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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Warner Drops Out of Presidential Race

Former Va. Gov. Mark Warner, scheduled to be in Iowa today and tomorrow, announced this morning that he won't be a 2008 presidential contender.

In a prepared statement, he said a recent weekend with his family led him to decide "that while politically this appears to be the right time for me to take the plungeā€”at this point, I want to have a real life."

Warner also left open the possibility of running for other elective office: "My decision does not in any way diminish my desire to be active in getting our country fixed. It doesn't mean that I won't run for public office again. I want to serve, whether in elective office or in some other way. I'm still excited about the possibilities for the future."

See reaction from two national blogs:

-- Daily Kos: Warner will not run for president
... As his statement says, he's not done running for office. His love for the office of governor is well-known, so he would be considered a shoo-in for the governorship in 2009 if he chooses that route. (Virginia governors cannot serve consecutive terms.) Better yet, he would be a strong candidate for the Senate seat in 2008 ... The biggest winner of the 2008 field? There are several. John Edwards, already the frontrunner in my opinion, loses the only serious southern opponent. Already strong in Iowa and Nevada, this will make him the prohibitive favorite in the fourth contest in South Carolina. If he wins the first three out of four, he's looking pretty good. Bill Richardson becomes the only serious candidate in the race who is a governor, making it easier for him to distinguish himself from the crowd. As for Hillary, this is a double-edged sword.

-- The Fix: Warner's Out: Winners and a Loser
The most obvious winner from the Warner news is Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh. Bayh and Warner shared much of the same ideological territory -- moderate, consensus builders elected in red states. ... The other obvious winner from Warner's decision not to run is former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. Edwards and Warner were seen as occupying the tier just below that of Clinton -- the two candidates given the best chance of dethroning her for the nomination. ... Clinton, too, gets some residual benefit from Warner's decision simply because a serious contender for the anti-Hillary mantle has been removed. ... One quick loser in all of this: the state of Virginia. At the start of the year it looked like the Old Dominion might have two viable candidates for president: Warner and Sen. George Allen (R). Warner is now out of the race and Allen's struggles in his reelection race against former Navy Secretary Jim Webb (D) have seriously damaged his own chances of running for national office in 2008.

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Mike Schramm
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