TO the chagrin and shock of political supporters, extant Virginia governer Mark R. Warner announced that he won’t be in the running for the U.S. presidency in 2008. A run for the White House would be too much interference for his family life, he reasoned.
After a weekend with his wife, three daughters and an octogenarian father, it must have dawned on him that he isn’t yet ripe or crusty enough for the goriest of bloodsports—a try at the presidential throne.
People who believe in Warner’s competence and political savvy are aghast, saying that they have deeply and emotionally invested in him.
Too, they cite that except for Warner, “there’s nobody in the United States better positioned to be president”—and that includes extant First Lady and Sen. Hillary R. Clinton.
It appears that this family man has weighed his choices and chances before that decision to pull out of contention: “"I bring a real desire to learn. I think I bring a tremendous curiosity. I think I bring a willingness to acknowledge when I'm wrong. Those three traits alone make me different. Whether I had the experience and preparation to take on this challenge and then this job, I feel absolutely confident."
He noted that his wife and daughters—ages 12, 15 and 16-- were ready to support his try at the White House. But the missus and the kids weren’t all enthusiastic or fired up for a go. All the excitement buoyed up when he told them of his decision not to run.
A self-made millionaire who made his fortune in the venture capital community, Warner is founding father to Sprint Nextel, one of the leaders in wireless and wireline communications business with some 52 million subscribers. He also left the governor’s post with record-high approval ratings.
High hopes on Warner’s inevitable presidential election triumph were dashed. How could he just walk away from the presidential race and run to his family?
"Every single political consideration would have had him running. There was an almost magical marriage here between the man and the moment. Even among those who dislike Bush the most, they want a candidate who is about hope for the future rather than just voicing their anger," Warner’s pollster pointed out.
For now, the man would rather be a doting father to his daughters rather than chase after political rainbows.
As reports have it: He said he did not want to put his "real life" on hold for the next two years.