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Warner Courts the World's Elites

What does a recently unemployed politician with an eye on the 2008 presidential race do with his free time? Head to Switzerland, of course.

Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (D) is slated to attend the World Economic Forum at Davos from Jan. 26-29 and sit on panel (topic not yet specified) at the event. He will be joined on the panel by two other 2008 hopefuls -- Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) and Delaware Sen. Joe Biden (D). (Davos, Fix readers will recall, is where '08 hopeful/Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist had a strange encounter with actress Sharon Stone.)

The trip to Davos is a nice start at bolstering Warner's foreign policy credentials -- his most obvious weak spot in the 2008 Democratic field. Warner will need to convince primary voters and (he hopes) general election voters that just four years of political experience equipped him to take over a nation still likely to be heavily committed to Iraq and in the midst of the overall war on terror.

"If you are going to run for president, there is a threshold of competence you have to reach  on foreign policy," said Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic strategists and the former deputy campaign manager for John Kerry's 2004 presidential bid. "You have to talk about it and sound like you know what you are talking about."

After returning from Switzerland, Warner's February schedule is packed with a stop in a key early primary state and several campaign fundraising meccas.

He'll be in New York City on Jan. 31-Feb.1 and then head to Raleigh, N.C., on Feb. 7 where he'll attend an innovation forum at the invitation of former Gov. Jim Hunt (D).

Warner will headline the New Hampshire Democratic Party's 100 Club dinner on Feb. 10 and will go from there to the west coast  -- Los Angeles from Feb. 13-15  for a education speech and San Diego from Feb. 16-17 to attend a health care conference. He'll be in Texas on Feb. 23-24 and close out the month in Boston (Feb. 28-Mar.1).

Each stop -- with the exception of New Hampshire -- has a fundraising component for his Forward Together PACWarner raised nearly $3 million at an event late last year for the PAC and could well have the largest grossing leadership PAC of the 2008 Democratic hopefuls when 2005 year-end reports are filed with the Federal Election Commission on Jan. 31.

Warner's term as governor officially expires Saturday when Gov.-elect Tim Kaine (D) takes the oath of office. Warner gave his final state of the commonwealth address last night, losing the votes of hundreds of Georgetown University men's basketball fans in the process by preempting the broadcast of the Hoyas' game against No. 16 West Virginia (the Mountaineers won...).

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 12, 2006; 8:21 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: George Allen's Big Gun

Comments

Very interesting is this blog

Posted by: Dublin Flats | March 22, 2006 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Warner is a pretty smart guy. I hope he doesn't pick up a bunch of these washington dem consultants like shrum and the gang.

They have losing down pat. Listen to carvile -- listen to the early clinton people like Diane Feldman.

Get rid of shrum -- elmendorf -- all these guys who think they know everything but get worked by the R's year in and year out. Dem party needs a national candidate. Someone who can win in the south and create the illusion that the dems have a national message. Warner can do that. Does the liberal base want to win, or want to complain. We will find out.

If they put up Hillary -- I am voting for the R's and never coming back to this party.

Tired of the crazy liberal/cindy sheehan base keeping the dems out.

We are the party that wants to address the health care crisis in this country. The party that produced the president that presided over the longest economic expansionin our country's history.

We need Mark Warner so bad. Not sure if it will happen.

Posted by: Tom | January 30, 2006 11:52 PM | Report abuse

SENATOR W.: Where did you learn your FOREIGN POLICY?

SENATOR K.: After dinner in DAVOS.

SENATOR W.: Can you get me an invitation?

Posted by: chuck despres | January 16, 2006 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind having a strange encounter with Sharon Stone. ;)

Somehow I don't think the Naturist voting bloc is very key to winning the Democratic nomination. But I'm willing to visit one of their camps with Sharon Stone.

Actually, I'd prefer Alicia Silverstone. Maybe she should run for Governor of CA.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | January 14, 2006 12:01 AM | Report abuse

You are right DB, but do you think the GOPers in the VA House of Delegates will stop talking about abortion long enough to propose it? I didn;t think so.

Posted by: Earnest | January 13, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Its too bad that he could not run for second term for Va governor. I think that law is rather obsolete in this day and age. Four years simply sets the stage for a candidate, real results take 6-8 years. That said, Warner will have a tough time winning over the left leaning primary voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. Given that HRC will have a war chest approaching 75 to 100Million by the end of 2007, and the fact that she is fundraising for a lot of local dems in both red and blue states, she may be tough to beat in the primary. That said, its the General election where she will have a tougher time. Ironically, I think a Warner candidacy will be just the opposite. He will struggle to win the primaries but could win big in the general election IMO.

