Warner Gonna Do?
Warner says he just wants to do a good job as
governor of Virginia. But a lot of smart people are
looking down the road to 2008.
Watkins, U.S. Senator George Allen’s hardest
working aide, is in my office.
He stops by once in a while to fish.
Sure, you can fish in an office if you know
how, if you know how they’re biting, what bait to
Watkins knows how to fish.
talks his way to the moon and back and tells me a
pack of straight-faced lies about one thing or
another. And I
tell him more than a few. Mine are straight-faced,
that’s not a problem for us.
You see, neither of us believes anything
anybody tells us, and only about half of what we
when we have pretty well sliced up most of the folks
in Virginia, Democrat and Republican, and have told
each other lies that are smooth and plausible and so
convoluted that they double back on themselves, we
get down to business and
asks the question he has come to ask.
Warner gonna do?”
are lots and lots of people who think Virginia’s governor is running for president—and more
than that who want him to—Tucker
and I among them. (Tucker
because, of course, that would mean that Warner
leaves Allen alone, and I because… well… two
think he’s electable.
And I think he’s got the goods to do the
you Google the phrase "Mark Warner
President," 897,000 hits come up.
Some of the more interesting sites:
He’s been mentioned everywhere—The New York
Times, the Los Angeles
Times, The Wall Street Journal.
the Times of London:
“His appeal is clear—he is a southern
Democrat who holds high office, and an election
winner in a part of the country that President Bush
won easily last month.”
George Will, in his hyper-read syndicated column:
“An exhortation that echoed here 140 years
ago—"On to Richmond!"—may soon be heard from Democrats wandering
the country in search of a path out of the political
will trek to Virginia’s capital to take the measure of Mark Warner.”
Joe Trippi, in a recent Washington Post
clearly did something that Democrats have had
trouble doing, that is, relating to rural voters.
Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton—the standard
names—would do a lot worse than study Mark
he’s done something else—actually two
things—that lesser folks have had trouble with.
Mark Warner has kept his word, and he’s put
his money where his mouth is.
Ask the good folks of Martinsville
County. He has spent
as much time up and down the economically desperate
streets of Southside
as he has in Richmond—maybe more. And
it hasn’t been just for show.
who is chairman of the National Governors
Association and who recently had his chiseled mug on
the cover of Governing
magazine as it’s public servant of the year, has
put his own resources into play through several
venture capital funds here in Virginia, and he has
forced state resources into those areas of Virginia
who need them most. And
he has proven that he can work effectively with
Republicans, staking out a solidly centrist position
on just about everything and pulling a sometimes
recalcitrant legislature to him.
the most disaffected of the disaffected, Give-Em-Hell
Zell Miller, the "jawja peach" concedes
all of this the stuff of presidential timber? Back
Watkins for a moment.
Warner gonna do?”
stare at him. He
stares at me. Then,
without speaking, we both write on scraps of paper,
fold the scraps into hard little knots, and exchange
unroll them carefully, slowly, thoughtfully.
He reads mine.
I read his. We
both have written "President."
-- January 4, 2005