Today begins Senator John Warner’s first day as a civilian in many a year. Graduate of Washington and Lee University, Senator Warner’s connections run far and wide. The 81 year old senator is a former fraternity brother of Virginia’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction, Governor Lynwood Holton. Holton’s daughter is married to VA Governor Tim Kaine.
Confused yet? Senator Warner served as Navy Secretary under Richard Nixon. He and Lynwood Holton remained friends when they both competed in the Republican Senate primary in 1978. Senator Warner was married briefly to Hollywood movie star Elizabeth Taylor who just didn’t take too well to Virginia political life.
Senator John Warner has been a US Senator for 30 years. He is known for being bi-partisan and putting country and state before party politics. He refused to endorse Ollie North in his bid U.S. Senate because he felt he was unfit for office. He opposed the Iraq War after a trip from the Middle East. He said the war was adrift.
While Senator Warner will be replaced by another Senator Warner, Senator Mark Warner, the new Senator stated:
“This is a good man, and he reflects the best of public service,” said Mark R. Warner (D), the former Virginia governor who will replace John Warner at noon tomorrow — and who so admires his Republican predecessor that he has asked the older Warner to escort him onto the Senate chamber floor. “He just oozes Virginia in the best way possible. I may be succeeding him, but I’m not replacing him. He’s not replaceable.”
Many stories were bandied about Senator John Warner as he exited the Capital after 30 years of service. His old frat brother former VA Governor Lynwood Holton tells his favorite:
One of Holton’s favorite stories dates back to his term as governor in the early 1970s, after Nixon had promoted Warner to secretary of the Navy. A Navy ship had crashed into the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, which connects Virginia Beach to the Eastern Shore, and Holton rang up his old friend.
“John, you broke my bridge,” the governor said.
“Ah know,” Warner replied.
And then, Holton said, the Navy fixed it.
Most of all, Senator John Warner is a Virginia gentleman and statesman. He will be sorely missed in the Senate.
To read more about this beloved Senator click the link to the Washington Post.