Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mark Warner Drops by Seattle

Three very capable folks share their thoughts on his visit:

"Warner brings his blunt talk to Seattle"
In Warner's view, bad judgment by ideologues has left America with a list of bad options in Iraq. Iraq was to have become "a shining beacon in the Middle East," a dream fast dying.

"A failed Iraqi state right now is not in America's interests," Warner said. "This war, at the beginning, did not have anything to do with al-Qaida. Now, Iraq could be a base for al-Qaida. At the beginning, our intervention had nothing to do with Iranian expansionism. Now, a failed Iraqi state could serve Iranian expansionism."

What to do? Warner would give Iraq's feuding politicians "weeks, not months" to form a viable government. They would get "months, not years," to show progress at achieving order.

"At least we should not leave Iraq a significantly more destabilizing force than before we went in," he added.

Warner is more anxious to talk economics and jobs.-Joel Connelly in the P-I.

"Mark Warner's Seattle Visit"

Warner visited Ron Sims, which is fitting: Sims is a Warner-Democrat. Fiscally conservative, with a passion for good government. When Mark Warner annouces in early '07, it would help him signifigantly against HRC to have an establishment Democrat like Sims on his side.-from Will at Pike Place Politics.

"Looking at Mark Warner for 2008"
Warner brings a freshness to the Party. He is less an idealogue and more a pragmatist than many of our Democratic dinosaurs. He clearly believes in good government. In fact, in many ways, what he did in Virginia during his tenure as governor would make him right at home in Washington State where we have a governor and legislators who are just moving forward to get the right things done, not making a big deal out of good governing.

The two ideas of his that jumped out at me were 1) his take on addressing the difficult budgetary issues that all states have to face and 2) his focus on assisting small towns to catch up and thrive and provide the jobs that will enable them to remain where they grew up if they'd like.

Much as I liked Warner's stump speech and what I read of his positions and accomplishments on his PAC website, Forward Together, he has some work to do to connect with his audience. He doesn't have the less formal time down well. He was not particularly good during Q&A time, wandering around on answers to the two sets of questions that were on people's minds: the Iraq War and his stance on abortion. Oddly enough, his stances seemed fine, given the red state/blue state territory he has staked out but he wasn't particularly articulate or sharp in how he communicated that.-from Lynn at Evergreen Politics.
Howie opinion: The guy doesn't talk much about foreign policy and I wonder if he wants to be Hillary's running mate.

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