The race for
He covered Northern Virginia in one event at the Carlyle Club in Alexandria. On Monday evening. The club was jammed by 7 p.m., and more than jammed by the time the Warner entourage took the stage at about 7:30. To say that we were enthusiastic would be an understatement.
A large number of Northern Virginia Democratic officeholders were there – largely from Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church – too many to list here. Warner’s future colleagues in Congress – Senator Jim Webb, and Representatives
Former Lt. Governor Don Beyer opened the meeting, welcoming us all and recognizing the dignitaries. He then turned the podium over to soon-to-be senior senator Jim Webb.
Senator Webb introduced Warner with a rip-snorting speech of his own. Poking fun at his “decline” in titles from “His Excellency” as Governor, to future “commander-in-chief” during his brief flirtation with a presidential race, down to the future “junior senator” to Webb’s new senior senator status. Webb then launched into a passionate speech about the absolute necessity of changing the leadership in
Quoting former Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, Webb said “any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build one.” He continued, “that’s the Democrats, that’s Mark Warner!” he said to thunderous applause.
Warner then took the stage, to more thunderous applause. He gave an impassioned speech about the race, outlining the main issues that will drive him during the campaign. He pointed out that he inherited a state that was on the verge of bankruptcy and built it into a state that Forbes magazine cited as the best run in
Warner also had some very warm things so say about retiring Senator John Warner, whom he cited as a mentor and a great public servant. It will be interesting to see what role John Warner will play in the race.
None of this can be taken for granted, though, and Mark Warner clearly understands this. We can look forward to a lively race this fall.