John Warner

John Warner

Infobox Officeholder
name = John William Warner

imagesize =

jr/sr = Senior Senator
state = Virginia
term_start = January 2, 1979
term_end =
alongside = Jim Webb
viceprimeminister =
deputy =
president =
primeminister =
predecessor = William L. Scott
successor =
order2 = 61st United States Secretary of the Navy 13th Secretary under the DoD
term_start2 = May 4, 1972
term_end2 = April 8, 1974
vicepresident2 =
viceprimeminister2 =
deputy2 =
president2 = Richard Nixon
primeminister2 =
predecessor2 = John Chafee
successor2 = J. William Middendorf, II
order3 = Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services
term_start3 = January 3, 1999
term_end3 = January 3, 2001 January 20, 2001 – June 6, 2001 January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
vicepresident3 =
viceprimeminister3 =
deputy3 =
president3 =
primeminister3 =
predecessor3 = Strom Thurmond (1999) Carl Levin (2001, 2003)
successor3 = Carl Levin (2001, 2007)
order4 = Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
term_start4 = September 8, 1995
term_end4 = January 3, 1999
vicepresident4 =
viceprimeminister4 =
deputy4 =
president4 =
primeminister4 =
predecessor4 = Ted Stevens
successor4 = Mitch McConnell
birth_date = birth date and age|1927|02|18
birth_place = Washington, D.C.
death_date =
death_place =
residence = Alexandria, Virginia
party = Republican Party
alma_mater=Washington and Lee University
spouse = (1) Catherine Mellon (div.) (2) Elizabeth Taylor (div.) (3) Jeanne Vander Myde
children = Virginia Warner
John Warner, Jr.
Mary Warner
profession = Lawyer
religion = Episcopalian

website = [ United States Senator John Warner]
footnotes =
branch=United States Navy United States Marine Corps
serviceyears=1945 – 1946 1950 – 1953
rank=Petty Officer 3rd Class Captain
unit=1st Marine Aircraft Wing
battles=World War II Korean War

John William Warner (born February 18, 1927) is an American politician, who served as Secretary of the Navy from 1972 to 1974 and has served as the Republican senior U.S. Senator from Virginia since January 2, 1979. He is not seeking reelection in 2008. Warner was once married to actress Elizabeth Taylor. He is one of five World War II veterans currently serving in the United States Senate.cite news|title= Veterans’ defiance a nightmare for Bush|date=2006-09-17|url= Gulf Times. The other WWII veterans in the Senate are Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).]

Early life and education

John William Warner was born on February 18th, 1927 to John W. and Martha Budd Warner and grew up in Washington, D.C., where he attended the elite St. Albans School.

He enlisted in the United States Navy during World War II in January 1945, shortly before his 18th birthday. He served until the following year, leaving as a Petty Officer 3rd Class. He went to college at Washington and Lee University, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi, graduating in 1949; he then entered the University of Virginia Law School.

He joined the Marine Corps in October 1950, after the outbreak of the Korean War, and served in Korea as a ground officer with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. He continued in the Marine Corps Reserves after the war, eventually reaching the rank of captain. He then resumed his studies, receiving his law degree in 1953. That year, he became a law clerk to Chief Judge E. Barrett Prettyman of the United States Court of Appeals. In 1956, he became an assistant US attorney; in 1960 he entered private law practice.


In 1957, Warner married banking heiress Catherine Conover Mellon, the daughter of art collector Paul Mellon and his first wife, Mary Conover, and the granddaughter of Andrew Mellon.

The Warners, who divorced in 1973, have three children: Virginia, John Jr, and Mary. His former wife now uses the name Catherine Conover. [ [ Washington Life Magazine: May 2005: Real Estate News ] ]

He married the actress Elizabeth Taylor on December 4, 1976. They divorced on November 7, 1982.

On December 15, 2003, Warner married Jeanne Vander Myde, a real estate agent and the widow of White House official Paul Vander Myde. [ [ WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS: VOWS; Jeanne Vander Myde and John Warner - New York Times ] ]

It has been reported that he once dated journalist Barbara Walters. [ [ Warner's Career Marked by Courage to Buck Conventional Wisdom - ] ]

Political career

Chuck Robb at the commissioning ceremony for the USS "Arleigh Burke" with Arleigh Burke and wife present and Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney delivering the keynote address, July 4, 1991.] In February 1969, Warner was appointed Undersecretary of the Navy under the Nixon administration. On May 4, 1972, he succeeded John H. Chafee as Secretary of the Navy. He participated in the Law of the Sea talks, and negotiated the Incidents at Sea Executive Agreement with the Soviet Union. He was subsequently appointed by Gerald Ford to the post of Director of the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration.