Posted by: DB | January 13, 2006 1:29 AM | Report abuse

I am not worried about Warner's foreign policy experience or his charisma. He can pick a VP to make for his foreign policy like Al Gore, or Bush I in the past. Warner has a good message I seen his speeches and what he has to say connects with all sorts of people wether you are conservative, moderate, or liberal and I think that will win him the election.

Posted by: IndependentVoter | January 13, 2006 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Reagon had Bush as foreign Policy advisor.
Bush 1 could have used someone besides an potato(e) head in Quayle. Clinton surrounded himself in decent foreign policy experts although if everyone remembers foreign policy was not at the top of everyone's list rather it was "it's the economy stupid" that helped Clinton along with Ross Perot's candidacy.

Bush 2 had Cheney who was defense secretary although it is now proven that Cheney is a right wing military nut- an Arnold S. tough guy wannabe.

Posted by: DB | January 12, 2006 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Mark Warner has a lot going for him.

Democrats need to recall just what lousy candidates Senators make when they run for President. Kerry, Biden, Clinton are accomplished senators but all three would be death in a general election.

I worry that Warner lacks charisma, but considering what nobodys the GOP has in its stable, Warner may shine.

Of course, who knows who the GOP nominee will be, what with so many of them being indicted or soon to be indicted. Who knows who will still be out on bail or out on appeal?

Posted by: Tim Tomser | January 12, 2006 6:40 PM | Report abuse

As a Democrat, and as a political scientist, I want to say simply that Mark Warner would be a damn good candidate for President. In fact, considering his ideology, loved by press, respected by Republicans, Southern, Governor, and his message he has been testing out Warner is the best chance for the Democrats to take back the White House in 2008. He has all of the makings to win in 2008, all he needs is to pick a running mate with foreign policy experience to offset his lack there of. He should pick Evan Bayh or Wes Clark masters on foreign policy. I agree with everyone that the Presidential nominee does not have to have concrete foreign policy experience but they do need a running mate that does. Ronald Reagan had George H. W. Bush ex CIA director, Bill had Al Gore who had foreign policy experience in the Senate. So, Warner picking Bayh or Clark would only fall in line with past Presidential ticket models in the past.

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | January 12, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Warner's apparently lost the nudist vote; looks like he should just pack it in early.

Posted by: Judge Crater | January 12, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Mark Warner needs to study the laws concerning parental rights. While governor of Virginia, he signed into law, while making disrespectful remarks about a class of people, a law that denies parental rights to this class of people.

The law was prompted by hate and intolerance of a class of people by members of the Virginia legislature.

The new law discriminates against a class of people. The disrespect of parental rights should disqualify Mark Warner to be president.

The issue was summer camps for the children of Naturists.

Instead of visiting Switzerland, Mr. Warner should visit a Naturist summer camp or resort, where he may overcome his deficit in the knowledge of Naturism.

Richard Mason

Posted by: Richard Mason | January 12, 2006 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Mark Warner needs to study the laws concerning parental rights. While governor of Virginia, he signed into law, while making disrespectful remarks about a class of people, a law that denies parental rights to this class of people.

The law was prompted by hate and intolerance of a class of people by members of the Virginia legislature.

The new law discriminates against a class of people. The disrespect of parental rights should disqualify Mark Warner to be president.

The issue was summer camps for the children of Naturists.

Instead of visiting Switzerland, Mr. Warner should visit a Naturist summer camp or resort, where he may overcome his deficit in the knowledge of Naturism.

Richard Mason

Posted by: Richard Mason | January 12, 2006 12:58 PM | Report abuse

""If you are going to run for president, there is a threshold of competence you have to reach on foreign policy," . . . "You have to talk about it and sound like you know what you are talking about.""

Apparently, there is no such threshhold for actually being President. Maybe this is a requirement for the Democratic nomination?

Posted by: Mucius | January 12, 2006 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Thanks 'lpdrjk' for spotting the "Davis" error. It's fixed above.

Posted by: washingtonpost.com | January 12, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Chris: "Davos, Fix readers will recall, is where '08..." is what I believe you meant to say instead of "Davis, Fix readers will recall, is where '08..."

Davis is a city in California; while Sharon Stone is much more likely to be found there than Davos I doubt she and Frist have ever met in that location.

Why is it that when mention of Warner's lack of foreign policy experience is made no one points out that neither Reagan, Clinton nor Bush II had any foreign policy experience as a governor? Foreign policy experience is only one piece of the pie that makes up a presidential candidate.

Posted by: lpdrjk | January 12, 2006 8:54 AM | Report abuse

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