Tim Kaine at National Press Club: PA-12 Was a “Major Blow to Republicans”


    On the Democratic victory last night in the PA-12 special election, Tim Kaine said that this “demonstrates Democrats can compete and win in conservative districts.”

    With regard to Kentucky, Kaine commented that “tea party” candidate Rand Paul’s “stunning” victory over the Republican establishment’s choice was a “crushing blow to national Republicans and Senator [Mitch] McConnell.”  

    In general, Kaine argued that the “tea party” is evidence of a “corrosive and divisive civil war occurring on the Republican side.”  Kaine explained that Republicans have been “riding high” for the last 1 1/2 years, but now they are “feeling the tea party’s bite.”

    Later, Kaine responded to a question about conservative claims that the Obama administration is “socialist.” Kaine responded:

    People love to throw that label around and I think for most thinking Americans, throwing that label around actually doesn’t hurt us. It suggests an extremism and an ideological rigidity that isn’t where most Americans are. We are problem solvers…A party that just relies on throwing labels around and refusing to cooperate, they might get a headline but they won’t get support of people

    On Republican demonization of Nancy Pelosi, Kaine basically charged them with being misogynists: “I have my own theories about why Republicans often like to make the speaker a ‘boogeywoman.’ And you might divine my theories from the way I phrased that.” To the contrary, according to Kaine — and I agree with him 100% on this — Nancy Pelosi has “done a very effective job especially in a Democratic caucus that is extremely broad” and also “gets a lot of credit” for winning special elections.

    In the end, Kaine pointed out, we are “in a time of economic anxiety,” which means “there’s going to be electoral volatility.” Still, Kaine is optimistic that the economy will improve by election time, that this will help Democrats, and that the “tea party” movement will “peter out.”  I sure hope he’s right!

    • Teddy Goodson

      It was a very very conservaDem who won that race, was he not? As I recall, he said he would have voted against what he actually called “Obamacare,” and his attitude on Second Amendment gun rights is to the right of Jim Webb…. in other words, it’s good a Democrat won, but he is not a progressive Democrat. He is a Pennsylvania Democrat like maybe a Reagan Democrat (blue collar, pro-life and such). So, the Democrat won and he’ll vote to organize with Democrats, but he’s not a reliable Obama Democrat. What I’d call a half-victory, I guess, but I’ll take what we can get.

    • Yeggo

      Kaine is right to brag a bit about last night.  But it’s really the Republicans that needs to address what happened.

      PA-12 shows the GOP needs to adjust, and fast. No more living in Rasmussen World. No more talk of 100-seat swings, no more setting the bar at “takeover or bust.” Going to be hard to explain to an already fractured base anything short of your own expectations for November.


    • with Neil Cavuto about the “tea party” vs. Republican Party.

    • What I hope Democrats take away from this is that a well organized and funded campaign with a strong local message and active volunteer corp is what wins elections.  It may not be enough to win every election in a historically difficult year for the incumbent party, but if we remember this, we’ll lose fewer seats than we otherwise might.  And the fewer seats, the better.

    • KathyinBlacksburg

      The TP is the GOP base. Quite pretending it isn’t.  Bennet was punished for occasionally straying from conservative orthodoxy.  Note that, for Dems’ base to turn on thier “own,” one has to be a real turncoat (like Liebermann, Lincoln or Bayh).  But though there are progressive groups such as DFA or PDA among the base, none are fronts for corporations, the corporate state, and corporate abuse of US citiznes.  TPs want zero oversight.  And what you get with zero oversight is 1) the financial collapse; 2) Enron; 3) the AWOL Bush-installed Mining and Minerals folks–and the BP disaster. None of that is what our country needs.  We can argue about whether what Dems do is enough.  But the national Repups don’t want to do anything to fix problems.