Senator Warner represented for most Virginians an ideal of what they should be. Not everyone agrees with all his positions, but the character of the man is such that there are not many who will be happy with his departure. I am lucky enough to possess a small store of anecdotes concerning him but I will keep those to myself in spite of the fact that all of the stories speak well of him.
He says that he will continue to serve. I believe that.
What will happen now?
The Republican Party in Virginia has a sorry recent history of choosing candidates who in some way represent the aspirations of the national party but not the traditional preferences of the Republican electorate of the Old Dominion. I expect that the national party and its operatives in Virginia will attempt to continue this tradition.
Accordingly I would think that the apparatchiks will want to see George Allen succeed Warner. Allen is the national party’s man. Opposing him for the nomination will be Representative Tom Davis. If the party nominates Davis, there will be a much more competitive contest for the senate.
The Democrats are going to run a former governor, Mark Warner or perhaps Gerald Baliles.
If I were a betting man (with money) I would look to see a Warner/Davis contest in ’08. pl