Monday, February 21, 2011

Draft Kaine bandwagon is picking up steam

Regardless of who gets the GOP nomination to run for Sen. Jim Webb's seat in the U.S. Senate, there's no doubt in my mind the Democratic hopeful that Republicans least want to face in 2012 is former-Gov. Tim Kaine.

If they tell you otherwise, they're trying to pull wool over your eyes ... or, get your goat. That, right there, might be enough for many Democrats to jump on the Draft Kaine bandwagon.

However, Kaine is my first choice not only because he seems today to be the strongest candidate the Democrats could field, Kaine also appears to be well suited to the job.

While Kaine might enjoy being an executive, his optimistic belief in the potential government has to solve huge problems is well-tempered by his ability to see reality and his patience.

Kaine would go to the Senate with the attitude that an ugly gridlock to maintain the status quo is not acceptable when the country's future is clearly being hobbled by it. Moreover, Kaine, the sleeves-rolled-up practical liberal, is not the sort to be cowed by the Tea Party, the John Birch Society, the Ku Klux Klan's Dittohead division, or the likes of Glenn Beck.

A political party should nominate the best candidate it can every time. From my standpoint, while there are surely other Democrats who might win and serve with distinction, Richmond's former mayor, Tim Kaine, stands out as the best the Democrats in Virginia have this time around.

No one should see Kaine's deliberations over what to decide, and how to announce his decision, as signs that he doesn't want to run. He's taking his time because that's what thoughtful people do, when there's no emergency deadline being imposed on them. Since I have no inside info, I don't know what he will do. My hope is that Kaine will see his future as a problem-solver in a 100-member legislative body that's sorely in need of reform.

Note: For a little background, here's a flashback exclusive interview with Kaine that SLANTblog published when he was running for governor in 2005.

-- Art and words by F.T. Rea

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