June 10, 2005
Could Governor Mark Warner be headed towards a Presidential run? Some in the political realm say that may be the case.
Sources close to the Governor say he is considering a run at the Democratic nomination for President in 2008. Warner took steps towards solidifying his future in politics by forming a federal political action committee and hiring a prominent aide to help him in national politics.
"Right now Mark Warner is doing all that is necessary to keep his options open. Whether it is a run for the Presidency in 2008 or a run for Senate in 2006, he is going to be out of office at the end of the year and he has to look to add to his future," said Matt Smyth.
Matt Smyth, the Director of Communications for the Center of Politics at the University of Virginia says the Governor does not have national prominence, but is following the same path as another well known Democrat.
"He is relatively unknown on the national scene currently, although a lot of Democratic insiders do know the name. He is chairman of the National Governor's Association, which is a position that Bill Clinton held before he ran for President," Smyth said.
Smyth says that Warner has several things working in his favor. He is considered a moderate Democrat that many in the party might favor over the more liberal candidates. Warner could be potentially facing a strong field of Democrats including names like John Kerry, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Edwards, and Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico.
"Governor Warner would be a great balance. A southern Democrat who won a lot of rural votes in winning in 2001. He is moderate on a lot of social issues like gun control. [He is strong in] areas that the Democrats need to make some headway to be successful," Smyth said.
The Governor has not acknowledged any future plans so far. He has also not ruled out the idea of running against George Allen for Senate in 2006. Whatever his future plans, it is clear that he's looking towards the future. Mark Warner's term as Governor ends this coming January.