Mark Warner is a lamentably under-utilised resource in the American Democrat party.
Until recently, he was Governor of Virginia (he stood down due to term limits). He is a politician who connects extremely well with rural Americans and, most crucially, comes from the South, in a party which desperately needs southerners at its helm for demographic reasons, if nothing else.
I had a tenner on him with Stan James to become US President. Sadly, Stan James nabbed my tenner when Mark Warner announced that he would not seek the Democratic nomination. It was a crowded field. Once you have tasted a family-friendly Governor's mansion, jetting around the States, on a possible fool's errand, is not an enticing prospect.
It is a shame he stood down. I still think Obama or Clinton or going to have a fairly tough task trying to beat, say, Guiliani. They could do, especially if Guiliani throws a bit of a wobbly in some way, as he is wont to do. But I wouldn't bank on it. Mark Warner could have ticked all the "photogenic (at the right angle)/walks in a straight line/talks/nice family" boxes as well as ticking that all-important "Southerner who wears cowboy boots" box.
Mark Warner has been mentioned as a possible Vice-Presidential candidate, which would make sense. Any ticket with a Senator from Illinois or New York at the top will have to have a southerner at the bottom.
He is now considering a Senatorial bid. It would make sense. John Warner, a man who's been a senator for so long he ought really to be carved into a sort of second rank Mount Rushmore, is standing down from his Virginian senate seat. Replace Warner with Warner. No relation. Different party. It would make the Democrats' chances in the Senate a lot more rosy. They won the other Virginian senate seat at the last election, against the odds. To take the second one would be a terrific victory and allow them to, perhaps, breathe a little easier in the Upper House.