Warner: Time to run for White House may have passed

Fourth in a four-part series

A popular governor, an even more popular United States senator, Mark Warner is on everybody’s short list as a top contender for president in 2016.

Warner himself, though, thinks that his time to make a run for the White House may have passed.

“I didn’t know when I didn’t run in 2006 that on a statistical basis that was probably going to be my best shot. You’re still going to be a long shot, but it was probably the best chance,” said Warner, who made an exploratory run at the 2008 Democratic Party presidential nomination before deciding to bow out of that race, citing among other things his desire to be able to have more time for his family, including his three then-teenage daughters.

Two years later, Warner entered the race for the open United States Senate seat held for 30 years by Republican John Warner and won in a landslide over another former governor, Republican Jim Gilmore. That would still seem to keep him on the path toward a possible run at the White House, but Warner isn’t exactly keeping his eye on that prize.

“I decided when I didn’t do it (in the 2008 cycle) that I wasn’t going to lead the next x number of years of my life trying to get ready to get exactly back to that position,” Warner said.

A key issue for Warner: putting one’s self in position to run for president means making sure everything that you do and say is pointed in that direction. And that’s a tradeoff that Warner isn’t entirely willing to make.

“There are candidates, maybe even candidates running this time, that it seems that that aspiration governs everything that they do in their life. I think you lose a little something,” Warner said.

Warner’s focus: “I think if you do the job that you’re hired to do, and do it well, and get something done, opportunities present themselves.”

“But that only happens if you’re then willing to take risks, and if you’re always worried about what’s going to happen next, then you don’t take those risks. You sure as heck don’t take on the established order of both political parties the way I am right now on this debt and deficit stuff, because I’ve made the Democrats every bit as mad as I’ve made the Republicans,” Warner said.


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