Yeah, right.

Either that’s standard chintzy cover for an under-the-table deal with Hillary (a deal cozy?), or it’s true and therefore he’s the man we would have wanted for president: the man sane enough not to want to run for president. The Great American Catch-22.

I have never shared other centrists’ enthusiasm for Warner. He may have been a pragmatic and effective governor, but in his utterances he seemed to me the bland and cautious, “trimming” kind of centrist. I share many people’s nostalgia for Bobby Kennedy, but looking like a bad cartoon of him (the hair, the teeth) does not alone make a man presidential. I think he would have made a weak candidate, unelectable for different reasons than Hillary. So I don’t agree with those who think the Dems’ shot at the White House in ’08 has just been set back.

So now what? *Shrug.* As a nonpartisan, my only dog in this fight is the hope of a fair and vigorous contest and at least one good choice. Among the remaining Dems, I have been most impressed by Wes Clark, though it’s painful to me to watch him doing the obligatory shilling for the likes of Ned Lamont. I know those are the dues that have to be paid to play in the big sandbox, but it’s yucky.

Of course I’m an Obama “fan,” and of course the less he pleases the blogo-mandarins of the left, the more he appeals to me:

[Obama had said:]

One good test as to whether folks are doing interesting work is, Can they surprise me? . . . And increasingly, when I read Daily Kos, it doesn’t surprise me. It’s all just exactly what I would expect.

[Talk Left remarks:]

[T]hat centrist credential burnishing has been going on for some time. [ … ] Obama’s statement is pretty consistent with his disdain for the base of the Democratic Party and of a piece with his flirting with the DC Beltway mentality. You can be sure that David Broder loves this kind of stuff from Obama. I do not.

But, to say it yet again, it’s too early for him. Obama could be wasted in this contest. He’s not going to beat McCain or Giuliani. Sure, you can lose the presidency and win it later (see Nixon, Richard), but why would Dems want to risk their rising star becoming that kind of damaged goods? Let him keep his virginity a while longer.

Which means, I hope the Repubs nominate somebody I can vote for. Good riddance, George Allen. Mitt Romney I don’t know nearly enough about. Even before 9/11, Rudy was the kind of mayor who would be a good president. I’d vote for McCain, though a number of people I respect think he’s either a calculating grandstander or nuts.

Home Politics Mark Warner Wants to Spend Time With His Family.