Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

I saw Mark Warner last week at DL21C in New York for the first time since 1996 when I lived in Virginia.  He was everything I remembered and more.  He was substantive, funny and charismatic.  I am not sure where he got the reputation of being stiff and dull but I have never found him to be either.

The reason I am supporting Warner is the message he is enunciating.  His overall theme is that America is a great country but we are losing the things that made it great and we are at an important crossroads.  He discussed how if we work together and sacrifice together when necessary we can get the things done we need to maintain our status as a world leader.  He talked at length about the need to restore America's reputation in the world, to provide a fair and level playing field for all Americans and to give people the tools they need to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.  

Warner discussed issues that are important to average Americans such as the economy, education, competence, and maintaining our technological advantage in the world.  He discussed his efforts in Virginia including his reform of the states finances and government operations while providing important services.  He talked about his efforts to give Virginians the opportunity to attend college but also about his efforts to give the non-college bound technical training so they can get jobs other than flipping burgers.

Warner has a compelling personal story noting that he was the first person in his family who attended college and how he had some tough times starting out in business before getting into cellular telephones as a co-founder of Nextel.  He also noted that he lost his first race for office to John Warner although most people considered his performance to be impressive against a strong incumbent.  As someone who has worked both in and out of government, I like his varied background because I believe it brings an important understanding of the real world which career politicians, as much as I respect that career choice, can lose in the bubble of politics.

My wife, who is a progressive Democrat, is not into politics the way many of us in netroots are.  I find her to be a good sounding board as to what average voters are thinking.  She found him to be a "breath of fresh air" noting that he discussed real issues important to her rather than focusing solely on bashing Bush.  

I believe Mark Warner will be our next President because he is a leader and is talking about the issue many other candidates are ignoring.  He has the resume, the charisma, and the message to appeal to all Americans.  

Tags: 2008 elections, mark warner (all tags)

Comments

28 Comments

Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

The Democrats need to pick Mark Warner.  He is the right guy for the job.

by powderhound 2006-06-15 06:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

If the media is portraying Warner as stiff and dull, remember who else they kept saying was stiff and dull?  The reason I supported Al Gore as early as 1988 was that I found him the most INTERESTING of all the candidates for the Democratic nomination.

by Baltimore 2006-06-15 06:49AM | 0 recs
Is he courageous?

I am not being skeptical with that question. I am just  curious as I don't know too much about him. All I remember reading is that he supported the Iraq war. Is there something in his background that can give us confidence he won't repeat the same blunder as President. As I recall, he did not seem to have regrets about his support the way Murtha did. If I am wrong on this, feel free to correct me s I would like to know more about him. My question is would he learn from his mistakes and be able to have a foreign policy that is not created out of an insecurity that he will be seen as soft on defense.

How is he with respect to the environment? Is he strong enough that he will be able to reverse the damage Bush has done?

by Pravin 2006-06-15 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Is he courageous?

I am not sure what his original position on the war was but he discussed what we should do going forward last week.  He believes we need to do our best to stabilize the country and get out.  He said that he believes the new govt has about a 6-9 month period in which to do so and if it fails there will probably be an all out civil war.  It sounded similar to where most are Dems on the war.

One interesting thing he discussed was that he believes our blunder in Iraq has weakened us in our ability to deal with the nuclear weapon issues with Iran.  He advocated a diplomatic solution to Iran.

by John Mills 2006-06-15 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

It might be helpful for him to learn that Pakistan has nuclear weapons and Iran doesn't before he becomes president.

by DanM 2006-06-15 06:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

The diary says Warner has the right resume, don't go messing up the blissful mood with the facts -- especially not the ones about Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, Venezuela, or how his lack of foreign policy experience is even worse because the little he does know he is learning from the neocons at the DLC.

by Bob Brigham 2006-06-15 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

I think the DLC statment is a bit much but few on this blog realize nearly every statewide office holder is the South the only way a Democrat gets elected down here is pledge loyalty to the DLC and keep a healthy distance from the DNC.  As for Warner foreign policy once again you do not get elceted down here with a McGovern or Gene McCarthey dovishness about you its just not the way we do things.  Warner can win down here most others can not, and if you are swept out in the South you have to sweep everywhere else or you lose.

by THE MODERATE 2006-06-15 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

The issue is not dovishness, the issue is that he appears to have not even thought for a second about real world implications of foreign policy.  Pakistan, not to mention many former Soviet states, are much bigger nuclear threats than Iran, that is a fact.  There are actually nuclear weapons in these countries and their governments are unstable and weak; al Qaeda couldn't ask for a better situation to acquire nuclear weapons.  Iran is 5 to 10 years away from having nuclear weapons, unless they acquire the necessary technology from Pakistan or a country from the former Soviet bloc.  

