Sunday September 2, 2007
With the exits this week of Idaho Senator Larry Craig and U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, Senator John Warner's retirement was a painful, yet not altogether unexpected blow to the Republican party. As politicians and pundits on Capitol Hill made the rounds this morning talking about the impending departure of the five-term senator from Virginia, Republicans sweated while Democrats salivated over another potential Senator Warner.
"Virginia's a state that's turning blue as you saw with Senator Webb's victory in November," Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week." "Clearly Mark Warner is an outstanding man. I've gotten to know him and spend some time with him recently. He's just exemplary and yes, he'd be our strongest candidate."
The election isn't until next fall, but with John Warner's announcement and the fact that we're now moving past Labor Day, the political spin machine is already in full gear.
"We have 22 seats to defend, the Democrats only have 12 seats to defend," Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) told "This Week." " We knew going in that this was going to be a tough election cycle for us."
With John Warner out of the way, names like Mark Warner on the Democratic side, along with Republicans George Allen, Jim Gilmore and Tom Davis are already being floated in what promises to be a high profile race.