Senator Mark Warner has largely achieved success in politics based on the false image of the rare politician who rises above all the partisan rhetoric and bickering to ‘get things done.’ So, given his success in projecting a centrist image despite his radically liberal voting record, it is interesting that Mark Warner appears to be shifting tone and message in his 2014 campaign.
My case in point is Warner’s response to the Supreme Court ruling that affirmed religious freedom for select business owners like Hobby Lobby. Warner’s fundraising email this week had an interesting spin on the Hobby Lobby ruling:
I was very troubled by the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the Hobby Lobby case. The idea that for-profit corporations can stand in the way of employees accessing basic health care is outrageous.
That’s why I’m supporting legislation that would reverse the negative consequences of the Hobby Lobby case. But it’s going to take all of us working together to ensure it passes.
Will you join me in calling on Congress to undo the effects of the Hobby Lobby decision?
Let me be very clear: a woman should be trusted to make her own healthcare decisions without interference from her boss. The personal beliefs of the owners of a for-profit corporation should not override private medical decisions made by a woman with her doctor.
There are many troubling and misleading statements in this email from Mark Warner. This ruling does not “stand in the way” of women accessing “basic health care.” As I discussed on the day of the ruling, Hobby Lobby provides an excellent health care plan to their employees that exceeds ‘basic standards’ even by Obama’s measurements.
Furthermore, Hobby Lobby covers the costs for 22 out of 25 different contraceptive options. Hobby Lobby only objected to the use of abortifacients that destroy a fertilized egg, since it violated their religious beliefs. It seems hardly a violation when you have 22 options to choose from in the plan. No health insurance plan offers infinite, non-restrictive choices with medicines, doctors, medical procedures, etc. The same was true with Hobby Lobby.
So, the really interesting part about Mark Warner’s email is the change in message and tone as his campaign ramps up, especially compared to his 2008 campaign. As stated earlier, Mark Warner has largely achieved his success in politics based on the false image of the rare politician who rises above all the partisan rhetoric and bickering to ‘get things done.’ Don’t forget, he campaigned in 2008 as a ‘radical centrist.’
However, his voting record reflects something entirely different – a man who is fully committed to the entire progressive agenda. Senator Warner’s centrist, non-partisan rhetoric is just that – rhetoric. Mark Warner has voted with Barack Obama 97% of the time, a statement that Politifact found completely true. That is a cornucopia of votes for extremely liberal policy!
So given his prior success in projecting a centrist image despite his radically liberal voting record, it is interesting that Mark Warner is decidedly shifting tone and message in his 2014 campaign. Clearly Warner has not had any opponent in the past with the financial resources or skillful messaging to expose this false centrist impression. That is no longer the case in the 2014 race and its seems that Warner knows it as well.
As Steve Albertson reported yesterday, Gillespie has raised over $4 million and is reportedly luring donors away from Mark Warner. Perhaps this explains Warner’s strategy shift. Warner is campaigning in a very different political environment this year. Consider all the negative media coverage on the illegal alien crisis, the IRS scandal, the Benghazi murders, the Bergdahl terrorist swap, a stagnant economy, and an Obamacare roll out that continues to grow in its unpopularity.
On top of all that, Warner is now facing a fierce competitor in Ed Gillespie. Ed is proving that he can raise the necessary cash that will allow him to shape the narrative in this campaign. Couple these factors with the fact that all incumbents are now petrified of being “Cantored” and Warner has clearly decided to pursue a negative campaign strategy.
Warner is now going to campaign on fear with his new ‘War on Women’ strategy.
Today’s SCOTUS decision affirmed our freedom of religion and found yet another Obamacare mandate to be in violation of the Constitution.