Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tim Kaine Announces Candidacy....finally

Ever since Jim Webb announced that he wouldn't be seeking re-election, the speculation has been that Tim Kaine would be running for the seat. Originally, he was supposed to announce either at or right before the JJ Dinner. That obviously didn't happen and ever since then I've been constantly hearing that the announcement would come "within a week." I'm not alone in hearing this from various sources and Lowell even laid out a timeline of the supposed announcement dates a couple of weeks ago over at Blue Virginia. Almost two months after the JJ Dinner, there was yet another story on CNN over the weekend that claimed "one source said Kaine's announcement will come in the next two weeks."

Since I'd heard similar reports before from high ranking members of the Democratic Party as well as Congressional staffers, I took the CNN story with a grain of salt. Almost everybody assumed that Kaine will run, so the press would eventually be correct if they continued saying the "announcement will come in the next two weeks." And with all the attention among political insiders talking about the race, it makes since that the media would want to keep reporting the rumors. Well, it turns out that CNN was correct and I received an email while I was on the Hill today that linked to a video announcing Kaine's candidacy.

When I told some of the reporters at the same table as me about the email, one of them responded by saying "it's about time." They also wanted to know if I thought Rep. Bobby Scott would still put his hat in the race. In other words, the reporters there weren't very excited about Kaine's announcement and were more interested in whether or not there would be a primary. When you consider that most of the media covering Congress is focused on the situation in Libya and the budget debate, Obama just announced his re-election campaign, and most people expected this announcement months ago, this was a pour way to roll out a Senate campaign if he wanted it to create a lot of energy about his candidacy. Fortunately for Kaine, he has some time before he really needs to truly begin energizing his base.


  1. The roll out may not have been fabulous or anything like that but I thought the videos were slick, to include the one done in Spanish. At a time when the Latino community is feeling more and more "unwelcome" or "targeted" by the Republican Party I thought it was a nice touch.

    Personally, I think Kaine is the only candidate who is known statewide enough to go up against another candidate with state wide experience and has proven that he can win statewide. Also, I think that Kaine will be in a tight race to where Obama's coattails will be him over the final hump and win but I don't think it would be enough for Bobby Scott. I would guess Scott isn't going to get in the race especially if all the major players in the party are getting behind him. It takes a great deal of resources for something like that. I could be wrong though.

    Also, I'm not sure I'm understanding all the Tim Kaine hate going around.

  2. With his national connections that could help with fundraising, his previous success in a statewide race, and an approval rating that's pretty good, I agree that Kaine is in a strong position to run a statewide campaign. While I personally wish he was a little more progressive, I also don't hate Tim Kaine as much as some other bloggers do -- this post was simply to highlight how he could have had a roll out that could have used the good video to help energize the Democratic base a little more.

    That being said, I also definitely like Bobby Scott. He has a good voting record (scored a 100% from ADA) and always come across as an extremely likeable guy when I've interacted with him. He'd have some work to do getting his name recognition out there, but how many people could have told you who Jim Webb was at this point in the 2006 election? Heck, how many people could have told you much about Obama at this point in the 2008 election?

    In the end, I’d support whoever emerged as the Democratic nominee and could easily tell you why you should vote for either Kaine or Scott over George Allen. Since the GOP has had a lot of success in Virginia in recent years, I simply wish we saw an announcement that could have really energized the Democratic base as we’re heading into state and local elections this year and Congressional and presidential elections next year.


  4. Ralph, you're comments are a prime example of what frustrates so many people. You can disagree without being disagreeable and no single party owns patriotism. Both sides want what's best for the country, we just sometimes disagree on how to go about addressing issues.