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Warner to New Hampshire (Again)

Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (D) will keynote the New Hampshire Democratic Party's annual 100 Club dinner on Feb. 10 in Manchester.

"Mark Warner is one of the few governors in the country with home-state support as strong as our own governor, John Lynch, and we look forward to hearing from him about his tenure in office and his vision for our country," said party Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan.

Warner, who has made little secret of his interest in national office, traveled to the Granite State   late last month and received largely positive reviews.  Sullivan said Warner "sparked some real interest on his trip here last month." (If you missed it the first time around, make sure to read Mark Leibovich's spot-on profile of Warner written during that trip.)

As Warner prepares to leave the governor's mansion in January, his travel schedule has begun to reflect his national ambitions. He visited South Carolina and Florida this month and also held a massive fundraiser for his Forward Together leadership political action committee. That event, at the Tysons Corner Ritz Carlton in Northern Virginia, raised between $2.5 and $4 million for Forward Together.

Warner must work hard now to build momentum for the 2008 race.  He will have no day job starting in January and is the current "it" boy among the media and donor community. He (and his cracker-jack staff) seems to sense that he can't let the opportunity pass by.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 21, 2005; 3:02 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: N.Y. Senate: Hillary Coasting to Reelection


you guys have it all wrong- it's way too early to predict a winner right now. john kerry is no doubt the man to beat- he's been there and back- AND he's been vetted. this will give him a huge advantage next time around- there are so many pitfalls and potholes in the primary process. it's a grueling test of experience, will and know how. keep a close eye on the man from massachusetts

Posted by: lance | December 30, 2005 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The Dems haven't been as good at exploiting events like Katrina and 9/11 as the Republicans. And there's a big difference between COULD have and WOULD have. Luckily it happens that FEMA was pretty well-run in the Clinton administration, and its head then, James Witt, is highly regarded. So we could milk that a bit. But it's not enough to get us all the way around the bases.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 24, 2005 12:41 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans successfully cashed in on human tragedy by holding their convention in New York, close to the three-year anniversary of 9/11. No reason Dems shouldn't do something similar-- politics is a dirty game, and requires some Machiavellian maneuvering, even on the part of the "good guys."

Furthermore . . . how can you say that the Dems wouldn't have done a better job handling the Katrina disaster? ANYONE could've done a better job with that than Bushie and his cronies!

Posted by: The Caped Composer | December 23, 2005 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Many voters would also see a New Orleans convention as trying to cash in politically on a human catastrophe. And many of them would be hard to convince that Democrats have done, would have done, or will do a better job responding to such disasters. The poorly rated Governor of LA is a Democrat in fact. Having the convention there would come with risks. I don't think that alone should discount it, but for now I'd lean toward a city in a Midwestern swing state like I listed above.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 22, 2005 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Tarheel Guy. The reason the Democrats did not win NC in 2004 was of Kerry not Edwards. Edwards would have won his Senate seat if he chose to go out for reelection. I think you are forgetting the persona of Edwards, he is the best debater of modern times, and possibly the greatest personality even better than Bill. We should not tear down Edwards, even if you do not support him. He is a good man, and fights a much needed fight in poverty. I hope he decides to run for NC governor instead of going out for 08. By being a two term governor, one term senator, Edwards would have lots of experience, and with his personality and talents he would be unstoppable. For now, I hope Warner wins the nomination and Clinton loses.

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | December 22, 2005 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Enough with the Edwards bashing. For you folks who "know" he could not win re-election, well that's pretty well un-knowable. You folks are classic Monday morning quarterbacks. By the time the election came around his popularity was pretty sound in NC. I think he would have chewed up Richard Burr if he had chosen to run for re-election, but I can't claim to "know" that.

The fact that Kerry did not win in NC says more about Kerry and NC than it does about Edwards. He may not have been the very best choice for Kerry (and he may have been the perfect choice), but the results of the election do not hang on John Edwards neck.

And by the way, I'm a fan of both Edwards and Warner - I just don't feel the need to support one by bashing the other.

Posted by: Tarheel Guy | December 22, 2005 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Sandwich Repairman, you mention that Dukakis was nominated in New Orleans in '88. True enough . . . but, remember, now New Orleans takes on a whole new meaning. Back then, it didn't present the political liability to the Republicans that it does now. If the Democratic National Convention were to be held in New Orleans in 2008, it would remind the nation of the Republicans' mishandling of the Katrina catastrophe, adding gravity to our message that we can handle both domestic and foreign crises more effectively than the GOP. So, I hope New Orleans puts in a bid for the convention-- it would probably help to boost their economy, too.

