Warner toys with Senate run
Former Governor Mark Warner refused to reveal to Darden students Friday whether he's running for the U.S. Senate– or his old job as governor. He did promise to announce his candidacy for one of those jobs at some point in the next week.
"I am right now in the process of trying to decide what I want to do," he said to the auditorium of dress shirts, name tags and loafers. "I love being in business, but I love being governor. I love being in public policy."
Republican senior Senator John Warner's recent announcement that he will not seek re-election in 2008 has left a power vacuum in Virginia politics.
Early in Mark Warner's political career, he ran against John Warner in 1996 and lost, but has since become better known after a stint as Virginia governor from 2002 to 2006, and through his short-lived presidential candidacy that ended in October 2006.
"Hopefully I can bring a broader perspective to the race than I brought in 1996," he said. "I've got a record now."
Though Warner began his speech on the topic of business, it often meandered into the realm of politics, mostly at the national level, touching on climate change, national security, bipartisanship, public education, immigration, the widening gap between rich and poor, and partnership between the public and private sectors. He told the students of his failures and successes in business and politics, and of the importance of learning from both.
One possible fallout from his definitive statement of intentions is that running for Senate would most likely preclude Warner from accepting a vice presidential nomination.
"I think of running for governor or senator as the longest job application of your life," said the former guv. "I expect that in the next week I'll be a candidate for one of the two."
Hamlet-like, Warner ruminated between the two. "I'm anxious to finalize this," he said. "I owe it to the folks of Virginia and I owe it to the folks who would run for either of these positions to make my decision and then make my intention public.
When asked exactly how or when he would make his announcement, all he would say was, "Stay tuned."