Warner Comeback Based on Russia Investigation

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, whose star rose brilliantly a few years ago, then took a nosedive about 2014, seems to be on the rise again. The NYTimes has a piece today detailing the reasons for that new interest in the centrist Democrat–one of two representing Virginia–here.

Warner is the top Democrat on a Senate committee looking into Russian spying and attempts at influencing the Trump election (it appears with Trump’s help). If he is successful, that elusive run for the presidency could well be revived. If he fails, re-election to the Senate might be problematic.

I’ve known Mark for a long time and he’s a bulldog when it comes to getting what he wants, even in an institution as hide-bound and slow as the Senate. He’s facing a committee chairman who openly and loudly supports Trump, but Mark has a tendency to make friends with the enemy and I see that as the case here. It will be interesting to see how much influence he has in a Congress totally controlled by the opposition party.

Virginia colleague Sen. Tim Kaine is quoted as saying, “I’ve never seen him seized by a responsibility as much as he is now. He’s a man on a mission.”

Warner calls the current crusade “probably the most important thing I’ve done in public life.”

I hope he succeeds. Our form of government could well hinge on it.

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Dan Smith is an award-winning journalist in Roanoke, Va., and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. He is an author, photographer, essayist, father and grandfather. Co-founder of Valley Business FRONT magazine and founder of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. On Advisory Board of New River Voice.

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