All signs point to Hillary Clinton being the Democrat Party’s presidential nominee in 2016. Confirming this assumption is the latest Iowa poll from the Des Moines Register.
The poll gives Clinton a favorable/unfavorable rating of 89% to 7% among Iowa Democrats in this first presidential caucus state, where in 2008 Clinton lost to then-Senator Obama.
Even the Republican National Committee believes “Hillary 2016” is a done deal and is launching a “pre-emptive war on her.”
An early Hillary “coronation” means political pundits will soon tout “pre-emptive” selection lists of Clinton’s VP running mates.
Now, as a long-time loyal Republican, I will not be voting for Hillary in 2016.
However, if I were suddenly transformed into a Democratic Party strategist, only one name would appear on my list — a name that would represent the more “moderate” wing of the party, further decreasing the GOP’s 2016 chances of winning back the White House.
That name is Mark Warner, U.S. Senator from Virginia. Since Warner comes with no major baggage, the Democrat media machine can define and brand him to suit the prevailing political winds, using him to negate any perceived weaknesses at the top of the ticket. Furthermore, he will not overshadow Hillary in personality or stature.
Here are some of Warner’s actual credentials that demonstrate why he would be the most appealing VP pick for Clinton. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he is a self-made multi-millionaire businessman/entrepreneur/venture capitalist. He actually created private sector jobs before he served as Governor of Virginia from 2002 to 2006.
Not shy about his White House ambitions, Warner briefly toyed with the idea of running for president in 2008 and made news in October of 2006 when he declared he was not running.
Limited to one four-year term as governor, Warner did what ex-Virginia governors usually do: He ran for the U.S. Senate, winning 65% of the vote in 2008.
Since Warner is considered a moderate pro-business Democrat, he could help balance and fortify the ticket against the Hillary-is-a-scary-liberal argument that will be put forth by all the Republican challengers.
But recently there is new potential for either a bump in the road or the gate opening even wider for Warner to be Hillary’s VP, and that is Senator Warner’s 2014 reelection.
Although he remains popular in Virginia, Warner voted to support Obamacare in 2010, a decision that still may be a stumbling block come November 2014. In fact, the stench from Obamacare has already prompted former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, a seasoned Washington political operator, to begin making noise about running against Warner in 2014.
If that happens, look for a Warner vs. Gillespie race to become the 2014 marquee Senate race to watch, besides the usual factors of Virginia being a bellwether swing state and control of the Senate at stake.
If Warner achieves a wide margin of victory against a well-known establishment Republican like Gillespie, you can bet Democrats will start printing the Clinton/Warner bumper stickers on Wednesday, November 5, 2014.
From a historical perspective, a Virginian has not appeared on a presidential ticket since Woodrow Wilson. This “Virginia Presidential Pride” matters to many older voters in particular, and Warner has long been considered the best shot at becoming Virginia’s ninth president.
He thinks so too, for according to his Wiki profile:
When his parents visited him at college at George Washington University in DC, he obtained two tickets for them to tour the White House. When his father asked him why he didn’t get a ticket for himself, he replied, ‘I’ll see the White House when I’m president.’
Warner is known among Democrat strategists for being ambitious, smart, and a team player who has been waiting patiently for his turn to make a run for the White House. But in 2008, 2012, and now likely in 2016, either Obama or Hillary keep getting in his way.