Virginia is emerging as hot political turf this year. The Richmond Times-Dispatch (via Political Wire) reports that "Almost overlooked in last year's presidential race, Virginia will be treated as a battleground state by the national political parties" for this year's gubernatorial race. The RNC "is sending staff members to Virginia as part of an unprecedented grass-roots organizing effort." And the DNC has "pledged $5 million to Virginia Democrats to help in the party's grass-roots efforts."

Adding to Virginia's stature is the New Battleground are a slew of new reports that Mark Warner is the Democrats' favorite non-Hillary candidate for the White House in 2008. As Howard Fineman opines in MSNBC, he has "youth, money, a base ... and he's a southern governor."

Meanwhile, the South's other favorite political son, ex-Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, continues his unabashed run for the Presidency. "He has a think tank and a political organization and is giving talks all over the place. This is costing him $10 million a year, at least, in lost legal fees. So, he is serious."

The downsides: both Edwards and Warner are thin on foreign policy, and neither has much political experience. Sounds familiar.