Home 2012 races Kaine meeting with Obama to discuss Senate run – RTD

Kaine meeting with Obama to discuss Senate run – RTD


President Obama will be sitting down with Tim Kaine to talk about a Senate run today or tomorrow, if he has not done so already, according to the RTD.

It sounds to me, however, as if this story is really saying that if the President asks him to do it, Kaine will throw his hat into the proverbial ring. For one thing, Kaine gave the story to the RTD – why do that unless you are setting the stage to explain why you changed you mind?

Also, according to the RTD:

The former governor said he was “flattered” by the interest and support shown for him running for office, but said he needs to have additional discussions on the matter before making a decision.

Again, the words of a man getting ready to publicly explain why he changed his mind.

I have very mixed feelings about this.

(more on the flip)

On the one hand, I don’t have the same hostility toward Kaine that some in the Progressive Netroots seem to have, but the fact is that he not an ideal Progressive from my perspective. He says, for example, that he is pro-life, so NLS raises a good point – how would he vote on an anti-choice nominee to the Supreme Court? Kaine ought to answer this important question.

Then there is Kaine’s spotty record as governor.

Still, he is far superior than any possible Republican nominee – right now, Allen is the favorite — so when push comes to shove I will have no problem getting enthusiastically behind his candidacy. However, this says more about how bad the GOP candidates are than how good a choice Kaine is.

As for a Netroots-fueled Perriello insurgency, I just don’t see Perriello throwing his hat in the ring if Obama and Kaine are on board with a Kaine candidacy. Whether you are happy or sad about that prospect, I think that is reality.

That said, I am not convinced that Kaine is necessarily a better candidate than Perriello for this race. While current polls show Kaine doing better than any other Democrat against Allen, this means only that if the election were being held today, Kaine would be the better candidate.

But as an old basketball coach of mine used to say, if you want to know who the best players are, don’t look at who starts the game, look at who finishes it.

This election will not be held for almost 21 months. As a candidate and Congressman from the 5th District, Perriello has demonstrated that, if nothing else, he is able to exceed, and even confound, electoral expectations.

Last, but not least, I am slightly queasy over the sense that Kaine is being thrust upon us by a combination of conventional wisdom and the power of a group of self-appointed, insider power brokers who really could give a rat’s behind about what I, in particular, or the Netroots, in general, think. Indeed, Warner, Moran, Kaine, et al., are depending upon people like me who will support whoever the Democrat is that they choose because I would inevitably see the Republican as 100 times worse.

As this post shows, of course, they are right, but only up to a point. I hope – for his sake, for the sake of Virginia Democrats and for the sake of Virginia and America – that Tim Kaine takes the opportunity to reach out to the Progressive Netroots in a positive manner that will not only help Kaine’s candidacy, but also acknowledge and further the legitimate institutional interests of the Netroots as a political force in the Commonwealth.

That would be far better and more productive than a relationship based on the old Middle Eastern saying of the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

The former is a long-term strategy for creating a working Democratic and Progressive majority for a generation, so we can really move this Commonwealth and this country forward and fulfill the promise of our founding fathers and the work of their spiritual and philosophical heirs, Lincoln, FDR and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The latter is, at best, a short-term tactic that might work to win a particular election.  

  • Desenada

    And has voted that way, including in favor of the Stupak Amendment.  There isn’t a doubt in my mind that Tom would vote in favor of an anti-choice Justice or in favor of any other anti-choice legislation that came along.

  • Paradox13VA

    Great observations, aznew. I agree with your analysis. I really like Tim Kaine and continue to strongly support him. I just prefer Periello here and now in the wake of the 2010 elections.

    Sure Tim is an “insider” but he did not start out that way. I think he still remembers how he started, he just became a loyal soldier for the Obama campaign three years ago and that has been his primary mode since then.

  • You summed up quite a few of my feelings on the subject very well.

  • Tom

    It is inconceivable to me that Kaine would even consider voting against anyone Obama might nominate for the Supreme Court, regardless of the nominee’s position on pro-choice. And I also think it’s equally inconceivable that Obama would nominate anyone for the Supreme Court who is anti- pro choice, so it doesn’t much matter whether Kaine or Perriello might vote for a nominee who is opposed to a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own body and health, it’s simply not logical that Obama would nominate an anti-choice person in the first place. Kaine will do whatever Obama asks of him, which is not to say he won’t have his differences with Obama but he certainly won’t vote against Obama’s SCOTUS nominee. Nor would Perriello.

    I have to admit that I was very disappointed in Perriello’s vote on the Stupak amendment, and I think that vote could do significant damage to his support in NoVa if Kaine chooses not to run. I don’t think Kaine would have nearly the same problem on the pro-choice issue because he is not on record of having cast a vote that makes his opposition against pro-choice a matter of public record. Kaine has done a better job of separating his personal religious beliefs and his official elective office duties separate (as in separation of church and state). I am not as comfortable about Perriello might vote if Obama’s nominee is pro-choice.  

  • pontoon

    and since last week, when Senator Webb announced he would not seek re-election, I’ve participated in an effort to “Draft Tom Perriello for US Senate.”  I’ve proclaimed the reasons he should be our candidate.  I’ve written numerous posts here and Facebook.  I’ve called friends, emailed friends, and recruited friends to sign his petition as well as join the Draft Tom Perriello for US Senate Facebook page.  Obviously, many  other people have been doing the same because right now Tom Perriello’s US Senate Facebook page has 754 friends and his petition has 584 signatures.  (Just for your information, Tim Kaine has 326 friends on his Draft Tim Kaine for US Senate Facebook page.)

    Today, when I got home from work, another Washington Post Virginia Politics blog post had appeared exclaiming the virtues of only individual….Mr. Tim Kaine.  The post states that Kaine is the “first choice of many Democrats” for Webb’s Senate seat and crudely mentions Tom Perriello and Glenn Nye as defeated Congressman.  Then I came to Blue Virginia and I read a discussion outlining how the “Democratic establishment” to include Brian Moran, as Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia, Senator Mark Warner, the DPVA Central Committee, even President Obama, and the Media (example cited was the WaPo politics blog previously mentioned) has already decided for all Virginians who our candidate should be.

    I know that I am a bit of an idealist and am certainly not a political insider, but I am a Democrat, a Virginian, and a voter.  It really galls me to think, much less believe, that a few people-even if they include the President of the United States-should think they are entitled to choose the Democratic nominee who should represent me.  So, should any of the aforementioned folks have the opportunity to read this, please remember that change takes place from the bottom up, not the top down.  The people who should choose that candidate are the thousands of folks–just like me–who go and vote in Democratic Primaries every chance we get!  

  • pontoon
  • blueice6102

    i’m ready to go campaign for whoever runs for senate, except glenn nye. I’m ready for 2011 VA delegate/senate elections, 2012 presidentials & 2013 governor.

  • pontoon

    today.  Now the national news spin is that “Virginia Democratic insiders say Perriello is too close to Obama” because of his votes on cap-and-trade and Health care.

    Over the last several days, all I’ve read here on BV and in the media by Kaine supporters is that Obama and Kaine are friends and Kaine will do what Obama wants; that Tim Kaine and Obama are Amigos.  

    Now, however, Tom Perriello won’t be a good candidate because he is too close to Obama.  Tim Kaine’s not, but Tom is.  Come on guys, you can’t have it both ways.  

    • pontoon

      I really don’t want to be an elected official again, but I’ll do it because I have all this support.  So what kind of representation will we get with someone who really didn’t want to do this?