative, added that "a night like this testifies both to [Warner's] innate attractiveness to Democratic elites and the donor community and the quality of the organization he's building around himself."

Although Warner never mentioned her by name, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) presence was felt at last night's event.  With Clinton widely seen as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, the Warner gathering was seen by many attendees as a message that not everyone in the party is wild about the idea of the New York senator as their nominee. "As I look around this room, it's a pretty strong statement against Hillary," said one attendee, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about the state of Democratic presidential politics.

In keeping with her policy of not commenting about a potential presidential candidacy, HRC spokesman Philippe Reines said only: "Senator Clinton remains focused on being the best senator she can be for the people of New York."

One Democratic party strategist not currently affiliated with any of the potential 2008 candidates, who spoke without attribution to preserve relations with Clinton, painted the Warner event as a shot across her bow

"Hillary Clinton should see Warner's event last night as presidential-caliber, and cause for looking over both shoulders," the source said.  "Even more, she should look at Warner's record as governor and his innate appeal to southern Democrats -- which easily translates to Democrats in other regions of the country -- and think, 'Hmmm.  I've seen this somewhere before.'"

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 7, 2005; 3:18 PM ET
Categories:  Democratic Party , Eye on 2008  
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Comments

Hi! Very interesting! pkrmdlad

Posted by: John S | July 4, 2006 2:06 PM | Report abuse

We need a Mark Warner or Evan Bayh or John Edwards to steal the nomination from Hillary. Not only is she a sell out to the right, but if she won we would lose once again. She is losing by 10% in polls running against John McCain. 10%! We do not need a candidate from the Northeast an area where we already do good. We need someone to win in the South and Midwest. Only, Mark Warner, Evan Bayh or John Edwards could accomplish that. For us Democrats let us pray that she does not win the nomination because it will another terrible 8yrs.

Posted by: Josh | December 10, 2005 11:04 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats in Congress who voted for the Iraq war resolution disappointed me. Except for Hillary. When she voted for the resolution, she broke my heart. More than all the other Democrats, she had the intelligence, perception, analytical skills, national support base and guts to stand up to Bush's war ravings. That she did not, has damaged her reputation among progressives to the point that she will not attract the broad, fervent support she would need to overcome other political obstacles and win the Presidency.

Hillalry reminds me of Lyndon Johnson's vice president, Hubert Humphrey. He was one of the 20th century's greatest Democrats, civil rights crusaders, and progressive reformers. He had long been the "favorite son" of Democrats all over the nation to succeed Johnson as the Democratic standard bearer. But he could not separate himself from Johnson on the Vietnam War, and he was abandoned by enough Democrats in the 1968 presidential election that he lost.The winner was the Republicans' OTHER "worst president in history," Richard Nixon. Hillary needs to disenthrall herself from her current political calculations, and rather than being just a smart political player, become
a leader, again.

Posted by: Balbus | December 9, 2005 4:58 PM | Report abuse

The Democrat who has the best organization and the best team on the ground in the primaries will win. Warner had to have a kick ass campaign team to win in Virginia with no experience to speak of. Since he has gotten elected he has proved to be the best governor in the country. He showed that his popularity carried Tim Kaine to victory. Hillary has not faced an uphill challenge like Warner has faced, and therefore she will not be as good. It is a lot harder to win in Virginia as a Democrat than it is to win in New York. As a Democrat in New York you can pull the state by just campaigning to city folk in NYC. Warner had to win by getting rural voters to vote something Hillary will have a problem with. Iowa is a moderate red state composed of mainly rural voters. Warner knows how to win those votes over. Hillary will not get the nomination. Warner has a good chance, but so does John Edwards and to a lesser extent Evan Bayh. If John Edwards finds enough cash to compette with Warner or Hillary than he would be a serious threat. Whomever wins, we need a running mate that balances our strengths and weaknesses. Our weakness, study after study shows is foreign policy and national security so it only makes sense to have a VP that will improve those areas. The only man, and the best man on both sides of the party is Wes Clark. Wes Clark can really save the ticket. Voters can not say we are weak on national security and foreign policy when a four-star general, and ex Supreme Allied Commander of European forces, totally 109,000 men is on the ticket. We need Wes as the VP.