Posted by: The Caped Composer | December 22, 2005 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I want to state something clear. John Edwards is a decent honorable man and our country would be blessed to have him as Commander and Chief. He truly undertstands the poor in this country and would fight for the working man. Although, I really really like John Edwards, and would support him in a heartbeat. I really really like Mark Warner. He knows how to win, has a great record, and I will vote for him if chooses to seek the nomination in 2008. I want Wes Clark or Evan Bayh to be Warner's running mate. I just pray that a Democrat wins in 2008 for our parties sake, and most importantly our countries sake.

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | December 22, 2005 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Warner and foreign affairs. You cannot attack him for this. The argument presents a logical fallacy. If you decided to run someone with foreign affairs experice, who would you pick? Of course, a senator. But senators don't win presidential elections. Kerry spent decades on various senate foreign affairs committees. I believe he was even chairman of the terrorism subcommittee during the 1980s. But running a senator brings many evils. The safer bet is to run someone with less foreign affairs experience but who does more than just vote aye or nay.

Posted by: Adam | December 22, 2005 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Edwards never had a chance on winning anything in the south. His election victory in 1998 was by a narrow margin. He was never popular. Polls showed throughout 2002 and 2003 that he would probably lose his reelection to the senate, had he sought it in 2004. The problem, was that his state never liked him, and he was in DC during his entire term. Senators are too dissociated from their states. This is especially the case if you are a democrat representing a southern state. Edwards needs to stay out of politics, and stay at his poverty research center in NC.

Posted by: Adam | December 22, 2005 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Dems had better get a coherant message for 2006 to pave the way to win back presidency in 2008. In the end, HRC, Bayh, Richardson or Warner can win if the Dems have a consistent message and avoid allowing the GOP to paint them into corners on wedge issues (immigration will be the next one on the horizon, did anyone see the West Wing episode).

The message IMO can be simple:

Avoid the social conservative abortion debate.

Simply put Americans are guaranteed to their right to privacy. The GOP has taken away these rights from King George illegal spying,to the Duke of Dick's outing of a CIA agent, to the GOP's Patriot Act, to the Terry Schiavo legislation. I would drill this theme home over and over in 2006 against every GOP incumbant. This invasion of privacy has gone way too far. We dont need a discussion on abortion, we need a discussion on restoring our rights that are guaranteed under the constitution. Heck if the gun lobby can use this tactic, then its time the DEMS turned the tables on the GOP with the same message.

Secondly, I would run on Pelosi's and Reids Culture of Corruption theme. Make Delay, Ney, Goode, Abramoff, Scanlon, and others the poster child for every GOP incumbant.

Thirdly, its time to restore fiscal responsibility and accountability to our government. Budget deficits used to be triumped by the GOP who blamed the big spending liberals for the deficit. Again, its time to state the obvious, Americans in the 1990s turned the powers of the purse over to the GOP and again in 2000 and 2004. Americans did this as they thought the GOP could be trusted. The GOP can not be trusted, they have sold out to lobbyists, big oil, pharmacuetal companies and redistributed the wealth to the top 1% of the nations wealthy elite.

Forth, lets expose the GOP and right wing social conservatives for what they are. They want to intervene in peoples lives. They want to put religion ahead of science (intelligent design); FDA and the morning after pill. The Dems dont need to right wing of the GOP to win, they need the independants who are educated enough to know the difference on what values really mean. I am not saying go on the attack against religion, rather embrace it. However, draw the line on the separation of church and state and use Iran an example of where religion can take you if you allow the church to rule the state.

I could go on, but a theme that is emerging in my conscious is that I want my constitutional rights restored and honored by my government and their representatives and I dont want to see my liberties trampled on like Terry Schiavos husbands were or Valerie Plame. This is America and we need to understand that no goverment political group such as the GOP has a right to do what they have been doing. Its not about 911 and terrorist threats. Its about our govenment working outside the boundaries of our laws and international laws. This is serious business and I believe King George and the Duke of Dick should both be impeached.

Posted by: Anybody but GOP | December 21, 2005 11:22 PM | Report abuse

In case everyone is not aware, there is a growing Draft Warner movement at

Posted by: eddie r | December 21, 2005 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I saw Governor Mark Warner on C-SPAN and was VERY impressed. Has a young Lochinvar come out of the East in time to win back the White House for the Democrats in 2008? A fiscal conservative, Warner has everything going for him, and he could use the next two years to become well-informed on our foreign policy, surrounding himself with top experts from both parties who are not wedded to a rigid ideology. Hillary, IMO, is unelectable to the White House. Reason: Carries too much baggage. America needs to move on. She should be considered for Secretary of State, if the Democrats win back the White House.

