Here’s a question for you: How much weight does an endorsement carry if it is offered by a member of a political party to another member of the same political party? Typically, next to none, right? Insiders know that powerful party members can grant or withhold support for one candidate or another, but that kind of thing is done mostly behind the scenes, not in public. What the public sees is Republicans endorsing Republicans, Democrats endorsing Democrats, and all of that is just one big yawn for the masses.
Unless… When an endorsement crosses party lines, that changes everything, right? Obviously, an endorsement must be sincere if a person is willing to buck their party when they make it. Speaks volumes about that person’s integrity, character, and commitment to the great good, wouldn’t you say?
Thus, Republican John Warner’s endorsement of Democrat Mark Warner for the latter’s re-election bid to the United States Senate can only be seen as utterly genuine, and tremendous credit to the statesmanship of the former. God bless John Warner for being his own man, and lending his help to someone who deserves and needs it!
Oh, wait. Does Mark Warner need it? Let’s check: According to the most recent poll, Mark Warner leads his Republican challenger, Ed Gillespie, by twenty-three points. For the politically inexperienced, we can tell you that, barring some kind of Sandusky Event, this means Mark Warner is going to win. Which also means that no clear-thinking Republican is going to blame John Warner for it when Mark Warner wins. Effectively, John Warner just bought all that apparent integrity and statesmanship without actually having to pay for it.
Which brings us to his latest endorsement, of wannabe member of Congress, Barbara Comstock. Without his cross-party endorsement of Mark Warner, retired senator John Warner’s endorsement of fellow Republican Comstock would about as stunning as last year’s passage of Comet ISON (no, you aren’t supposed to know what Comet ISON is, or even that it made a passage, which is kind of the point, see?). But, having made the courageous gesture of tossing party loyalty aside and backing a Democrat who was already sure to win, John Warner has earned himself the apparent nobility necessary for the local press to say this:
Warner, who in 2009 retired after 30 years in the Senate, has been no surefire supporter of Virginia GOP candidates in recent years.
What a guy, eh? By the way, that 2009 retirement is interesting too, because the story also says this:
In a joint letter about the event, John Warner and Wolf say Comstock has been “a great partner with us in working on issues important to the 10th District.”
“With us”? John Warner retired in 2009. Barbara Comstock first took office in 2010. Warner (John) is a retired Republican, endorsing a Republican who ought to be retired, and that endorsement means what all politically incestuous endorsements mean: nothing.