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | December 9, 2005 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow - lots to take in! In response to an earlier post about why Mark Warner is getting so much ink is because of Virginia's proximity to DC. The DC news bureaus and party people all read the Post, and have had first hand experience with how awesome Mark's been as a governor.

I liked what db said about Richardson - I think Warner/Richardson or Richardson/Warner would be just as attractive as Wes/Warner or Warner/Wes.

I also totally appreciated the comment about divisiveness. Honestly, that's why we like Warner in Virginia so much. If you've seen Mark campaign, he's... I dunno, he's just different. He takes criticism in stride and tells it like it is. As a Governor, I heard him speak to a group of LGBT people, and he made us laugh, and he got right to the heart of the issues, and he was, well, honest.

Who knows, I'm just a kid. But I'm a tough person to inspire - I'm as disillusioned as any other college-aged liberal. Warner, though, I'll tell you what: he inspires me like none other. He's a pretty brave politician. Don't under-estimate the guy, cause I think you'll definitely be seeing him somewhere on the 2008 ticket.

Posted by: Toby | December 8, 2005 11:22 PM | Report abuse


Interesting posts above, what is amazing is the polarization that HRC brings not only the right wing but Dems as well. I'm not defending her, but I truly dont understand this pheonomenon. The majority of women love her many men despise her.... including DEmocratic men. African-Americans absolutely adore her and will rally their base to get her elected as will the gay and lesbian community. HRC starts with a base of 190 to 210 electoral votes and probably a 45 to 48 percent of popular vote. The question is can she get the 271 or higher.

I agree with the one poster that questions what would another Clinton presidency bring. More devisiness, mean spriritness and polarization..That is a good point and one that needs explored.

What I have read in the press as well as many of the politcal columnists, is that she has done a lot of bridge building in the Senate. SHe has not been a polarizing figure. In New York state, she has only token Republican oppositon for and may actually not have an opponenet.

Another point is, we should not assume the right wing will be anything less than the nasti, hate-filled crowd that they are. Let's remember, they eat their own. So having a Bayh-Warner, Warner-Clark or Clinton-Warner ticket will not make a difference. Fox News, Rush, and Pat Robertson are all anti-democratic and will never see anything except through the prizm they chose to look through. Facts not matter, only being in control and pushing their agenda down AMericans throats is all they are about. So winning over the right should not be a priority for any dem ticket. Take care of middle american where real values exist.

Posted by: db | December 8, 2005 7:16 PM | Report abuse

It looks like the event last night speaks more for the stage managers than it does for the 'potential' candidacy of Mark Warner.

Somebody get those guy's names.

Posted by: Red State Dem | December 8, 2005 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm afraid I have to disagree with NCDem. Having a top of the ticket Democrat that has no foreign policy experience is a mistake.

I believe most Americans believe that this model -- the Bush/Cheney model -- hasn't been effective or smart. Swapping the names on the ballot to put Clark at the top would make more sense.

If Warner's claim to fame is that he's a Democrat who's won in a red state (and so far, that's the only thing I see that he could be lauded for on a national level), he'll have ample opportunity in the 06 elections to prove that he's not a 'one state' wonder.

Does Warner have coattails outside of Virginia? We'll see. If he can't be successful helping downballot candidates win in red states in 06, he certainly can't be considered a likely winner in 08.

Posted by: Texas Kat | December 8, 2005 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I am appalled at the use of the word "decent" by true believer in reference to Hillary. Have you forgotten that she forced trumped-up charges of financial irregularity against the White House travel office employees (who were decent people) and then brought in the FBI in effort to legitimize the charges? The travel office people were later found to be completely innocent. Her temper tantrums were legend. Her $1,000 cattle futures investment got a return of $100,000, engineered by people who stood to benefit from Arkansas Gov. at the time, and the odds of that large gain occurring normally approached zero.

