Friday, February 24, 2006

Mark Warner ‘We’re In This Together'

Governor Mark Warner, presumptive candidate for the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary Race has been touring Texas this week, and made a pit stop in Austin at Guero’s this morning.

It was a small crowd of reporters, Fred Baron, the Texas Democratic Party, SDEC members like Boyd Richie, and bloggers like Eileen of In The Pink, Eddie of Red State, Philip Martin of Burnt Orange, and myself.

Warner has started a PAC called Forward Together. It very clearly has two motivations. One, support Democrats up and down the ballot nationwide during the off cycle elections, and two, become a vehicle for Warner to run in the ’08 primary.

Currently the speculative field is composed of Hilary Clinton, Tom Vilsack, Joe Biden, Mark Warner, General Wesley Clark, John Edwards, John Kerry, and whispers of Barak O’Bama. I stress speculative because in the most general terms, every Democrat with a pulse and a background at all is running. And by the by, most of these officials have filed PACs for one cause or another.

Warner was dynamic. He presented a plan that focused on his ability to work across the aisle on issues of fiscal responsibility, education, and even gun rights and safety. He is a balanced budget, revenue neutral, pay as you go Democrat. He is not a deficit hawk, but he is a deficit reducer. His fiscal policy is sound and caused for amazing leaps in infrastructure development in rural Virginia and one of the most stable and fastest growing economies in the nation. His fiscal policy alone helped garner him an approval rating of 80% in a red state.

The issues that peaked my interest the most were his education policy and “in-sourcing”. His education policy was based on incentives and creating higher and realistic standards for students and teachers. With his improvements African American and Hispanic students in advanced placement classes rose to nearly 25% each. Graduation levels rose to approximately 90%. Teacher pay increased for those working in the most deprived school districts and he did this while maintaining the growth of the economy.

His policy on in-sourcing is an idea that I have read about but never heard from a candidate--rural development to allow for a transition from industrial jobs to white collar jobs. National Public Radio (NPR) recently highlighted a work from home model that is conducive to this rural/ex-urban development.

Warner took it one step further by expanding broadband internet connection to the rural parts of Virginia and the areas that needed a transition from coal jobs to high-tech jobs. The goal is to create incentives for companies and corporations to shift work to previously untapped parts of the country instead of outsourcing.

Warner is an impressive candidate. He is charismatic (something you can’t learn or teach). He is smart. He is articulate. And, he is viable. As a red state winner and successful businessman, Warner is a candidate to watch.


At 2:47 PM, Blogger Ian said...

Warner will be the next president.

Join the Austin meetup:


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