Thursday, February 15, 2007

Why endorse Obama now?

It is being widely reported that Virginia’s Democratic governor, Tim Kaine (depicted left), is going to endorse Sen. Barack Obama in a couple of days. A story about this planted rumor is at the top of the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s front page today.

“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!
Art by F.T. Rea


Anonymous said...

Bravo? You're kidding, right?

The GOP Assembly is just about ready to hand Kaine a Transportation bill that he has no choice but to sign.

Kaine's environmental funding proposals are in the tank.

Kaine's campaign promise for Pre-K is in the tank.

Kaine's opportunity to embrace has just been snatched away by Tom Davis--leaving Chap Petersen out in the cold.

So, to recap. Lousy risk-taking on transportation agenda, no clue how to get his environmental and pre-K agendas through, and he let slip away a golden opportunity to cut off Davis and his wife Devolites-Davis to help Chap win the Senate seat.

I guess Kaine may be governor, but he is not working well to meet his campaign promises and he is certainly not helping candidates in Northern Virginia.

I think Kaine needs to keep working on Virginia issues instead of working on his future ambitions as a Presidential cabinet secretary.

Kaine is turning out to not be anything close to Warner. That is such a shame.

F.T. Rea said...


Kaine’s inability to manage Republicans in the General Assembly may be a disappointment, but who in any party can manage Virginia’s Republicans?

Kaine’s inability to live up to various Democratic Party regulars’ expectations may rub them the wrong way, but that’s hardly treason. No. It’s just politics in the real world. Kaine is a smart cookie who knows you have to pick when and where to fight. I don’t always agree with him, but so far, I think his overall job performance has been good.

Your thoughtful comments are appreciated, and I don’t mean to blow them off. But I wish you hadn’t chosen to make them anonymously.