Tim Kaine for Senate?
It seems that the president and many Democrats are imploring former Virginia governor Tim Kaine (D) to run for the Senate to replace the retiring Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.). Is this really the best the Democrats can do?
Kaine left office in 2009 as one of the least distinguished Virginia governors in recent memory. The budget was badly imbalanced. And he spent a good deal of his time while in the Commonwealth's employ traveling around the U.S. as head of the Democratic National Committee. Obama passed over him for VP in 2008 despite a great deal of public self-promotion by Kaine.
The Virginia state Republican Party was quick to put out a release welcoming "our former part-time governor" back to the state. You can see the first ad already: "As governor, he led the effort to implement the largest tax increase ($2 billion) in Virginia history, left over $1 billion in unspent transportation funds sitting at [the transportation department] while folks sat in traffic, and is now interested in glossing over his failed record as governor to seek higher office."
Couple that with an uninspiring demeanor. (Who can forget the very odd State of the Union response in 2006?) Moreover, he's been the top flack for ObamaCare, which the current state attorney general, to the delight of most voters, is seeking to have overturned by the courts.
But he won the governorship in 2005, right? Well, he won as ire against Republicans was on the rise. Moreover, his opponent, former state attorney Jerry Kilgore, ran -- by most everyone's account -- a horrid race. (Kilgore seemed to think the death penalty was the most important issue of our time.)
And yet Democrats are anxious to have Kaine as their candidate. I suppose the Democratic bench is weak in Virginia, but it's hard to imagine this is the best they can do.
| February 17, 2011; 3:31 PM ET
Categories: Senate Democrats
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