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Mark Warner as the great Demo hope?

George Will thinks that Gov. Mark Warner of Virginia may be the Democrats’ best hope for 2008. He is a governor, and he has broken with Demo orthodoxy on a number of issues (tax cuts is not one of them); the most important might well be his support of the Laci Person law, and "reasonable restrcitions on late-term abortions." This may be not enough, but it is something, and Democrats don’t have all that many options. Virginia has not voted Democratic since 1964, but Will thinks it might be a good place for them to start if they are determined to compete in the South (the 11 states of the Confederacy, plus Oklahoma, Kentucky and West Virginia, have 173 electoral votes. Will: "If Democrats are shut out in those 14 states, and they have been in the past two elections, they must carry 74 percent of all the other electoral votes." Will thinks that as the Northern Virginia suburbs continue to grow
"and perhaps become more like Philadelphia’s liberal-leaning suburbs, Virginia could become one of the states -- Arizona and Colorado are others -- that may soon be fully transformed from reliably Republican to more or less regularly competitive." Maybe. But it is a good argument and Warner bears watching. He is chairman of the National Governors Association and hence will get some much needed publicity, and because he will be out of office in 2006, should have time to campaign for the presidency. Also note this from the Boston Globe showing that Democrats may be softening their views on abortion. This may explain why Nency Pelosi seems to be encouraging Tim Roemer (a former Congressman with an anti-abortion voting record) to run for Chair of the DNC.
Roemer, for example, said last week on CNN that those who don’t favor bans on late-term abortion have a "moral blind spot" on the issue.

Discussions - 8 Comments

Let’s hope the Demos are softening their views on abortions, for the sake of all unborn babies.

It is no secret that the Democrats could help themselves in the middle with more moderate positions. The problem is, the core wants none of it. For every vote they pick up in the middle, they could lose a vote from their core, and this is why they haven’t already moved to more moderate positions.

Why are conservative pundits wasting all this time and ink giving advice to the Democrats? This party has disgraced itself, and the more elections they lose, the better for the country. It is the only way they can possibly learn their lesson. And they’re not nearly at that point yet.

One problem for Dems in VA (and even across the river in MD) is that just as elsewhere the big "suburban" growth is in farther-out exurbs where the GOP does so well.

OTOH, the Dems did finally win Fairfax County, VA, for the first time in a long while last Nov 2 (Bush had nosed out Gore in 2000 b/c Nader took 12K votes in the county).

Any Dem strategy for winning VA is always a "blue America" strategy in miniature, i.e., turn out a heavy black vote in Alexandria, Richmond, & Norfolk while running very competitive among whites in the older bedroom suburbs near DC and hoping that rural VA doesn’t turn out. The exurbs are a big Dem headache b/c they feature population densities approaching those of older suburbs, but w/ political leanings more like conservative rural VA.

If GOP Atty Genl Jerry Kilgore whips Dem Lt Gov Tim Kaine (the somewhat goofy white-lib ex-mayor of Richmond) in the ’06 VA governor’s race, this will tarnish Mark Warner’s reputation a good deal; OTOH if Warner can push Kaine over the top, look out.

Excuse me, the VA gov’s race is in ’05, NOT ’06.

This Mark Warner talk has to be a joke, or it shows how desperate the Dems are. Will American entrust the presidency to a weak, one-term Governor whose principal claim to fame is raising taxes?

Warner may be a nonstarter in a presidential race, but I seem to recall that when he ran for governor, he did a fairly good job of fooling rural voters with his schtick.

I don’t think Warner’s a joke. He has gangloads of money, he’s telegenic and a smoothie, he’s shown he can win in a red state by juking right on guns and so on, and he has successfully schnookered a GOP-dominated state legislature into raising taxes by skillfully playing older-suburb "moderate" Republicans in the state senate off against the rest of the party’s delegation ("Governing" magazine actually gave those doofuses an award--barf, barf!). He might be the next John Edwards (whom the Dems also thought wd help them a lot w/ rural voters, ha, ha). . . or the next Bill Clinton. Time will tell--I hope to God it’s the former.

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