If Warner hasn't thought about foreign policy at all and seriously could consider something as idiotic on its face as war with Iran as a result, he's not qualified to be president, period.  Granted, many of the potential contenders are not, but I am confident that there will be at least one candidate who is.

by DanM 2006-06-15 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

I have not heard he is gung ho for war with Iran, just that it maybe a last resort.  As for your dream candidate the question is can they win.

by THE MODERATE 2006-06-15 08:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

At YearlyKos, Warner told emptywheel from The Next Hurrah that Iran was a bigger WMD threat than Pakistan http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_nex t_hurrah/2006/06/mark_warners_nu.html.  So, even if he's not actively promoting war with Iran, he doesn't, in my opinion appear to have done the critical thinking on foreign policy that is necessary to be president (at least a president who isn't a complete failure).  Given that he doesn't seem to have done this critical thinking, I don't think that there's any reason to assume that his position on Iran will stay the same once he wins.

As far as electability is concerned, it'd be hard to convince me that opposing a war that would:
-double the price of oil, at best
-potentially involve nuclear weapons
-destabilize the Middle East even further than it is now
-cost us thousands of American lives and most likely well upwards of $1 trillion
-probably be lost, since Iran's military is so much stronger than Iraq's and since they have a number of strategic advantages in a war there

would be a political liability to someone who articulated those reasons.  Moreover, securing loose nuclear materials and the like are by no means inconsistent with avoiding war with Iran.  In fact, the ideas go hand in hand, since destabilization in the Middle East would increase the likelihood that al Qaeda would acquire nuclear weapons.  So, there's no reason why one can't have a strong, even hawkish foreign policy position and oppose saber rattling against Iran.

by DanM 2006-06-15 09:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

In all fairness, most members of Congress don't have "foreign policy experience".  They vote on funding bills and resolutions and get periodic briefings.  It is not like most Senators have hands on experiences as diplomats or negotiating with heads of state.  The only Pres candidate that has real "foreign policy experience" is Wes Clark.  

by John Mills 2006-06-15 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

Well, I am 21 years old and I am aware that Pakistan has nuclear weapons and Iran does not.  I think knowing such information should be a prerequisite for becoming commander in chief.  Granted, it evidently is not a prerequisite, since Bush was elected without knowing who Pervez Musharraf was, but it should be.

by DanM 2006-06-15 08:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

Do you really think for a second that Warner does not know that Pakistan already has nukes? I think you should go back and read it again.

by sndeak 2006-06-15 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

Well, if he does know that, he shouldn't make idiotic comments about Iran being a bigger WMD threat than Pakistan.  I don't know what specifically I should read again, but Warner said that Iran was a bigger WMD threat than Pakistan, which it is not, since Pakistan is an unstable country where al Qaeda operates that has nuclear weapons.

by DanM 2006-06-15 09:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

I have never heard Warner say that Pakistan doesn't have nuclear weapons.  When and where did he say that?  It is not in the post you link to.

Just because he does not agree with you that Pakistan is a bigger threat than Iran on the nuclear front does not mean he doesn't know which countries do and don't have nuclear weapons.  Those are two different and distinct things.

I agree with Lucas that Pakistan and India both already have nuclear weapons so the issue with Iran is proliferation.  It is important that we stop Iran from developing nuclear capabilities.  Iran has been a terrorist supporting and exporting state for a quarter of a century and I'd bet my last dollar that if they got nuclear capabilities they would sell it to other nations and Al Qaeda type organizations.  Imagine if Iran got nuclear capabilities and decided to share it with Syria and Lebanon.  Is that something we want?

