Warner Touts Obama
Mark Warner sent out an email to supporters today asking them to join him with Barack Obama at the Obama rallies in Richmond and Leesburg tomorrow. While Warner has not distanced himself from Obama, he certainly has been running his own campaign, based on his own merits.
That could be that up until, maybe a month ago, Warner was much more popular in Virginia than Obama. While Warner has maintained healthy leads in just about every poll taken, it wasn’t until recently that Obama began to take a lead over Sen. John McCain.
While Warner is a loyal democrat (he did give the keynote address at the DNC), he has always presented an image of bi-partisan populism. That presentation has provided him incredible results in the more conservative leaning parts of the state. Warner has always polled extremely well with voters who identify themselves as conservative or republican.
Contrast that with the role current Gov. Tim Kaine has played. Kaine endorsed Obama almost immediately after he announced that he was running. He serves as his national co-chair and of course was considered right up until the bitter end as a potential candidate for Vice-President. While Kaine has become the chief Obama cheerleader in Virginia, Warner did not officially endorse Obama until after Hillary Clinton decided to bow out.
I am by no means suggesting that Gov. Warner is not 100% behind Sen. Obama. My goal is to illustrate the levels at which that support is displayed. Warner has worked very hard to identify his campaign as his campaign alone. It seems that he did not want to run the risk of people linking him directly to Obama in the event that the tide of the presidential campaign in the Old Dominion turned dramatically against the Illinois Senator. That seems impossible now, but think back to the summer when Sen. Obama was trailing in Virginia in almost every poll.
It appears that now, Warner feels the association and only help him.