Re-elect Mark Warner
Our dysfunctional federal government would be funny if it weren’t so sad. Where would America be if the two political parties were as interested in working together as they are in tearing one another down?
More to the point for Virginia voters this Tuesday, where would America be if more federal legislators were like Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.?
Citizens can look at Warner’s voting record as a 97 percent match with President Obama. Or they can understand that Obama has taken a clear position on not even a third of the U.S. Senate votes since 2009. More than half of those “97 percent” votes were to confirm presidential nominations.
A clearer picture comes from The National Journal, which looked at 117 key Senate votes in 2013 and tabulated that Warner is the U.S. Senate’s 48th most liberal (and 54th most conservative) member. He’s squarely in the middle, insistent on always have a Republican co-sponsor to his bills and unafraid of voting against his fellow Democrats.
His bipartisanship, honed during a successful term as Virginia’s governor from 2002 to 2006, has made him a standout during his freshman term in the U.S. Senate. He was the Democratic leader of the bipartisan Gang of Six in 2011 that proposed a promising solution to the debt crisis a more functional Congress would have passed.
Warner considers himself a problem solver – albeit a frustrated one in do-nothing Washington – and not a partisan warrior. For the most part, we agree with his self-assessment.
Is Warner perfect? No. He is a politician running for re-election who makes no apologies for adding to the negative ad overload.
Would we be better off with a Congress full of Mark Warners, willing to reach across the aisle and make things work again? Yes.
Warner is committed to realistic tax and entitlement reform, not liberal enough for the left and yet conservative enough for many Republicans. He doesn’t believe in throwing money at problems. He understands that good legislation is worthless without good implementation, and that both the legislation and implementation require building strong relationships based on trust, even with one’s political polar opposite.
If Democrats lose the Senate Tuesday, as is expected, we hope that Mark Warner is not among those sent home. He will function well no matter what party holds the majority. He is the kind of Senator Virginia and the country need.