Warner entered politics in the 1978 Virginia election for U.S. Senate. Known primarily as Elizabeth Taylor's husband, he finished second at the state Republican Party (GOP) convention to up-and-coming politician Richard D. Obenshain. When Obenshain died in a plane crash two months later, Warner was chosen to replace him and narrowly won the general election over Democrat Andrew P. Miller, the state's former Attorney General. He has been in the Senate ever since and is currently in his fifth term. He is the second-longest serving senator in Virginia's history, behind only Harry F. Byrd, Sr., and by far the longest-serving Republican Senator from the state. On August 31, 2007, Warner announced that he will not seek re-election in 2008.

His committee memberships have included the Environment and Public Works Committee, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Most importantly, as the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he has protected and enlarged the flow of billions of dollars into the Virginia economy each year via the state's naval installations and shipbuilding firms.

Warner is considerably more moderate than most Republican Senators from the South. He is among the minority of Republicans to support gun control laws. He voted for the Brady Bill and, in 1999, was one of only five Republicans to vote to close the so-called "gun show loophole". In 2004 Warner was one of three Republicans to sponsor an amendment by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that sought to provide for a 10-year extension of the Assault Weapons Ban.

He is pro-choice [ [ U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote ] ] and supports embryonic stem cell research, [ [ U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote ] ] although he receives high ratings from pro-life groups because he votes for most abortion restrictions. [] On June 15, 2004, Warner was among the minority of his party to vote to expand hate crime laws to include sexual orientation as a protected category. He supports a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, but he raised concerns about the most recent Federal Marriage Amendment as being too restrictive as it would have potentially banned civil unions as well.

In 1987, Warner was one of the Republicans who crossed party line to reject the nomination of Robert Bork by President Ronald Reagan. []

In 1993, Warner refused to support the state GOP's nominee for lieutenant governor, Mike Farris. Farris was the only statewide GOP candidate to lose that year, but lost by a wide enough margin to make it questionable as to whether Warner's support would have made a difference. In 1994, Warner campaigned for a former state Republican Attorney General turned Independent candidate Marshall Coleman against fellow Republican Oliver North in North's unsuccessful campaign to unseat Virginia's Democratic Sen. Chuck Robb. North's loss to Robb was very close, with Coleman finishing in single digits and looking like a spoiler. This time, Warner's actions were seen as the direct cause of a fellow Republican's loss.

Because of his centrist stances on many issues and because of his 1993 and 1994 snubbing of fellow Republicans, Warner faced opposition from angry members of his own party when he decided to run for re-election to a fourth term in the Senate in 1996. Many of Virginia's staunch Republican voters began a "Dump Warner" campaign to try to deny him re-nomination. However, Virginia's GOP party rules allow the incumbent to select the nominating process. Knowing he would probably lose the nomination at a convention or caucus, where only party regulars would be voting, he selected a primary. In Virginia, primaries are open to all registered voters, so Warner encouraged Democrats and independents to vote in that primary. His strategy worked and he handily defeated Republican rival James C. Miller III for the nomination.

In the general election that year, Warner was expected to win in a cakewalk over relatively unknown (at that time) Democrat Mark Warner (no relation), who had never held elective office. However, the election turned out to be much closer than many pundits had expected. Mark Warner was able to tighten the race mainly because he took full advantage of the discontent with John Warner among conservative Republican voters (even garnering protest votes from some of them). Still, the close election provided Mark Warner enough momentum and impetus to successfully run for governor of Virginia five years later.

According to George Stephanopoulos, a former close aide to President Bill Clinton, Warner was among top choices to replace Les Aspin as the Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration. However, President Clinton selected William Perry. During Clinton second term William Cohen of Maine, another moderate Republican Senator, held this position. [George Stephanopoulos, "All Too Human: A Political Education".]

During the 1996 United States Presidential election Warner served as a Senate teller (along with Democrat Wendell H. Ford) of electoral votes [ [ Our Campaigns - US President Race - Dec 16, 1996 ] ] .