Posted by: Bill | December 8, 2005 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Just a question: why isn't Sen. Feingold from Wisconsin being more mentioned as a candidate--he is knowledgeable, speaks very well, and provides a candidate who could be very good against Sen. McCain if he wins the Republican primary. He also did not vote for the war, unless I'm mistaken so that should play very well with the base and provide a contrast to the eventual Republican nominee.

Posted by: Jason | December 8, 2005 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Warner/Richardson vs McCain/Brownback??

Bayh/Richardson vs Allen/Guiliani


Edwards/Warner vs any Rep??

Can any of our guys beat McCain? Will the Repubs nominate anyone not associated with the Christian Right? These are match-ups and questions that are valid.

Hillary has no chance and Dean should step down as Party head. These are two decent, smart people who are never-the-less destined to kill our chances in 06. We may snatch defeat from the jaws of victory despite the most incompetent and frankly stupid president of all time handing us a great chance to get the White house

Posted by: true believer | December 8, 2005 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Response to db regarding Clinton: His choices of personnel were not all good. Clinton's original Sec. of Defense was Les Aspin who had spent his prior career trashing the military. AJ Janet Reno was a disaster who covered for the Clintons in order to keep her job. I grant you Rubin was top notch. Clinton's wife Hillary was not elected to office but she dominated decision making in his administration. And do not forget Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich, the fugitive who owed the IRS $48 million. First we had the slime of the Clinton admistration (1992 to 2000) and then the incompetence and dishonesty of Dubya (2000 to 2008). If there is life in outer space observing us, the aliens must surely be laughing at the choices we make for US President.

Posted by: Bill | December 8, 2005 1:30 PM | Report abuse

The best combination would be with Clark heading the ticket and Warner as VP. Clark has solid appeal to many types of voters including Republicans who are fed up with the current operating style of the party. Clark could be a welcome change from the stench that now permeates Washington politics. Warner would be a real plus for the Dem ticket, not a drag as I think Edwards was.

Posted by: Bill | December 8, 2005 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Oops, serious typo. I meant 'many liberals despise her as well.'

Posted by: Jackson Landers | December 8, 2005 12:43 PM | Report abuse

The way I see it, the '08 primary is going to eventually come down to a 2 way contest between Hillary and Warner. Warner has more fundraising muscle than anyone else except maybe Hillary. He also has the ability to pump in tens of millions of dollars of his own money if need be.

There's going to be a huge 'stop Hillary' movement and most of the party will be looking for a single anti-Hillary candidate to get behind before Iowa even happens. Guys like Joe Biden and Bill Richardson will be dropping out as they find that they just don't have the cash to go the distance. An effective ground organization in NH & Iowa is VERY expensive. Warner will be the only guy who isn't starting to choke like that and he will become the logical guy for everyone to unite behind.

I really don't see Hillary wining this, no matter how much money she raises. What is her constituency? Conservatives obviously hate her. A quick look at discussions on sites like the Daily Kos will show you that liberals not despise her as well. The centrists have better options available among candidates less despised by the country as a whole.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | December 8, 2005 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I think that if the Dem's want to win the White House in '08, they should offer up Hillary as a "Sacrificial Lamb." It's pretty obvious she would not be elected right now in this country. But if the Dems could focus the right wing on attacking her (and spending their $$ and time on stopping her from getting the nomination), it would then make it easier to insert a Moderate Bipartisan Democrat such as Warner onto the ticket.

Posted by: Steve | December 8, 2005 11:21 AM | Report abuse

If we (as Democrats) want to win, we'll nominate Mark Warner. I also love the idea of Wes Clark as VP (adds foreign policy gravitas). A Warner/Clark ticket is unstoppable. I truly don't see how it could possibly lose.

