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Kaine on life after the governor's mansion

Anita Kumar

Outgoing governor Tim Kaine (D) spent some time reflecting with us this week on what his life will be like after what he calls the "best job" he ever had comes to a close in just two weeks.

In an interview at the governor's mansion, Kaine said he has started the difficult task of packing up and archiving his belongings as he prepares for his move back to semi-private life.

Kaine will leave office on Jan. 16 when incoming governor Bob McDonnell (R) is sworn into office. Kaine, who serves part-time as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will take on full-time duties after he leaves office.

He will spend a day teaching at the University of Richmond (Monday), a day working at DNC headquarters in Washington (Tuesday) and four days traveling for the DNC for campaign, fundraiser or media events.(Wednesday through Saturday).

Kaine said he never considered moving to Washington for the DNC job while he still had children in high school.

"I think I'm more valuable not living there because I weigh in often not just about politics but policy,'' he said. "When I talk to the president and talk to him and communicate with him or with others, I'm not just inside the Beltway. I'm not part of the bubble ... I think if I were living in DC, I would get a little more into the bubble and my advice would not be as valuable."

The Kaine family home in Richmond's Ginter Park neighborhood has been rented out the past few years to a pair of tenants. Kaine hadn't been back into the house until Nov. 15. The family is having some work done -- such as refinishing the floors and installing FiOS Internet service -- as the family prepares to move in again.

Kaine and his wife, First Lady Anne Holton, recently bought two cars to prepare for life as private citizens again -- a Ford Fusion hybrid and a Volkswagen Jetta TDI, an efficient car that runs on low-sulfur diesel. (Kaine said he never had bought a foreign car before, but because he convinced Volkswagen to move their corporate headquarters from Michigan to Virginia he figures he is allowed).

Kaine said he probably would not run for office again, but left the door open to it.

He said he considers the job of president the only higher office than governor but ruled that out because "you have to give up way too much to do that job."

He said he would not run for senator because "there are other best uses of my skills,'' but he could, one day, run for governor again. "Never say never,'' he said.

Kaine has been holding a series of one-on-one interviews with reporters at the executive mansion. They follow a series of interviews he held with editorial boards around the state.

Stayed tune for much more from our interview with the governor in the coming weeks.

By Anita Kumar  |  December 31, 2009; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Next: Winners & Losers of 2009


"a day working at DNC headquarters in Washington (Tuesday) and four days traveling for the DNC for campaign, fundraiser or media events.(Wednesday through Saturday)" -- so not much of a different schedule from what he has had during the past year as governor.

Posted by: Yankeesfan1 | December 31, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

"Kaine said he never considered moving to Washington for the DNC job while he still had children in high school."

Being only 90 miles away, I'm sure the DNC can fly their head man to/from in the private jet.

Thank God Kaine is gone and Republicans now control the Governor's Mansion.

Posted by: AlbyVA | December 31, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: iofferkicks297 | December 31, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah like Obama needs more input from another Harvard alum. That Harvard, that's not a bubble.

If a Virginia Governor has time leftover from serving and from recreating/resting in advance of serving, then he (or she) should be praying for the Commonwealth.

Tim Kaine is such a disappointment.

Posted by: blasmaic | January 1, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Green political party sympathizer and liberal Democrat, and Tim Kaine did make some accomplishments. He signed the bill which implemented the smoking ban and vetoed bad bills which came out of the legislature. The DNC is important and is why Tim Kaine, as chairman, will play a big role in it.

Posted by: LibertyForAll | January 1, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

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