Tuesday, July 14, 2020
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Kaine for President?

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That's what the New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman, Ray Buckley, says in today's "The Hill".
Kaine said he did not know how long he would stay on at the DNC, or what might lie ahead for his career. He said he had anticipated entering the administration in some type of education post before being asked to run party headquarters.

"This is only the beginning for Tim Kaine," said [Rep. Debbie] Wasserman Schultz. "I'm hopeful that he'll one day run for something again."

[New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray] Buckley hinted that Kaine could wage his own successful White House bid down the line.

"He certainly has a fan base in New Hampshire, if he chooses to do that," Buckley said.

Interesting, I wonder if we could see Tim Kaine and Mark Warner both running for president in 2016.  Or, might one of them run for governor again at some point?  Warner's only 55 years old (will be 61 in 2016), and Kaine's just 52 (will be 58 years old in 2016), so there's plenty of time for both.

UPDATE: Just to be clear, this post is in no way an endorsement of Tim Kaine for President. In fact, I find it hard to believe that I'd ever support Kaine for President, Governor, or any other office at this point. I mean, you never know, but after watching him cave to Dominion, Bechtel, etc. from 2006 to 2010, I really really doubt it.

Kaine: Deeds Demonstrates Why Dem’s Shouldn’t Run from Obama

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I strongly agree with Tim Kaine on this one.
In an interview with The Hill, Kaine said House Democrats who do not run with Obama's agenda risk alienating their most energetic supporters.

"If you distance yourself from the president, you can pour cold water on the excitement about what he is doing," said Kaine, who alluded to Democrat Creigh Deeds's problems.

Deeds lost a special election in Kaine's home state of Virginia last year after distancing himself from Obama, who had won Virginia's electoral votes in the presidential context just a year earlier.

"I can tell you this. Everywhere I go, every last community I visit, there are energetic supporters of this president who are excited about what he is doing," Kaine said.

Along these lines, I think this story is relevant. The bottom line is that most Democrats who are going to lose this November are moderate-to-conservative "blue dogs" in the 49 districts carried by John McCain. The vast majority of Democrats "from the Democratic wing" of the party are going to be re-elected. So, the question is, does it help the "blue dogs" to avoid appearing with - or not mentioning - President Obama? I'd argue strongly "no," in that the "blue dogs" aren't going to win any Republicans or Tea Partiers to their sides, regardless, yet by dissing Obama they're going to reduce enthusiasm among the Democratic "base."  In other words, it's a "lose-lose" for Democrats in swing districts to stay away from Obama.  Don't believe me? Just ask Creigh Deeds how refusing to say he was an "Obama Democrat" worked out for him.

UPDATE: This is stupid too.

Tim Kaine on Appropriate Biking Gear for a 51-Year-Old

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Does this video make you want to take a bike ride on a Virginia trail this weekend? Does it make you want to wear spandex, or do you prefer something "more appropriate for a 51 year old?" :)  If either of those is the case, then you might have something in common with former Governor Tim Kaine, interviewed here by "Car Less Brit" for the Star City Harbinger (not sure where the website is, but I found the Facebook page) as he pedals along the Roanoke River Greenway. Whether in spandex or not, this looks a lot more relaxing than debating Michael Steele, that's for sure!

Official Virginia Recovery Act Website Not Updated Since Kaine Was Governor

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I thought you all would enjoy a look at Virginia's official Recovery Act state website. Apparently, it hasn't been updated since January, when Tim Kaine was still Governor, even though a lot of recovery funding is still coming to the state. I'll leave it to all of you to interpret why this might be...

Kaine Explains “Elections still are choices”

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In short, it's a "tough political environment" and people are frustrated, but they definitely don't like the Republicans and they certainly don't want the BP apologists, Karl Rove, et al. to take us backwards. All I can say is, I hope Kaine's right. I also hope his strategy of trying to get Obama 2008 voters to turn out in the 2010 mid-terms actually works. I like the idea in theory, but I'm not confident it's going to pan out in practice. We'll see...

