The PJ Tatler

Is Clinton/Warner the GOP's Most Feared 2016 Democrat Ticket?

Mark Warner and Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in 2012

Senator Mark Warner and Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in 2012


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 percent to 7 percent 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 Hillary Clinton.”

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 Democrat 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 Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.

Never heard of him? Great! That is precisely why Mark Warner is even MORE likely to be Hillary’s number-one choice.

With no major baggage or preconceived image, the Democrat media machine can define and brand Warner 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 and why he would be most appealing as Hillary’s VP — much to the chagrin of the Republican National Committee.

Warner, a graduate of Harvard Law School is a self-made multi-millionaire businessman/entrepreneur/venture capitalist who has actually created private sector jobs before he served as Governor of Virginia from 2002 – 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 – run for the U.S. Senate, which he did in 2008, winning 65 percent of the vote.

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 still popular in Virginia, Warner’s 2010 vote supporting Obamacare may prove odorous depending on how the program is working by November, 2014.

In fact, already smelling Obamacare’s stink is former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, a seasoned Washington political operator who has begun making noises 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.

For if Warner achieves a wide margin of victory against a well-known establishment Republican like Gillespie – then 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” especially matters to many older voters and Mark Warner has long been considered the best shot at becoming Virginia’s ninth president.

He thinks so too, for according to Mark Warner’s 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.”

Among real Democrat strategists Mark Warner is known 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.

So tuck this piece away folks and if Warner wins his Senate reelection in 2014, you will start hearing his name mentioned at the top of Hillary’s short list.

Then, if Republicans have a weak 2016 ticket, Warner may “see the White House,” but first through the Vice-President’s entrance.