VA-Sen: John Warner Retires
by Jonathan Singer, Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 10:12:02 AM EDT
More as we have it...Update [2007-8-31 14:16:0 by Todd Beeton]: You can watch his press conference HERE.
Jim Webb will hold a press conference following Warner's.
Update [2007-8-31 14:33:42 by Jonathan Singer]: Warner declines to make an endorsement, but perhaps suggests that he'd like to see Tom Davis to run, saying that he'd like to see someone with experience, someone like a Congressman, to run. (Perhaps I'm reading too much into that answer, but perhaps not...)
Update [2007-8-31 15:25:41 by Jonathan Singer]: I think Marc Ambinder's reading is right:
Ex-Gov. Mark Warner, a once-upon-a-time presidential candidate, is probably going to run for the Democratic nomination. He is extremely popular; he will be heavily favored to win; his race will draw upon the same grassroots energies that excited the Democratic base in 2006. Having Warner on the ballot will help the Democratic presidential nominee in Virginia.
The problems for the GOP don't end there, however. It's clear that John Warner's retirement represents a disaster for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which simply cannot afford an open seat race in an expensive state that at least some signs indicate is trending blue (even if it is still a slightly red hue of purple).
But it goes beyond that, as well. The National Republican Congressional Committee is already going to be on the defense in Virginia's second congressional district, where Republican Congresswoman
Virginia Thelma Drake only scraped by last year with 51 percent of the vote. The likelihood that Congressman Tom Davis of the 11th district, a northern Virginia district that is extremely expensive to advertise in and only leans about a point towards the Republican, will opt to make a run for the Republican senatorial nomination this year, thus leaving his seat open, only makes it that much tougher for the NRCC.
In short, regardless of how much of a headache John Warner has been for the GOP over the years, his retirement could not have come at a worse time for the Republicans, whose chances of retaking the House and the Senate, and potentially even retaining control over the White House, have been diminished as a result of today's announcement.
Update [2007-8-31 16:12:1 by Jonathan Singer]: Tom Davis is apparently intent on running a campaign about nothing.