The WaPo says Tom Davis will conduct a press conference later this week related to his political plans for 2008.
My question is why have the press conference at all?
Before we answer that, let’s consider the path already taken.
It has been an open secret for many years that Tom Davis wanted to go to the US Senate, and would likely run to succeed John Warner. Then came Iraq, the rise of Mark Warner, the Kilgore spanking, Macaca, and a tough reelection campaign for his wife JMDD…a general decline in GOP fortunes. When John Warner actually announces he will retire, Davis is faced with a convention fight with former Governor Jim Gilmore and then a general election campaign against Mark Warner.
Congressman Davis has already said he will not make a definitive announcement of his plans until after the general election.
The WaPo also says that…
while he plans to talk to the media on Thursday about his political future, he has not made a final decision about the race
Then why have the conference? I don’t understand the timing.
I do not think he will run for the US Senate-the convention vote scotched that idea. I also think Gilmore’s candidacy against Mark Warner will be so bad as to define the GOP base vote for a generation…of course, I have said that before and been called a “mouth breather” by an RK diarist for having the idea that someone other than Gilmore or Davis would be the best GOP candidate in 2008.
But again…the timing?
Why take the limelight away from General Assembly races? Why not just wait until after the 2007 election day as announced previously and state your intentions then?
The Machiavelli in me can find only indirect reasons for having a press conference this week:
a) It takes the press spotlight away from the JMDD-Chap! race, minimizing publicity and following the turnout depression strategy in that race Davis has been accused of master minding; or
b) There is another candidate of similar ideological stripe who is considering getting into the race for the 2008 GOP nomination, but will do so only if he is certain that Davis will not be a candidate in that race.
To date Davis has always seemed to be in full control of his political plans, whether you agree with them or not. It is not like him to be Hamlet-like, and yet that is just what seems to be happening.
One thing I am confident of is that he runs for something in 2008. If Tom Davis steps down and heads for private industry, fine and good. Vaya Con Dios, mi amigo.
But if he, the incumbent, steps down and Va-11 goes democrat, I doubt he will have the credibility to return for a future run for a seat in either house of the Congress. For an example of this in action, review the Paul Trible pull in 1988 and what happened to him a year later.
So what is going to happen on Thursday?
“To be, or not to be…that is the question.”