Warner was among ten GOP Senators who voted against the charge of perjury during Clinton's impeachment (the others were Dick Shelby of Alabama, Ted Stevens of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Olympia Snowe of Maine, John Chafee of Rhode Island, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, Jim Jeffords of Vermont, Slade Gorton of Washington and Fred Thompson of Tennessee). Warner and others who voted against the article angered many Republicans by their position. However, unlike Snowe, Collins, Specter, Jeffords and Chafee, the rest of the Republicans voted "guilty" on the second article.

As was the case in 1990, Warner faced no Democratic opposition in 2002, winning re-election to a fifth term in the Senate by a landslide over an independent candidate.

On May 23, 2005, Warner was one of 14 centrist senators (Gang of 14) to forge a compromise on the Democrats' proposed use of the judicial filibuster, thus blocking the Republican leadership's attempt to implement the so-called "nuclear option". Under the agreement, the Democrats would retain the power to filibuster a Bush judicial nominee only in an "extraordinary circumstance", and three Bush appellate court nominees (Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William Pryor) would receive a vote by the full Senate.On September 17, 2006, Warner has said US military and intelligence personnel in future wars will suffer for abuses committed in 2006 by the US in the name of fighting terrorism. He fears that the administration’s civilian lawyers and a president who never saw combat are putting US service personnel at risk of torture, summary executions and other atrocities by chipping away at Geneva Conventions’ standards that have protected them since 1949. Following the Supreme Court ruling on "Hamdan v. Rumsfeld", which was averse to the Bush Administration, Warner (with Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain) negotiated with the White House the language of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, suspending habeas corpus provisions for anyone deemed by the Executive Branch an "unlawful combatant" and barring them from challenging their detentions in court. Warner's vote gave a retroactive, nine-year immunity to U.S. officials who authorized, ordered, or committed acts of torture and abuse, permitting the use of statements obtained through torture to be used in military tribunals so long as the abuse took place by December 30, 2005. [cite news | url =,1,1387725.story | title = Tribunal bill OKd by Senate | publisher = Chicago Tribute | author = William Neikirk, Andrew Zajac, Mark Silva | date = 2006-09-29 | accessdate = 2006-09-29] Warner's "compromise" (approved by a Republican majority) authorized the President to establish permissible interrogation techniques and to "interpret the meaning and application" of international Geneva Convention standards, so long as the coercion falls short of "serious" bodily or psychological injury. [cite news | url = | title = Senate Passes Broad New Detainee Rules | publisher = New York Times | date = 2006-09-28 | accessdate = 2006-09-28] [cite news | url = | title = Senate OKs detainee interrogation bill | publisher = Associated Press | author = Anne Plummer Flaherty | date = 2006-09-28 | accessdate = 2006-09-29] Warner maintains that the new law holds true to "core principles" that the US provide fair trials and not be seen as undermining Geneva Conventions.cite news|title= Veterans’ defiance a nightmare for Bush|date=2006-09-17|url= Gulf Times] The bill was signed into law on October 17, 2006, in Warner's presence. [cite news | url = | title = THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ; Bush Reassures Iraqi That There Is No Timetable for Withdrawal| publisher = New York Times | date = 2006-10-16 | accessdate = 2007-02-08] [] [ [ George Bush, John McCain and 'Torture' - HUMAN EVENTS ] ]

In March 2007, after Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Peter Pace spoke out about his views on homosexuality and the military, Sen. Warner said, "I respectfully, but strongly, disagree with the chairman's view that homosexuality is immoral." [ [ "Sen. Clinton dodges question on gays, immorality"] , CNN, March 15, 2007.]

