Saturday, December 01, 2007

Saxman toys with Republican emotions, then disappoints

Well is all over the web now: Chris Saxman has apparently reversed course and decided not to challenge Jim Gilmore for the Republican nomination for John Warner's soon-to-be-vacated U.S. Senate seat. Delegate Bob Marshall is said to be flirting with the idea of challenging Gilmore, but he would probably be even less likely to defeat the Democratic candidate, the extremely popular Mark Warner.

So our Republican friends are right back where they started, which is bad news for the rather sizable group of Republicans who don't believe Gilmore has a snowball's chance in hell of defeating Mark Warner--not to mention the large number of Republicans who actually plan to vote for Mark Warner.

It's a moment of painful irony for the Republican Party of Virginia. For decades--literally decades--the conservative wing of the RPV has dreamed and schemed about how to rid itself of John Warner. Now that John Warner is retiring, the RPV seems powerless to claim his seat--unable to produce a credible candidate. The RPV seems likely to surrender this seat to a Democrat, also named--ironically enough--"Warner."

Incumbents are notoriously hard to defeat. Mark Warner is relatively young, in his early fifties. Once Mark Warner is sitting in that Senate seat, it will be decades before Republicans have another shot at it.

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