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Kaine Wants Clinton to Drop Out in June

Tim Craig

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said today he thinks Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY.) should consider abandoning her campaign for the presidency so Sen. Barack Obama, the likely Democratic nominee, can begin focusing on the general election.

"I think we need to move to a position now where the campaign is between Senator Obama and Senator McCain and not have a side campaign between Senator Obama and Senator Clinton," said Kaine, one of Obama's national co-chairmen.

Kaine, who was speaking on his monthly call-in show on WTOP radio, added it would be "a bad thing" for the Democratic Party if Clinton takes her campaign to the convention in August.

"To win, (Obama) needs to focus on Senator McCain and I want the campaign to move purely to that level," said Kaine, adding he expects that Clinton will drop out of the race shortly after the June 3 primaries in South Dakota and Montana.

Kaine largely avoided a question from host Mark Plotkin about whether Obama should name Clinton as his running mate. But Kaine said he thinks Obama could win Virginia this fall whether Clinton was on the ticket or not.

During the same interview, Kaine defended his decision to endorse a candidate in the competitive Democratic primary in the 11th congressional district. Kaine endorsed Fairfax County Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, a decision that upset some supporters of candidate Leslie L. Byrne.

"I have a soft spot for local elected officials because I think they are implementers and I think Gerry is an implementer and I think Congress needs more implementers," said Kaine, a former mayor of Richmond.

By Tim Craig  |  May 27, 2008; 12:25 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Tim Craig  
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