Mark Warner Rules Out 2008 Presidential Run
Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner has announced he will not be a candidate for president in 2008:
I have decided not to run for President.
This past weekend, my family and I went to Connecticut to celebrate my Dad’s 81st birthday, and then we took my oldest daughter Madison to start looking at colleges.
I know these moments are never going to come again. This weekend made clear what I’d been thinking about for many weeks—that while politically this appears to be the right time for me to take the plunge—at this point, I want to have a real life.
And while the chance may never come again, I shouldn’t move forward unless I’m willing to put everything else in my life on the back burner.
And that’s exactly the choice a presidential candidate has to make. Running for the White House is now, at minimum, a two year run through an incredibly grueling gauntlet while under a microscope. It’s amazing so many want the job badly enough to endure that.
Markos Moulitsas ZÃºniga sympathizes and offers some persuasive analysis of the political fallout. The highlights:
As his statement says, he’s not done running for office. His love for the office of governor is well-known, so he would be considered a shoo-in for the governorship in 2009 if he chooses that route. (Virginia governors cannot serve consecutive terms.) Better yet, he would be a strong candidate for the Senate seat in 2008, regardless whether John Warner (R) runs again or not. But, if the rumors are true and John Warner retires, that would be as close to a guaranteed pickup as you can get in politics. (His Republican challenger would likely be Rep. Tom Davis.)
The biggest winner of the 2008 field? There are several. John Edwards, already the frontrunner in my opinion, loses the only serious southern opponent. Already strong in Iowa and Nevada, this will make him the prohibitive favorite in the fourth contest in South Carolina. If he wins the first three out of four, he’s looking pretty good.
Bill Richardson becomes the only serious candidate in the race who is a governor, making it easier for him to distinguish himself from the crowd.
As for HIllary, this is a double-edged sword. She loses the one candidate who probably could’ve gone toe to toe with her on the money front, and the one who had easily built up the most innovative, competent campaign team. But, Hillary will do best if the field remains cluttered with a ton of men. That way, she can win primaries with 30 percent of the vote. If the field narrows quickly, she’d be in trouble. (Of course, I’m still not convinced Hillary is running…)
Mary Katharine Ham thinks it excellent news for the GOP:
He was the only candidate with the Southern/moderate creds to turn possibly turn some Southern states and the backing of the powerful left blogosphere. Which makes me think he wasn’t really all that moderate, but they could very well have gotten away with convincing enough people that he was.