Warner checks in, weighs in
Sen. John Warner received hosptial treatment for an irregular heartbeat this week, and he seems to be doing fine. He said that his heart condition, for which he has been taking medications for five years, was not the reason for his decision not to run for reelection next year. I'd bet that health concerns in general played a big part, however, as he has hinted that fatigue was wearing him down. Get well soon, Senator! Your country, and your party, need you.
Upon his release, Sen. Warner took the opportunity to voice his opinion to reporters on what qualifications his successor should have:
Warner stressed the need for Republicans to nominate a solid contender to face Mark R. Warner (D), the popular former governor.
The senator emphasized the need for prior legislative experience, with which I wholeheartedly agree, and which suggests that Rep. Tom Davis (Fairfax County) would be better suited than former Governor Jim Gilmore. But then, James Webb never had any legislative experience before running for the U.S. Senate last year, so perhaps Gilmore will cite that example. What struck me about the Washington Post article was the possibility that our congressman, Bob Goodlatte, might be a candidate for Sen. Warner's seat. No one I've talked to has mentioned that, and it seems unlikely Goodlatte would give up a safe seat in the House for a chance to win the Senate seat. It makes me wonder who is spreading rumors about Goodlatte as a Senate candidate, and why. Whoever is nominated by the GOP next spring, it will be a difficult contest in the fall.
My ever-alert brother Dan brought to my attention to this Candidate Calculator, which picks your "ideal" candidate based entirely on your policy preferences, and the results for me were interesting:
You planned to vote for Fred Thompson. Based on your responses, your top candidate for 2008 is below.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R)
Actually, Fred Thompson and one other guy (Tom Tancredo?) scored exactly the same for me. In any case, I've bumped up Huckabee one notch (to #4) on my list of possible GOP 2008 candidates and have taken Newt Gingrich off my list, since he recently said he won't run for president next year.