The popular former Democratic governor of Virginia signals he wants to make a name for himself in the Senate instead, and that makes a lot of sense for his long term presidential prospects.

From Wash Post:

U.S. Senate candidate Mark R. Warner took himself out of the running as a potential vice presidential candidate this year, telling about 2,000 delegates at the state Democratic convention that he will say no if Sen. Barack Obama offers him a spot on the ticket.

With Democrats saying that Virginia could be key to Obama’s hopes of winning the presidency, the Obama campaign is reportedly considering Warner, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and Sen. James Webb as possible vice presidential contenders.

But in his speech here to officially accept the Democratic nomination for Senate, Warner said he is “110 percent committed” to his race against former governor James S. Gilmore III, the GOP nominee. “Let me be clear about this: I have been working very hard these last few months to ask the people of Virginia to give me the honor of being their United States senator,” Warner said. “I will not seek, and I will not accept, any other opportunity.”

Also, I’m guessing that he realizes regardless of who wins in November he’ll be a key post-partisan voice in the Senate and will be extremely well positioned in 4 or 8 years.

On the other hand, if he takes the VP spot now and Obama loses, where is his career? So this move makes a lot of sense strategically.

Keep your eye on this guy…

Politics Mark Warner: No VP For Me