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Warner Sings the Song of the South

Southern Man better keep your head.
Former Virginia governor and potential Democratic presidential candidate Mark Warner is wading deeper into the 2008 pool by signaling his ability to win the South—unlike, say, a certain former First Lady.


Warner aired his frustration with his party's inability to win the South in recent years and the electoral gamble the DNC takes by remaining competitive on the coasts and a few midwestern states and hoping for at least a split on Ohio and Florida.

"We are making a mistake if we put up candidates that are only competitive in 16 states and then we roll the dice and hope we win Ohio or Florida," said Warner. "I'm disappointed in campaigns that write off the South and leave behind wide swaths of our country."

Howard Dean sparked a rift in his own party by launching his 50-state strategy to strengthen the party throughout the nation instead of pouring all resources into the most competitive races, like DCCC chairman Rahm Emanuel would like. But Warner seems to agree with Dean's strategy.

Warner also hinted at what may become his campaign message if in fact he decides to run. Echoing some Republican catcalls that Democrats are simply negative and without solution (and thus employing Clinton's "triangulation" theory), he said that the party needs to "have a message that's more focused on solutions than simply focused on criticism."

The Governor was testing the waters in Iowa, including heavily Republican rural sections of the state and noted that as a former executive of a southern state his chances looked better than most.

"History has been pretty kind to Southern governors over the last 50 years," Warner said.

Tell that to Jimmy Carter.


Don't worry, Warner is no Jimmy Carter. He was a hell of a Virginia governor, and left the state in much better economic shape than the previous (Republican) governor who's sole platform was cutting taxes, even if it gutted transportation and school budgets (it did.) He supports the death penalty, and supported the War in Iraq, but I'd feel a lot better voting for someone with his track record than I would Hillary Clinton.

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