Posted by: NCDem | December 8, 2005 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Clarification of my post above (in case it's not obvious): when I referred to those living in the 15th century I was talking about the social conservatives and fundamentalists who might read the post. My signoff at the bottom may have made that confusing.

Posted by: BT | December 8, 2005 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I agree that a Hillary nomination would be yet another optimistic, but ultimately self-defeating, move for the forces of modernity in this country.

I'm a liberal. To be frank, someone like Mark Warner is probably slightly to the right of where I sit. However, I am also realistic and have learned to look at the big picture. It's easy to forget from the circles we immerse ourselves in, but we live in an evenly-divided country ideologically. Half of America is still effectively living in the past (the 15th century as far as I can tell - sorry but that's how I see y'all from your actions and positions on so many issues). The states are aligned such that someone like Hillary (or Kerry, or Gore...) HAS to win Ohio or Florida to seal the deal. It's not clear to me how she will be able to do that. This current (justified) disgust with a corrupt GOP will fade, and old allegiances will float back to the surface three years from now, I'm betting.

And even if she did pull it off, we'd end up with the same old coasts-vs-interior, dysfunctional, polarized country that has no idea how to talk or listen to each other (and yes, I realize I am part of that dynamic). How healthy is that, really? I understand that "they" (the far right) have had "their" president for the past eight years, someone who has governed to the right of most Republicans. It's tempting to say, okay, grrr, now it's OUR turn again. Let's piss 'em all off. Shove Hillary down their throats (yeah!) and let 'em choke on their irrational hate. But even if that were a healthy, mature, productive tack to take, it might not even work.

A Warner/Clark ticket would have a much better chance of winning, and would at least govern in a modern and (from the intelligence and openmindedness I sense in these two) exceedingly competent manner. This country *desperately* needs that. The *world* desperately needs it from us.

I'm not saying Hillary couldn't/wouldn't govern that way, just that she might not get the chance -- and we'd still be a country at war with ourselves if she did. A nation divided cannot stand. Somebody famous said that once I think.

Something to think about, I hope, my fellow battle-weary liberals.

PS: I'm not thrilled with the milquetoast comments Warner made when surprised with an Iraq question the other day. I think someone needs to impress upon him how angry the country (and not just the Democratic third) is at having been misled by an administration that abused its power and the public's grief and trust. I'd like to hear more about his Iraq views, and I'm willing to accept that they may not be fully gestated at this point, his mandate having been a focus on Virginia until now. In other words, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, for now.

Posted by: BT | December 8, 2005 10:46 AM | Report abuse

db, you mention Bill Richardson as being one of the competent members of Clinton's cabinet. Right you are-- now, why isn't anyone talking about him running for President? Let's see . . . he is currently Governor of New Mexico (Executive experience? Understanding of state issues? Check and check.) He was U.N. ambassador (foreign policy? Check.) And, oh yeah, he happens to be Hispanic (from a demographic that we Democrats DESPERATELY need to keep on our side, and which the Kerry campaign pretty much took for granted.) Add to that the fact that he can actually be charismatic on the stump (a New York Times article last year referred to him as "the life of the Party,") and I think we've got a winner. True, Richardson does have the Wen Ho Lee scandal as a hurdle . . . but, compared to Hillary Clinton, that's pretty light baggage. And, taking into account the length and depth of his resume, Richardson has more experience than someone like Mark Warner. Don't get me wrong, I definitely think Warner would be a better choice than Hillary. But Richardson would be the best choice of all. How about a Richardson/Warner ticket in '08?

Posted by: The Caped Composer | December 8, 2005 10:46 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans are SALIVATING over HRC getting the nomination because she has no snow ball's chance in Hell of winning the presidency. Not only will all the Bill O'Reillys and Rush Limbaughs of the world effictively mobilize their listeners with their "feminazi" rhetoric about her, but I believe that many progressive (former) Democrats like myself will vote for for a third-party candidate who does not sell out to the right just to get elected, like HRC has done.