On August 23, 2007, he called on President Bush to begin bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq by Christmas in order to make it clear to the Iraqi leadership that the U.S. commitment is not indefinite. [ [ ""] ]

On August 31, 2007, he announced that he will not seek a sixth term in the Senate in 2008. [cite news | url= | title = Sen. Warner won't seek 6th term | publisher = MSNBC | date = 2007-08-31 | accessdate = 2007-08-31]

In September 2008, Warner joined the Gang of 20, a bipartisan coalition seeking comprehensive energy reform. The group is pushing for a bill that would encourage state-by-state decisions on offshore drilling and authorize billions of dollars for conservation and alternative energy. []

In October of 2008 John voted in favor of the Wall street bail out []

Committee assignments

*Committee on Environment and Public Works
**Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection (Ranking Member)
**Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
*Committee on Armed Services
**Subcommittee on Airland
**Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
**Subcommittee on SeaPower
*Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
**Ad Hoc Subcommittee on State, Local, and Private Sector Preparedness and Integration
**Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
**Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia
*Select Committee on Intelligence

Future possibilities and announced retirement

In the first quarter of 2007, Warner raised only $500, which led some to speculate that the 80 year-old Senator might not seek reelection in 2008. On August 31, 2007, Warner announced that, indeed, he would not seek reelection in 2008. He may have been holding off on officially announcing his retirement to assist the candidacy of U.S. Representative Tom Davis to replace him. [Rogalsky, Joe [ Davis readies strategy to replace Warner] . "Washington Examiner". July 11, 2007.] Former Republican Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore and Virginia House Del. Robert G. Marshall have also announced their candidacies for the seat. The Democratic candidate for his seat is former Governor Mark Warner, who previously challenged John Warner in the 1996 US Senate election.

On October 2, 2007, Warner was admitted to Inova Fairfax Hospital and underwent surgery to correct atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heartbeat. He made a full recovery and returned to work within the following week. [Richmond Times Dispatch [ Sen. Warner hospitalized] . "Richmond Times-Dispatch". October 2, 2007.]

On February 25, 2008, he was again admitted to Inova Fairfax Hospital, this time for a scheduled observation of his heart condition. ["Senator Warner Is Hospitalized". NY Times, February 26, 2008 [] ]

Election results

Election box candidate with party link
party = Republican Party (US)
candidate = John Warner (Incumbent)
votes = 1,229,894
percentage = 82.6
change = +30.1
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = Nancy B. Spannaus
votes = 145,102
percentage = 9.7
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = Jacob Hornberger
votes = 106,055
percentage = 7.1
change =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Republican Party (US)
candidate = John Warner (Incumbent)
votes = 1,235,743
percentage = 52.5
change = -27.9
Election box candidate with party link
party = Democratic Party (US)
candidate = Mark Warner
votes = 1,115,981
percentage = 47.4
change =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Republican Party (US)
candidate = John Warner (Incumbent)
votes = 846,782
percentage = 80.4
change = +10.3
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = Nancy B. Spannaus
votes = 196,755
percentage = 18.7
change =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Republican Party (US)
candidate = John Warner (Incumbent)
votes = 846,782
percentage = 70.1
change = +19.9
Election box candidate with party link
party = Democratic Party (US)
candidate = Edythe C. Harrison
votes = 196,755
percentage = 29.9
change =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Republican Party (US)
candidate = John Warner
votes = 613,232
percentage = 50.2
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Democratic Party (US)
candidate = Andrew P. Miller
votes = 608,511
percentage = 49.8
change =

ee also

*‘‘Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008’’Also more commonly referred to as the "Cap and Trade Bill", proposed to ration (cap) carbon emissions in the U.S., and tax or purchase (trade) Carbon credits on the global market for greater U.S. alignment with the Kyoto protocol standards and goals. The current bill is almost 500 pages long, and provides for establishment of a federal bureau of Carbon Trading, Regulation, and Enforcement with mandates which some authorities suggest will amount to the largest tax increase in the history of the United States.


* Warner hit the trail with McCain; Alexandria Times
* John Warner accepts Good Neighbor award; Alexandria Times
* The Virginia Primaries - John Warner’s McCain bet; Alexandria Times
* John Warner named William & Mary Fellow; Alexandria Times

External links

* [ United States Senator John Warner] , U.S. Senate siteCongLinks
congbio = w000154
fec = S8VA00107
opensecrets = N00002061
votesmart = S0920103
ontheissuespath = Senate/John_Warner.htm

* [ New York Times — John W. Warner News] collected news and commentary
* [] John Warner's retirement speech
* [] John Warner ends the suspense
* [] A public servant returns to private life
* [] Warner honors a homecoming soldier
* [] John Warner's maverick moments
* [ SourceWatch Congresspedia — John W. Warner] profile
* [ Warner Backs Resolution Opposing Troop Increase] Jonathan Weisman, "Washington Post", January 23, 2007
* [ Secretaries of the Navy] official list

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