Pakistan has had nuclear capabilities since there mid-1990s and has not shared it with anyone as of yet.  If Musharraf falls, things could no doubt change but doesn't mean that spending time trying to stop Iran's nuclear program is a bad idea or makes Warner ignorant.  

by John Mills 2006-06-15 10:12AM | 0 recs
Why I Am Not Supporting Mark Warner for President

He was my governor.  He did not fix the transportation problem in Northern Virginia or Tidewater.  He did not fix the unfair reallocation of tax dollars from fast growing areas (which need the money to deal with that growth) to stagnant areas.  He is more interested in supporting business than consumers.  He is willing to pander shamelessly for the votes of right wing single issue voters.

Some say this is what you need to win as A Democrat in Virginia.  I do not believe that's true.

He is a smart, honorable man, but not who I want as my President, or representing me in government anywhere else either.

And BTW, I do notice how there seems to be a regular run of these "Why I support Mark Warner" posts that seem a little astroturf to me.

by rich kolker 2006-06-15 08:45AM | 0 recs
No Rich, you are wrong.

Oh boy, where to start...

The first attempt to find money for the traffic problems in Nova and Tidewater was shot down by the voters. Because of the horrible mismanagement of VDOT by the previous 2 republican governors, nobody trusted the state to do the right thing with the additional money from the .5 tax increase

Unemployment in the 11 of 12 worst counties went down below double digits for the first time in 20 years. He brought JOBS to the rural areas of the state.

Right wing single issue voters? That's a new one. Let's see, he is a pro-choice, affirmative action supporting, former state Dem party chair, Wilder campaign manager, self-made millionaire who believes everyone should have a fair shot at the american dream. Yup, that sounds like a right wing panderer to me.

Is it so hard for you to believe that people will come out here to post their feelings about Warner on thier own?

by sndeak 2006-06-15 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: No Rich, you are wrong.

Let me qualify my previous post.

I am the Southern Regional Director for Draft Mark Warner. A grass-roots movement to convince the Gov. to run in 08 by spreading the word about his successes in Virginia across the country.

Before moving to Georgia last year I was the Loudoun County party chair in northern virginia and Warner's 2001 county coordinator.

www.draftmarkwarner.com

by sndeak 2006-06-15 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: No Rich, you are wrong.

And I was the Loudoun Country Party Chair before Steve was.

Warner thought he could get around being responsible for asking for a tax hike for transportation by placing the onus on the voters, so we got a referendum for a 1/2 cent sales tax hike that went down in flames.  Why it went down in flames is a topic too large to discuss here.

Warner gets credit (and somewhat deservedly so) for getting a group of "moderate" GOP state senators to go along with a tax hike to cover the huge deficit left us by the previous governor, but he had promised more than that.  He had promised a reform of the tax system that would address questions such as why Loudoun County gets less than 25 percent of its tax to Richmond back in services, as we have to build multiple schools each year just to keep up with growth.

Surviving four years with a hostile legislature may make him the political equivalent of a saint, but not necessarily and effective advocate or administrator for moving the country forward.

All this, of course, IMHO.

And I don't believe the postings are unsincere, I think they are deliberately organized to try to create and maintain a pro-Warner "buzz" on the blogs.  Perfectly legitimate tactic, but a tactic nonetheless.

by rich kolker 2006-06-15 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: No Rich, you are wrong.

Rich - See my note below.  I cannot speak to other postings but this was not part of any organized effort.  I did this on my own.

by John Mills 2006-06-15 10:33AM | 0 recs
Re: No Rich, you are wrong.

The legislature FAILED to do their job. That is why it went to the voters.

And he followed through on tax reform you can read that here http://www.mydd.com/story/2006/4/14/1715 27/169#readmore

Tax reform
Healthcare for all 98% of all eligable kids
A semester of college credits you senior year of high school

cleaning up over 200 rivers and streams

#1 in water quality

Took care of Virginia Veterans when the Bush administration dropped to ball

Best governed state in the nation

The list goes on and on. He is looking forward.

by sndeak 2006-06-15 10:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Not Supporting Mark Warner

Rich - I did this completely on my own.  I am not associated with any organization that supports Warner and decided to post this because I think he is the best candidate for President.