Posted by: David Piper | December 8, 2005 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I hope Mark Warner is the real deal. The last time a 1 term southern democratic governer was president it did not turn out so well.

Warner is needed because I'm afraid Hillary cannot win in 2008. No matter what she does she will be attacked. If she acts as a anti-war, feminist she will be attacked as too liberal. Now as she moves toward the center on issues like Iraq Hillary gets criticized as someone with no principles. She cannot catch a break.

What I really want to see is a Democrat that actually outlines a foreign policy that defeats islamic extremism instead of the Iraq centric debate we are having now. Hello, doesn't anyone remember Osama Bin Laden.

Posted by: FEDUP | December 8, 2005 6:35 AM | Report abuse

HRC's hawkishness is becoming mighty tiresome.

I'd like to hear more about Warner's position on the war in Iraq, flag-burning, Patriot Act, the economy, church vs. state and the other gut issues.

Posted by: lib | December 8, 2005 3:51 AM | Report abuse

PS-What exactly is a "progressive agenda?" It sounds like it means something but then we all know it's just a Democrat trying to imply that Republicans are backward-moving. You ain't winnin' the South with that kind of attitude. People all over this country want a straight-forward, logical agenda for how to make our country work. Leave the party lines behind.

Posted by: Real Virginian | December 8, 2005 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Warner was able to bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats in Republican dominant Virginia. He with bipartisan support was able to get his policies enacted. In this day in age a bipartisan President is a powerful President. Warner brings that to the table. He would be good paired with Wes Clark or Evan Bayh. Both of those Dems come from red states and are known for their bipartisan manner in politics. Bayh is another Democrat that is similar to Warner that has a lot longer record. 2 yr Sec of State of Indiana, 2 term Gov. and starting his second term in the Senate. A President Evan Bayh or President Mark Warner would be very good for all Americans.

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | December 8, 2005 12:41 AM | Report abuse

I worry about the depth of Warners resume. Yes he knows how to run a business (started Nextel) and has ability to bring groups together. He worked in politics before in direct mail but failed with that.

I'm not sure what kind of resume is "good enough", however, I would take Warners smarts over Dubya's stupidity any day. So at the end of the day, If Dubya can win with six years ss being a govenor and 20 years of failing as a businessman, I think Warner's resume will suffice.

In all sincerity, the effectiveness of a great President is based upon the quality of the people he surrounds himself with and the ability to listen to those peoples opinions and value them. Say what you want about Clinton and his Lewinsky thing, he surrounded himself with some excellent people who knew what they were doing, especially on domestic policies that were critical during the 90's. Robert Reich, Robert Rubin, Bill Richardson. his economic advisors and budget director (I forget which one held that title) Also sticking with Alan Greenspan.

His three bad hires, Louis Freeh, Jocelyn Elders, and George Tenet

On foreign policy, Warren Christopher and Madeline Albright held their own.

As a registered independant I would give Warner a chance over any GOP candidate that is thinking about running. Hagel would perhaps be the only GOPer that I would consider.

That said, Bayh may be the best the dems have to offer to counter HRC. I still think Bayh-HRC in 2008 would win hands down.

Posted by: db | December 8, 2005 12:38 AM | Report abuse

I tend to agree with the Republicans light comment. Mark Warner, however, is different from many high flying Dem and Republican politicians. He took notice of my hometown, Martinsville, VA, in his campain and as governor. No one else up here in the fake-Virginia/DC area seems to care what's going on in the broken down, "mill's closed" rural economies throughout Southern Virginia and the country. Warner seems like a realistic and determined person. If any politician can help people in rural American towns, it's Mark Warner.

Posted by: Real Virginian | December 8, 2005 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Virginia Democrat,

A lengthy resume does not indicate competant Presidential governance. The two Presidents in the past 100 years with the longest political resumes--Richard Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson--were hardly competant at governing the country.

