It was regarded as a given that Tom Davis would leave the House of Representatives to seek the Senate seat being vacated by John Warner. But he's now reconsidering, as it would be a major challenge for a moderate such as he to be nominated at a convention dominated by conservatives, then lead a divided party against Warner:
Since Sen. John Warner (R) announced his retirement last month and even before, Davis has been expected to enter the race to replace him.
But Davis said at a breakfast at the National Press Club on Tuesday that both recent developments factor into his decision and suggested that he might instead run for freshman Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-Va.) seat in 2012, or not run for Senate at all.
Davis is also a strong candidate on K Street and could be drawn to a lobbying job.
“There are other races; this isn’t the only shot,” Davis said. “You’ve got a very vulnerable guy sitting there in the other Senate seat right now who may or may not run in four years. And you know what? If you don’t go to the Senate, so what? I’ve been a committee chairman in the House. I’ve got my portrait hanging on a wall. I’ve been pretty productive legislatively.”
There have been rumblings of late that Davis is having second thoughts about running, but he insists his mind was never made up.
While Davis is more liberal than many Republicans both in the House and in Virginia, he's widely respected as a bright team player, with great political skills. Whenever Republicans regain the majority, Davis will have an influential role. He'll also win friends by seeking re-election, which would take away another prime takeover opportunity from House Democrats.