In a move that clearly sounded like a man entering the 2008 presidential race, Gov. Mark Warner offered his two cents on the Iraq debate today.
The United States needs to set milestones for progress, not a firm withdrawal date, before it can leave Iraq, Virginia governor and prospective Democratic presidential candidate Mark Warner said on Monday.
“This Democrat doesn’t think we need to re-fight how we got into (the Iraq war). I think we need to focus more on how to finish it,” Warner said.
“To set an arbitrary deadline or specific date is not appropriate,” he said. “… It is incumbent on the president to set milestones for what he believes will be the conclusion.”
Warner outlined an Iraq policy during his appearance before New York’s Asia Society, and said he might run for president after his term as governor expires in January. “I clearly want to be part of the national debate,” he said.
While some have been touting Warner of late as the new darling candidate for ’08, this democrat is not impressed. I will say however that Warner’s use of the term “milestones” does have a vague ring to it, could it be that Warner is echoing John Kerry’s call for benchmarks? If that would be the case, credit where credit is due would be appropriate.
I rarely speak mind in terms of potential candidates or elected officials, but what I have read of Warner simply does not impress me. Among the questions looming for me is Warner’s death penalty stance:
Warner (D) has not yet granted clemency to a condemned killer since he took office in 2002. The state has executed 11 men in that time. But now, as Warner is considering a run for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, he must make a decision on the most controversial death penalty case of his four-year term.