I attended an event in San Francisco where unofficial Democratic Presidential candidate and former Virginia Governor Mark Warner spoke and took questions. (Here is his blog and I am assured by an astonished aide that he actually spends time on it.) The event was a fundraiser for Heath Schuler who is running for Congress in North Carolina’s 11th District against one of the typical Republican Culture of Corruption Congressmen. First, I have to say that Schuler is GOOD. He is a good speaker, and comes across very well. Here’s his blog. He’s also a former NFL quarterback. Let’s wish him well! Send him a few bucks.
It was very crowded (even so I knew about 1/4 of the people there including the guy who put it together – for various reasons I seem to end up at number of events in this circle of funding types…), but I had a chance to chat with Gov. Warner for a bit. I have to say that was very impressed. We had a good chat. I asked him if he or anyone on his staff has their brain around the conservative movement and what it is, and he had pretty good knowledge.
Then I asked him what he’s going to do when they smear him. He said they’ve already tried. So I think he might need some work on understanding what they are going to do — that they’re going to just make up really, really nasty shit and spread it everywhere before anyone can respond…
So I liked him. He “gets it,” seems natural and comfortable and isn’t trying too hard – I mean, he seems to be just who he is. And he comes across very, very well. He is obviously very knowledgeable. And his record in Virginia is really good. He left office with an 80% approval rating in a historically Republican Southern “Red” state, and did it by raising spending on the environment and education and tobacco taxes.
It was interesting seeing him interacting in that crowd of VC types because he was in his element but I could tell he’s the same guy that he is in other crowds – even if I haven’t seen him in another crowd. I was at a similar event like this with Kerry very early in that campaign and you could really tell he had a special persona for that crowd. (In fact I had been a really big Kerry supporter until then and called the Dean campaign the next morning — it was way too early for them to be able to respond…)
This is important — I didn’t hear him repeating ANY “conventional wisdom” or right-wing narrative points. This is a big deal. In a room full of VC types he didn’t say “Social Security is going broke” or “we need free trade” or anything like that. He talked about the disaster that Bush has been, and how we need transformation change.
So I’m going to be taking a really serious look at Gov. Warner, and blogging about him. I want to know more about his positions on issues. Until now I have been a support of Gen. Clark for President, but we’ll see. I suggest that you pay attention to this guy – you will like him. I CAN say that whoever wins the nomination for President will have my full support, no matter who I support through the primaries.