One other thing - I lived in VA from 1995-2000 and liked and voted for Warner when he ran for the Senate in 1996.  

by John Mills 2006-06-15 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

That is a fair point, but Iraq is the major foreign policy consideration of the day, which probably explains the lack of discussion of other issues.  The other issue that is discussed somewhat is, of course, Iran.  Whenever a politican talks about Iran being a bigger threat than all of the numerous situations that are actually much bigger threats than Iran, it puts my head pretty close to exploding.  Any person who talks about Iran being the most critical foreign policy threat (above al Qaeda, North Korea, Pakistan, the loose nukes in the fomer Soviet bloc) is not, in my mind, a particularly serious person.  

What I know is that Warner has said is that Iran is the next big threat facing us, which is just not true.  Other candidates have, as well, but I'm holding out hope that other candidates who haven't spoken on the matter will take a more sensible position.

by DanM 2006-06-15 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

I disagree that the argument that Iran is more likely to be the source of WMDs than Pakistan is a solid one.  Musharraf is not exactly in a stable position, and if he's overthrown, all hell could break loose.  On top of that, there's reason to believe that al Qaeda is operating in Pakistan.  And, Musharraf is no great trustworthy fellow, either.  

As far as Iran is concerned, they are years away from getting nukes unless Pakistan provides them with needed technology.  In essence, Iran isn't a nuclear threat unless Pakistan is, at least for the next several years.

by DanM 2006-06-15 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

You can say the same thing about just about every country that already has nukes. They could all become unstable very quickly. Iran has to be contained right now. The jenie is already out of the bottle in Pakistan and India.

If Iran is allowed to build a nuek, they are more likely to use or sell one than Pakistan. He

by sndeak 2006-06-15 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

The following countries are known to have nukes:
-The United States
-Great Britain
-France
-Russia, and possibly other former Soviet states
-China
-India
-Pakistan
-North Korea

Israel is also suspected of having nukes.  The U.S., the U.K., France, China, India and Israel are not going to become unstable very quickly.  

As I have mentioned here, ensuring the stability of Pakistan and the former Soviet states where there are nuclear weapons is a much bigger national security priority than Iran.  We should do everything we can, short of going to war, to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.  That said, prioritizing is critical in governing, and Iran is simply not the biggest threat.  As far as war with Iran is concerned, that is simply a terrible idea on the face of it.

North Korea is also not going to become unstable until Kim Jong Il dies; it is still a much bigger threat than Iran.  It is a complicated and difficult issue to which I don't have the solutions, but it should also take precedence above Iran in terms of our national security priorities.  

by DanM 2006-06-15 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Not Supporting Mark Warner for Presid

I lived in DC from 1986-1994 and VA 1995-2000 and NOVA traffic has always been an issue.  I-66 and the growth in Fairfax, Loudon and Prince William Counties have been a constant problem.  Every Gov from Baliles to Kaine has had to deal with it.  The solution is either to slow the growth or build better public transportation neither of which seem likely.

by John Mills 2006-06-15 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Am Supporting Mark Warner for President

The scenarios are easy to envision, but are still extremely, extremely unlikely.  By far the most likely scenario in which a nuclear weapon is used is if al Qaeda or one of its affiliates gets one, sneaks one in to the United States, and blows it up in the middle of a major city, especially since very little of what goes through are ports is checked thoroughly.  Israel or India (or North Korea, for that matter) would not use nuclear weapons on the United States, even if they used them, and wouldn't use them at all unless all hell was already breaking loose in the world.  

The implications of that are that:
a)we need to prevent all hell from breaking loose, meaning that we have to get out of Iraq and do so in such a way that there is some stability there.
b)al Qaeda and its affiliates are, for better or worse, our main threat, since they have so much less to lose than does a national government from launching a nuclear attack.  

Getting back to the original point, the odds that Iran would use a nuclear weapon, even if it had one, are absolutely miniscule, the same as with any other country with the weapon.  And, at this point, Pakistan has by far the least stable government of countries with the weapon, while it also has al Qaeda operating in the country, making it a tremendous nuclear threat, even if the Musharraf government itself is not such a huge concern.

by DanM 2006-06-15 06:32PM | 0 recs

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