“Gov. Timothy M. Kaine plans to endorse Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign when Obama appears in Richmond on Saturday, a political source said last night. Kaine would not confirm the endorsement, which was also reported by The Associated Press and The Washington Post. He did urge reporters to attend the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner sponsored by the Democratic Party of Virginia on Saturday at the Greater Richmond Convention Center...”
With Sen. Hillary Clinton established as the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic nomination next year, and several other Democrats in the field -- both announced or poised to announce -- no doubt Kaine’s move is going to be seen as premature, or ill-advised, by some Democrats. Still more Democrats will simply wonder why now?
This much I know about Gov. Kaine -- he is an astute political player who does his own thinking. Beyond that, since Kaine didn’t consult with me on this matter, I must guess at his motives for this move.
My guess is Kaine now thinks Obama looks like the best candidate for the Democrats in 2008. Although I’m not sure he’s right about that, yet, I can easily see why many people agree with that idea.
And, knowing that Clinton is clearly the establishment front-runner, Kaine probably prefers an open race, one in which several candidates have a chance, even if Obama fades. With the advantages Clinton has in money and favors-owed, Kaine may think that the only way to keep the race open is to help the best Stop-Hillary candidate in the field, now, rather than later.
The simpliest reason I can see is that Kaine has more chutzpah than many Democrats. For that I say -- bravo!