Mark Warner/John Lynch 2012

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner should challenge Barack Obama in 2012. He should choose John Lynch, the popular and successful Democratic governor of New Hampshire who has recently announced that he will not run for another term, for his vice president. Warner was voted among the country’s best governors in Virginia. He marked a sea change for the Democrats. He was a successful businessman and brought business abilities and strategies to governance. A Connecticut Yankee and Harvard-trained lawyer settled in Virginia, he made himself a Virginian and was the first among the Northerners to pass the NASCAR test. He sponsored a stock car and had the Stanley Brothers of Clinch Mountain play at his events. He marked a new direction and got the support of Markos Moulitsas and the Daily Kos crowd, storied today as the so-called Millennial generation.

But Markos asked one day in The Washington Post, “Will these Clinton-era people ever go away?” Unfortunately, the answer was no. Moulitsas, as representative of the rising generation, also supported Wesley Clark and later Jim Webb and a good number of Iraq war veterans when Webb ran for Senate. These, Warner, Webb, Clark, New Hampshire’s John Lynch and a few others, brought a new sensibility to a rising generation. Warner considered running for president briefly, spoke up here in New Hampshire and had a big cover story in The New York Times Magazine. But those hopes were dashed by the Clintons.

At Daily Kos, Hillary’s support hovered around zero. When she entered the presidential contest, the party tacked to find a counterforce. Barack Obama fit the bill. He was smart and attractive and, as Jules Feiffer suggested, his great feature was that he was not Hillary Clinton.

Obama got to here via a kind of neurosis. He didn’t seem to actually desire it, but successfully surfed the contours of populism to the presidency and in my opinion, did the right thing. I voted for him because: He fulfilled the historic destiny begun by Lincoln/Grant and advanced by Eisenhower/Kennedy. This was absolutely necessary to fulfill those historic needs. He was not Hillary Clinton. And the candidate running against him, John McCain, had romanticized and dangerous foreign-policy sensibilities.

But it can be no surprise that he did not know what to do as president. He had little work experience. He has made little progress as manager. He fulfilled his historic destiny and completed the Lincoln/Kennedy initiatives. He should not run again.