With Mark Warner's pristine record as governor, his no-nonsense, fact-based, policy wonk approach to governance is exactly what the country needs right now!

Moreover, I can't think of another Democrat out there who has tremendous appeal to both moderate Republican suburbanites AND once-Democratic, now Republican rural populist voters!

Warner would not only win, he would bring with him a governing majority that would allow for the advancement of a progressive agenda...

Posted by: seank | December 7, 2005 11:55 PM | Report abuse

The question should be, what kind of president will the country want after George Bush? Remember, he basically won the job as the anti-Clinton, by promising values and decency. I think the next president will similarly win as the anti-Bush, by promising competence in governing. And if competence is key in these tough times, we need someone with a political resume longer than one entry -- not a one-term Governor or term-and-a-half Senator.

Posted by: Virginia Democrat | December 7, 2005 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are not Republican lite. We offer a different America than they present We are the party that looks to the future by funding education, balancing budgets, and so on. The Republicans only see things in short term lens. Mark Warner will give us an America built on opportunity, and hope. He can save America than on it's current path to nowhere. He will not be a President of a conservative or a moderate or a liberal wing of the country, but the President of all wings of the country. He knows together we can faces challenges that we can not overcome if we do it alone. He knows that we are the United States of America, not just Democrats or Republicans. This country really needs Mark Warner, and I urge middle of the road Republicans to unite behind Warner. He will finally show us what America is truly made of.

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | December 7, 2005 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't matter if Warner gets the nomination and then wins the White House. Ordinary, working-people like myself will STILL be screwed because the Democrats are just as corrupt as the Republicans because all they do is accept donations from large corporations. Dems are pretty much Republican-lite...

Posted by: David Piper | December 7, 2005 9:05 PM | Report abuse

This is to Fairfax Kid, being a middle of the road Republican, the worse thing the Democrats could do is compare him to Clinton. I would never want someone of Bill Clinton's character in the White House. I think Mark Warner has more character/values than Clinton.

Posted by: Liberal Republican | December 7, 2005 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I know that back during the governor's race of 2001, folk said Mark Warner was bad on the stump. But anyone who saw him here in Virginia during the Kaine campaign knows that Mark has got what it takes. Give the man a while to find his groove - it's a full two-and-a-half years till the primary, y'all.

And Chris, thanks for the link to the Richmond report and the story. My favorite quote:

>>Shawn Smith, executive director of the Virginia Republican Party, said yesterday that, "The American people want a leader with unwavering character and leadership -- not a Democrat with shallow campaign rhetoric and promises made just to get elected."

Looks like someone's a little pissed that a Democratic Governor in VA has a 70-something percent approval rating!

Posted by: Toby | December 7, 2005 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I really like Mark Warner. He is a good Southern Democrat that is could take back the South for us. He has a lot of ideas, and used to be a State Democratic Chairman so he knows how to win, and how to campaign. $2.5 millon dollars is a lot of money to raise.He is a fresh face, and would be far better nominee than Hillary of course. Democrats that we lost to Republicans in the South and Midwest would come out of the woodwork to support him. If he was nominated I would have no doubt that he would win.

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | December 7, 2005 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Grammar error, there, Chris: it should be THROUGH; not THREW. :)

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 7, 2005 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Very interesting read. I admit that while supportive of Warner's presidential efforts, I have been surprised by how much buzz there has been about him in the national media, and how quickly things seem to be moving.

I worry about whether Warner can live up to the expectations that are building that he's some sort of Bill Clinton 2.0. Your observation about Warner not being the greatest at the theater of politics rings true to me. In my eyes, Warner's great strength is as a no-nonsense reformer who'll clean up government and make it run better. He's just okay when it comes to personality, and my great fear is that if he's forced into a competition of personalities, he's going to lose.

It'll be interesting to see the contrast between Warner and Edwards this weekend during the Florida State Dem Convo.

Posted by: Fairfax Kid | December 7, 2005 3:40 PM | Report abuse

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