GW graduate and former Virginia Governor Mark Warner made repeated appeals for bipartisanship Tuesday evening when he delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
Warner, who is running for the seat of retiring Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), said Washington must put its differences aside to move forward.
“I know we’re at the Democratic Convention, but if an idea works, it really doesn’t matter if it’s got a ‘D’ or an ‘R’ next to it,” Warner said as supporters chanted his name.
“Because this election is not about liberal versus conservative; it’s not about left versus right. It’s about the future versus the past,” he added.
But this attempt at bipartisanship was counterbalanced when Warner assured audience members that a White House run by presumptive Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) would be a continuation of the Bush presidency.
Warner said McCain would continue to increase the national debt and would continue to spend billions in Iraq.
“That’s four more years we can’t afford,” Warner said.
His speech was criticized by some as an effort to bolster his senatorial campaign and not Democratic Party presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)
“Warner is looking out for Warner,” said former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan on MSNBC following the debate.
Warner’s appearance was likely designed to play an important role in building support for the Obama campaign. The former governor’s task, as a popular Democratic leader in a sizeable swing state, was to attract moderate voters to the Obama candidacy, Democratic pundits said.
Despite the speculation by some pundits that his speech was politically self-serving, convention-goers said it should create momentum for the Illinois senator.
John Yoakum, a volunteer for the Lancaster Democrats, said Warner succeeded in speaking for his party rather than for himself.
Yoakum said, “He was very good on framing the issues and also on where Democrats would like America to go in the future.”
See next Tuesday’s issue of The Hatchet for a report on GW students attending the convention.
-Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report from Denver.