Warner eyes 2004 presidential bid
Would abdicate responsibilities to Virginia for personal gain 



Information coming from a member of Gov. Warner's administration who played a role in his campaign suggests that our new governor already has his sights set on being on the presidential ticket in 2004. 

Of course, this comes long before our own house is in order. 

The budget is a mess, and there is no money for anything new or good, such as important highway projects. 

Yet that has apparently not stopped the Governor from noticing that having beaten an incumbent Attorney General after eight straight years of Republicans in statewide office, he could be made to look like a darling in the eyes of the national party. 

Never mind the "lesser of two evils" philosophy that no doubt prompted many voters to cast their ballots his way, as well as dissention within the ranks of Virginia Republicans this past election. 

Warner's "...surplus from his campaign fund is earmarked...for exploration of a run for national office..."

Word has it that a surplus from his campaign fund is earmarked at least for exploration of a run for national office, if not an actual campaign itself, even though some who worked on his campaign had out of pocket expenses and were apparently told they would be reimbursed, but were not. 

The theory behind all of this is that the other potential nominees could well fall by the wayside. 

Al Gore is forever tainted by his close connection to and never-ending support of Bill Clinton, which sits poorly in the eyes of many voters, and many within the Democratic party. Furthermore, some of Gore's recent statements in public have appeared bizarre to say the least, as if he is not in touch with reality.

Some will no doubt try to paint John Kerry as a northeastern liberal, cut from the same cloth as Ted Kennedy. He is from Massachusetts and even his initials are "JFK." The northeastern liberal tag scares off many moderates in middle America, the south and the west, even if not entirely accurate.

North Carolina Sen. John Edwards will be referred to as "the Trial  Lawyer" so many times before the first primary that every community he comes to will envision him as being little different than their own local versions of Lowell "The Hammer" Stanley.

He portrays himself as an attorney who helped the little guy, but once he had some success he turned away all but the best cases; most little guys coming to his office with a case to plead were shown the door.

When he hit big with two verdicts over $20 million each, with a fat third of each recovery going to him, he left the practice. It will come out that the average court appointed lawyer does as much to truly help the little guy, and for a lot less beans. Even his trial lawyer supporters will be embarrassed about that aspect.

Tom Daschle is in the fight of his life to hold onto his seat in South Dakota. If he loses in his home state, his national aspirations are done.  If he wins, he is unlikely to want to give up the powerful position he has now.

So where does that leave us?

Well, nobody outside of their home states had ever heard much about three Southern governors merely 18 months before they were elected as President.

That would be Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. 'Dark horse southern governor' is the term used to describe them, and our new Governor just may think he is the next one in line.

Keep that in mind the next time it takes three hours to drive from Norfolk to Richmond in a rolling roadblock because most of I-64 hasn't been widened since it was built in the mid 1960s, there's no money  to pay to widen it, and our statewide leader just may well have his mind on other things!

Hope we aren't just another rung in his ego/power ladder!