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Obama-Kaine, Obama-Warner, Obama-Webb

Tim Craig

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) offered up only a few clues today about which Virginia Democrat, if any, has a shot at being considered as a vice-presidential candidate this fall.

But it's clear there is a spot in Obama's heart for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), who endorsed Obama more than a year ago.

Obama appeared at different times today with Kaine, Sen. James Webb and U.S. Senate candidate Mark R. Warner, all of whom are mentioned as possible Democratic vice-presidential contenders.

In Bristol in Southwest Virginia, Obama praised Warner's political skills and his record when he was governor from 2002 and 2006. Judging from the reception they got while working the rope line at the start of the event, an Obama-Warner ticket would be an energetic pairing.

Obama told the crowd that Warner, when the former governor was considering a bid for president in 2006, stuck out in his mind as someone who would make a good president.

"Mark has provided extraordinary leadership that has achieved extraordinary results," said Obama, who later added, " I look forward to working with Mark Warner to bring fundamental change to Washington."

Obama also noted that Warner's wife, Lisa Collis, endorsed him earlier this year, even though Warner stayed out of the Democratic contest until today because he was running for the Senate.

At a rally later in the day in Prince William County, Obama shared the stage with Webb and Kaine.

Obama honored Webb's military background and gave him credit for sponsoring and winning passage of the GI Bill. Obama has been using the issue to hammer Arizona Sen. John McCain (R), who voted against Webb's bill because he feared it could drain the military of career officers.

Obama then noted that Webb has a reputation for being tough, a character trait that many pundits and political strategists consider to be an asset for a vice-presidential candidate on the campaign trail.

"If you are in a fight, and we are in a fight, you want Jim Webb to have your back," Obama said.

But Obama got personal when he spoke about Kaine. He noted Kaine endorsed him in February 2007 in Richmond at the governor's mansion, located a few hundred yards away from where the Confederate Congress once met.

Calling Kaine of man of "convictions," Obama said the governor "is somebody who proves that nice guys can finish first."

"When you're in the political business, there are a lot of people who are your allies, there are a lot of people who you've got to do business with, but you don't always have a lot of friends," Obama said. "The governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia is my friend."

By Tim Craig  |  June 5, 2008; 9:30 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Tim Craig  
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Next: Gilmore Talks About Iraq, Abortion and Warner

Comments

Leslie Byrne lost the LG race and that prevents Kaine from accepting the VP slot. Kaine cannot turn the governor's mansion and veto over to republican Bill Bolling.

Leslie Byrne lost the 11th CD to Tom Davis & the republicans for 12 years.

Leslie Byrne lost to Bill Bolling despite Kaine's huge Democratic win.

Leslie Byrne is the republican gift that keeps on giving. Keith Fimian really wants to face Leslie Byrne in the general election, he knows he can beat her, just like everybody else.

Posted by: Byrne Prevents Kaine from VP | June 6, 2008 6:12 AM | Report abuse

I don't know the background on Tim Kaine or Leslie Byrne, but I know that getting a Democrat elected president is a much higher priority than preventing a Republican from becoming Governor of Virginia. If the Obama campaign offers Kaine the VP spot, arguing that he offers the best chance of helping Obama get elected, I think the motivation has to be for Kaine to take it.

Posted by: Not necessarily | June 6, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why a black man would want Jim Webb to have his back, it would be mighty brave.

Warner, maybe. Kaine's just an eyebrow on Warner's coattails.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I think you have a valid point, except recent electoral history evidences that vp candidates do not help win an election-unless you go back to JFK & LBJ.

But because Leslie Byrne lost despite Tim Kaine's huge win, Virginia has a republican LG. And with REDISTRICTING coming up, the dems need every Democratic vote in the Senate and a Democratic governor to keep the recent gains (that took the dems 10 years to make up since last redistricting.)

Leslie's historic loss to Tom Davis lost a democratic congressional seat for 14 years to the republicans.

Leslie Byrne's historic loss to Bolling lost Tim Kaine's chance at being VP and an early cabinet post.

It is what it is. Pick Leslie Byrne and the democratic party loses now and in the future.

Posted by: not necc, not right | June 6, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

No way will Webb agree to be on the ticket with a brown person, certainly not as #2!

Posted by: Jamie | June 7, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand all this "Webb is racist" talk. After al, it was his opponent in 2006 that was hurling the racial epithets . . . .

Posted by: Virginian | June 8, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

the writer must not be aware that Webb is married to a non-white woman

Posted by: jacquelyn kidd | June 9, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

It is good to hear that Webb's sixth wife, not Webb himself, is being considered for VP. She is vastly more qualified, has a better character, and didn't spend her time in LA driving around pointing guns at black people.

Jim Webb is a sick racist freak and won't get the votes of real, diverse Americans.

Posted by: Brown is Beautiful | June 9, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Do you think that Webb married her to prove that he isn't a racist or because he knew he could keep her down?

Posted by: Brown is Beautiful | June 9, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

First, aside from the true comments above about Webb's commonly-known racist past, he also made & published a speech to the Sons of the Confederacy where he said he had proudly named his son (in part) after Robert E. Lee.
2nd, regarding the "racial epithets" that Sen.George Allen Jr. was allegedly hurling, can you show me a citation of the word "macaca" used as a slur (preferably in this hemisphere) before the last Senate race?

Posted by: Well Virginian | June 17, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

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