Posted by: Maureen M. | December 21, 2005 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Was Clinton, uh, Bill that is, any more known or experienced in foreign affairs when he was nominated than Warner is now? My memory says no, but I'm not sure, so I'm asking.

I really like Hillary, I really, really like her and would vote for her in heartbeat, but she CANNOT win. If the Democrats nominate her, they might as well just disband and hand over the little tiny bit of power they have left to the Republicans. Not that they haven't been trying to do that for some time now ...

Posted by: Anonymous | December 21, 2005 7:31 PM | Report abuse

P.S. I believe Michael Dukakis was nominated in New Orleans in 1988.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 21, 2005 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of convention locations, I thought Boston was the worst possible choice for the DNC last cycle. Even before Kerry was the nominee. A liberal city and state in an uncontested corner of the country. Suggested that we were out of touch and let that much more focus be put on gay marriage in MA. The convention should be held in an important swing state or in a place that makes some kind of positive statement. The obvious choices to me would be Milwaukee, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Detroit, or Tampa/St. Petersburg. Denver and Las Vegas wouldn't be bad. New Orleans could be a good wild card.

But ultimately, a party can't just choose any city it wants--first the cities have to make bids and apply to host the convention. The party can only choose among those that want it.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 21, 2005 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Ditto on John Edwards, someone else should have been Kerry's running mate last year, but it may not have been enough to win. The fact that Edwards bombed out from his homestate and abandoned it because his reelect was tanking says it all. Edwards is history..maybe a cabinet appointment or judgeship..or he could run against Dole in NC down the road. Warner will win the nomination come 2008! I'm sure the media will hail HRC's 2008 Senate reelection as a sort of comeback frontrunner BS but it doesn't mean much ( a liberal democrat wins in a liberal state...big deal). Its Warner and possibly Bayh for his Veep..not Clark (no electoral or executive experience..I hear he is also pro-life), not Vilsack and not next thing is where will the Dem convention be? New Orleans anyone?

Posted by: Folksy Tune | December 21, 2005 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I have never been impressed with the John Edwards. He brings nothing to the table with respect to winning the electoral votes. I'm sure he won't even carry North Carolina, his homestate.

Posted by: SarahW. | December 21, 2005 4:21 PM | Report abuse

My advice to all the Democratic Presidential hopefuls - Prove your mettle by campaigning hard and fundraising for the Democratic Party, for Dem congressional candidates and governor candidates in 2006.
Barack Obama really impressed me for campaigning heavily on behalf of Tim Kaine and Jon Corzine. Senator Obama has a great future in the Democratic Party.

2008 Dem hopefuls, we are watching you closely. We are watching your efforts, and believe me, we are.

Posted by: Anna in NH | December 21, 2005 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Once and for all . . . FORGET EDWARDS!!!!

From the get-go, Edwards was all about Edwards, not about the people of North Carolina. Furthermore, he KNEW that he was too unpopular to be re-elected to the senate; thus, he chose not to run, opting instead to gamble on the presidency. And the Kerry campaign was foolish enough to go in for the scheme. A one-term senator with a toothy grin and an undistinguished resume is not a winning candidate, and the Team Kerry should've known as much. But, that campaign was, quite sadly, inept in so many ways. I would say that it's a safe bet that, outside of Kerry's family and friends, no one actually voted FOR Kerry; we were all voting AGAINST Bush.

Mark Warner, on the other hand, has been working hard for his constituents for the entirety of his term. He continues to garner high approval ratings among Virginians, because HE HAS NOT ABANDONED THEM IN FAVOR OF HIS OWN ADVANCEMENT. The people of Virginia trust him so much that they elected his successor, Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine, to continue his practical, no-nonsense, economy-improving agenda. Thus, I hope to see him on the national ticket next time around (if not for president, then at least for veep-- with Bill Richardson at the top of the ticket.)

Posted by: The Caped Composer | December 21, 2005 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Edwards and Hillary Clinton have no chance in the primary, despite all the talk from the TV pundits and the media talking heads.

A lot of Democratic primary voters want a presidential win in 2008 more than anything, and they are more in tune with who will win the primary more than the pundits are.

Look for Warner, Clark, Bayh, and maybe Richardson to win the nomination.

Posted by: Tim | December 21, 2005 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I have to wonder if all the Warner talk is hurting Edwards' consideration to run in '08. They would seem to pull from the same areas within the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Anderson | December 21, 2005 3:43 PM | Report abuse

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