In 2009, it will be MarkNotJohn.
Perhaps the most significant comment comes at 1:22 in:
"So after this November's legislative elections..."This is among the reasons he is so important to the Democratic Party of Virginia. Mark Warner understands the criticality of building the progressive, Democratic base in Virginia, and making sure the Democrats are in charge of Government in Virginia as we come to redistricting in 2011. He doesn't put himself before his party, he understands he is part of the party, an important part, but a part nonetheless.
By mentioning this November's elections so prominently in his de-facto announcement speech, he may be telling us here on the ground, stuffing doorhangers and canvassing, that his Senate run is, in essence, predicated on the Democrats winning this November. The door remains open, however so slightly, for Mark to make a run for the Governor in 2009 should things go badly in November. It's brilliant politics for himself and for Virginia.
I would like to offer one quick personal Mark Warner story. In 2002, I lived in Richmond. A friend and I were out one Friday or Saturday night (I forget which) visiting bars in The Fan. As we walked into one bar, we ran into a group in the entryway, coming out. Looking up, we discovered it was Governor Warner, and some of his friends from GWU. My understanding is that his buddies were visiting from out of town and they decided to head out and have some fun in The Fan. My friend and I talked to the Governor for a couple minutes, and went on our way. After all, in Richmond the Governor is pretty much just another one of your neighbors.
But the story illustrates this important point: Not only is Mark Warner someone you'd want to have a beer with, he's someone you quite possibly did have a beer with when he was Governor. As far as I am concerned, anyone who will take the time to go out with his friends while Governor is probably running things pretty well, and with the right perspective.