Kaine: Steele is “Fair Representative” of Republican Party

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According to Tim Kaine, the only thing the "party of Abraham Lincoln" stands for these days is "how do we make President Obama fail." In Kaine's words, President Lincoln would be turning over in his grave if he saw what his party had become. My guess is that Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and a long list of internationalist, pro-environment, reasonable, sane, moderate Republicans in U.S. history would be doing the same thing.  

Tim Kaine Rips Rand Paul: “Extremism Run Wild”

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He [wrote] into the local paper to complain that a fair housing act that had passed 34 years before was unjust and a free society should tolerate hate-filled groups excluding people based on the color of their skin. This is very frightening stuff, it's the kind of stuff that happens when you see this kind of extremism run wild. And I think the Republican Party needs to get on record...get their leaders out there saying, "we're against this and we condemn this kind of thinking." thinking

UPDATE: Charles Lane explains why Rand Paul's "argument makes no sense." It's also beyond laughable, unless you're an Ayn Rand afficionado, an extremist, or an imbecile. But I repeat myself... :)

Tim Kaine: Rand Paul Victory a “Stunning Loss” for Mitch McConnell

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Tim Kaine comments on Rand Paul's victory in the Kentucky Republican primary for U.S. Senate last night.
Today, Kentucky Republicans selected Rand Paul as their Senate nominee, handing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a stunning loss. In a show of weakness for the Minority Leader, and in a race that symbolized the fight over the heart and soul of the Republican Party, Rand Paul overcame McConnell's handpicked candidate by a large margin. Unfortunately for Republicans, ordinary Americans are unlikely to be receptive to extreme candidates like Rand Paul in the general election this November.

Rand Paul's positions fail to resonate beyond the far-right Republican segment of the electorate that supported him tonight. Middle-class Kentucky voters want to elect a Senator with clear ideas about how to create jobs and opportunities for Kentucky families. But Rand Paul is more interested in talking about abolishing the Department of Education and disbanding the Federal Reserve than about supporting economic recovery.

As a result, Democrats are now in a better position to win Kentucky's open Senate seat.

Let's hope Tim Kaine is right about this. For now, I'm just enjoying watching Mitch McConnell get his butt kicked. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

P.S. This should play really well among Kentucky voters this fall.

UPDATE: After the "flip," check out the analysis I received from a politically astute friend via email.

Tim Kaine on Bob Bennett Defeat, Tea Party, and the “Republican...

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DNC Chair (and former Virginia governor) Tim Kaine issued the following statement following the defeat of Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) this weekend by Tea Party activists and others from the hard right who thought Bennett was not conservative enough.
Today the Tea Party strengthened its hold on the Republican Party by ousting Utah's Senator Bob Bennett from the primary. That the Tea Party would consider Bob Bennett - one of the most conservative members of the U.S. Senate - too liberal, just goes to show how extreme the Tea Party is. This is just the latest battle in the corrosive Republican intra-party civil war that has resulted in the Tea Party devouring two Republicans in just as many weeks. If there was any question before, there should now be no doubt that the Republican leadership has handed the reigns to the Tea Party.
By the way, Progressive Punch rates Bennett as the 81st most progressive U.S. Senator, not much different than Jon Kyl (#78), Orrin Hatch (#79), Sam Brownback (#82), Michael Enzi (#84), Jim Inhofe (#86) and Jim DeMint (#87). The point is, if Bob Bennett isn't conservative enough for the Tea Party, then basically noone in the GOP is.  In short, the Tea Party appears to be the monster that could cause the GOP to self destruct. As the saying goes, if you play with matches, you're likely to get burned...

P.S. Spelling note to Tim Kaine; it should be "reins" not "reigns."

UPDATE: See Chris Cillizza's article on the "Bob Bennett fallout."  According to Cillizza, Bennett's loss "sets off alarm bells across the chamber as Members contemplate their own fates." Cillizza adds that this is "especially true on the Republican side where the rise of the Tea Party movement has put establishment politicians on notice." Cillizza quotes Republican strategist Ed Rogers pointing to Bennett's loss as "proof that the tea party movement is huge presence in the GOP organization." I agree with Cillizza and Rogers on all these points.