John Warner’s “golden silence”

The Republican splits, real, imagined and otherwise, over the current statewide ticket and specifically, EW Jackson’s place on it, are the new campaign narrative. It’s not driven entirely by the press, though it is one they are eager to explore. Rather, the doubts advanced by Republicans themselves, as we see in this RTD piece in which a cast of characters is given an opportunity to opine on the ticket. The story’s headline refers to former Sen. John Warner’s broodings. And while they are limited, they also pack a wallop:

Warner, who left office in January 2009, has raised concerns about his party before. In 1994, for instance, he backed J. Marshall Coleman’s independent bid for the U.S. Senate, rather than endorse Oliver L. North, the Republican nominee.

As for the current contretemps, Warner said he is paying close attention to “this situation in the state.”

“Each person in our state’s got to make their own judgment,” he said, adding, “on that issue, I maintain a golden silence — because the facts are clear for all to interpret.”

Ah, the golden silence. Warner’s use of Harry Byrd’s short hand for refusing to back Democratic presidential nominees back in the day (in part to maintain both the viability of, and his power over, Virginia Democrats) is the equivalent of kicking the current Republican ticket in the teeth. If Warner still has sway within the Virginia GOP, his silence is ominous. Whether he does is an open question. But it is beyond question that some within the ranks view the current ticket, and Jackson in particular, as a long-term threat to the party’s viability.

For those unfamiliar with the context, here’s a bit of background from Frank Atkinson’s Dynamic Dominion:

  • Darrell

    John Warner? Really? Heck, why not ask what would Randolph Scott do?

  • George from Cleveland

    Not much different than Wilder

  • Turbocohen

    The ebook says unavailable for viewing.

  • Lori Carlson

    These are the same folks who look down their noses at us little peons with disdain when we dare complain about the big push to nominate their rich milquetoast democrate-lite buddies like McCain, Romney, Allen and Bolling. The difference is, when their guys bully through and get nominated, we peons are the ones who suck it up, roll up our sleeves and do our best to get them elected if we can. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Warner, Bolling et al need to suck it up and get on board. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. With the grass roots hard work and some genuine enthusiasm, we might actually have a shot at winning this time!

    • David A.

      Who bullied their way to the nomination? My recollection was that they were all fair primaries (with the exception of the recent convention). My assumption is that you view this as your side vs. the other. I’m guessing you consider the “establishment” as the “other.” If this is the context in which you view it, then maybe your “side” should post up some credible candidates and you shouldn’t have a problem. Right?

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