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Kaine's Timing

Anita Kumar

Gov. Tim Kaine had three years and seven months to announce his decision to pardon the former sailors convicted of raping and killing a woman in 1997 in the infamous Norfolk 4 case.

But Kaine, the outgoing governor and DNC chairman, waited until today--when President Obama is in Virginia to campaign with Creigh Deeds.

Strange timing?

Campaign staffers, political insiders and reporters were certainly scratching their heads about Kaine's motives.

No one really thought he was trying to take the spotlight away from Deeds and Obama, but it kind of worked out that way.

Kaine was supposed to begin a week-long vacation in Virginia Beach Thursday but pushed it back a day to attend the Obama rally and fundraiser for Deeds in Northern Virginia.

He has a lot riding on this governor's race so it's unlikely he meant to steal the show from Obama and Deeds, but the timing didn't seem to be to their benefit. It is Obama's first trip to Virginia for Deeds, and the campaign hopes the president will help woo voters and donors.

Some speculated that he unveiled his decision on the Norfolk 4 today because he didn't want it hanging over his head any longer -- especially while he was on vacation.

Kaine was asked about the timing in the first question at his press conference. "This is one of the unique powers a governor has,'' he said. "It has nothing to do with politics." Later, he said that once he made the decision in the the last few days he wanted to announce it. "Once I had made a decision the right thing to do was announce it."

"I know Tim Kaine very well,'' Deeds said in a statement. "I am certain he has studied this matter carefully and weighed all of the information before him. This is a matter of gubernatorial prerogative and I respect his decision."

By Anita Kumar  |  August 6, 2009; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Timmy's seen the polls- he knows any news plays better with Virginians than the Pres coming to town raising cash from rich folks he wants to tax. I bet Creigh scheduled the dinner and rally hoping Kaine would be on vacation since his numbers are even worse than Obama's.

Posted by: OldVirginian | August 6, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

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