The Commonwealth of Virginia's Ultimate Blog

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Looking Ahead to '08

No I'm not talking about the Presidential election, I'm talking about the jockeying for John Warner's seat in the U.S. Senate. Of course, Warner has not announced whether or not he wil run for reelection yet, but that hasn't stopped folks from beginning to speculate who might run if he doesn't. Still, I'll remind folks that many a political career has expired waiting for John Warner to make up hs mind.

Over at One Man's Trash, Norm clues us in to whispers coming from Bob Novak that former RNC Chairman, and New Jersey native, Ed Gillespie is a possibility. Norm also names Tom Davis and Jim Gilmore as parties who might be interested in the '08 speculation.

While Gilmore and Davis might be interested in the seat, both of them have too much baggage to stand a chance in a nomination contest. Too many Republicans are still angry at Gilmore for ruining the Republican dominance of the '90s and handing the keys to the Governor's mansion to Mark Warner. It doesn't help that his failed leadership of the RNC remains their last public memory of him. For Davis, he simply has no cache outside of Northern Virginia, and as the Sean Connaughton Experiment proved, that's not enough. Further, Connaughton has way more charisma than Davis does and that NoVa political machine just isn't going to help outside the beltway.

Let me throw out a couple of other names that should get more consideration. Bob Goodlatte and Randy Forbes. Both of these guys are Republican congressmen who could be well positioned for a promotion if John Warner steps aside. Since being elected to Congress in '92, Goodlatte has been a leading member of the House Republicans, particularly on internet and high-tech issues. Goodlatte also serves as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and was mentioned as a potential nominee for Agriculture Secretary after Ann Veneman's resignation in 2004. Forbes was elected to Congress in 2001 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Norm Sisisky. Prior to that Forbes served in the House of Delegates from 1989-1997 and the State Senate from 1997-2001. Forbes also served as chair of the Virginia Republican Party from 1996-2001, during which time Republicans swept all three statewide offices in 1997. Forbes also serves on the House Armed Services Committee, which would be valuable in replacing the Senate's current Armed Services Committee Chairman.

Of course there is always another individual with connections to both the RNC and RPV, and whom the President might be willing to support, Karl Rove.


Anonymous NoVA Socut said...

I don't think Virginians would take to recent out of staters the way New Yorkers took to Hillary. Gillespie and Rove are unrealistic ideas. Again, however impotent Northern Virginia has been in state politics, watch the trends. By 2008, Northern Virginians may start taking an interest in Statewide politics. When it happens, the Davises and Connaughtons will swing fairly big sticks statewide. Don't count them out simply because it hasn't happened yet. The combination of bipartisan incompetence and mutual backscratching that comes out of Richmond will eventually get stomped on by numbers and dollars out of the Northern Counties.

8:56 PM

Blogger I'm Not Emeril said...

Nope, the smart money will be on Barnie Day.....
(and yes, I am being facetious)

9:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

he may or may no run - no one knows for sure, but Virgil Goode would be a great senator

11:44 PM

Blogger GOPHokie said...

Alot depends on who all would actually try for the nod.
Davis would win a primary if he had Gilmore AND someone else running (not in NOVA).
I really dont see Goodlatte running bc he is doing pretty well in the House and wouldnt have much of a chance for the seat anyway.
Gilmore is still not well liked by alot of people, so I hope he wouldnt get it.
Plus Davis is from fairfax, not PWC.
That makes a big difference when he can say, "hey I'm a GOP who can win Fairfax County."

11:48 PM

Blogger Norman said...

Karl that would be a spectacle.

I tend to agree that neither Davis nor Gilmore would be the strongest candidates for various reasons. So here's one from NoVa, and Fairfax County, to boot, that might set tongues wagging: Ken Cuccinelli.

Just a thought.

7:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodlatte is more conservative than Davis but doesn't have the negatives that Gilmore has. The question is whether he can rally popular support like George Allen does.

8:41 AM

Blogger MR JMS said...

Cuccinelli won't survive the 2007 cycle in the State Senate let alone the 2008 US Senate election.

Goodlatte is positioning himself for the Science Committee chair in 2008. It is hard to give-up such senority for the Senate unless you are a political beast like Davis(who loses his chair in 2008 and has no prospects for another one).

Forbes is a good call. As is Cantor. Fact is Eric has MAJOR fundraising power, but unlikely to move up the leadership ladder for now. I could also see the RNC pushing for a Jewish Republican in the Senate.

Gilmore may lose a general, but he has a massive approval rating amongst the GOP faithful. If it is Gilmore verse Davis you will see Gilmore in the General.

GOP Hokie is correct here. In a three-way primary get used to the term "Good Morning Senator Davis". If the nod is Gilmore get used to saying "Good Morning Senator (insert dem name)".

9:54 AM


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