As J.R. Hoeft noted earlier on Bearing Drift, even Mark Warner has noticed the lack of campaign signs for President Obama in Virginia. Maybe it’s a symptom of the enthusiasm gap. Or it could be, as Mitt Romney said at the Republican convention last week that “You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job [Obama has] done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.”
The old thrill is gone. The enthusiasm has faded. And, yes, the Republicans have taken immediate notice.
This lack of outward support in Virginia for Mr. Obama have other consequences, particularly for Mark Warner. He delivered the 2008 keynote address at the Democratic convention in Denver. But he has been largely out of the convention limelight this year. It could be administration payback for his role in the Gang of Six, which proposed a somewhat more aggressive posture toward entitlement reform than either the White House of Senate Democratic leaders were willing to consider. Crossing Mr. Obama (or more critically, Valerie Jarrett) even mildly earns you a spot in the penalty box.
Mark Warner still has presidential ambitions, his 2008 head fake notwithstanding. But before he can ready a 2016 run, he first has to deal with his re-election campaign in 2014 — assuming he decides not to ride to the Democrats’ rescue and seek the gubernatorial nomination in 2013. He knows either race would be tough, particularly given the strength of the Republican bench. Outward signs of Democratic listlessness at home, in a presidential year, with the first Democrat to win the state since 1964 on the ballot, can only compound his concerns about his future.
[Continue reading Norman Leahy’s post at Bearing Drift.]
Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.