Kaine Must Hope for VP…

Tim Kaine has spent many weeks out of state ignoring his elected responsibilities and instead campaigning for Barack Obama…that is because if he wants his political career to continue, he has to get the VP nod.

Kaine is racking up an unenviable record as governor.  He seems to have no real strength in his party, no real pull with the legislature, and has neither the longstanding popular support of Mark Warner or even the bubble popularity once held by Jim Gilmore.  TheGov does not have a record that would get him an automatic reelection…which leads to some interesting speculation on his future plans.

Think of it…once he leaves office, what happens?  One senate seat is held by Jim Webb…and even if Webb were tabbed by Obama and then became VP, Kaine would have to appoint a successor, and the special election for the balance of the term would not be until 2010…and no matter what the tea leaves say for 2008, the other senate seat is not up until 2014…and it may be held by a Democrat. I doubt he could get another nod to run for governor, and the Richmond area is represented in great part by two popular incumbents (Scott and Cantor), so there is no electoral op there.

That leaves appointed office. My pals at TC speculate would Kaine take an appointed slot and raise Bill Bolling to governor, allow him to run as an incumbent, and give the GOP a big leg up in the 2009 elections? He might, but it would have to be for VP. If the nominee of the party comes to you and says please help me lead the country, I bet he would be forgiven for accepting the nod. But a cabinet position? I bet just as much the other way, that if he leaves office for the cabinet he will not be forgiven for giving up the governor’s mansion.

So, with no real opportunities or options for higher elected office on his own, all that is left is an appointed position. It has to be the VP slot…he will be forgiven for accepting that. But if he leaves the governorship for the cabinet, that will burn his bridges for elected office for a lonnnnnnggggggg time.

So it is the national ticket, or a long lucrative legal career with a big name law firm.

You heard it here first.

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9 thoughts on “Kaine Must Hope for VP…

  1. Good analysis. I suspect, Kaine will have to take the lucrative law career. Or, cabinet posts could be available in the middle of a president’s term too.

    I honestly don’t see Kaine as the best VP pick. Even if he can carry Virginia, which is supposedly in play, I don’t think he helps to attract other states that are needed for a victory. Unlike Jim Webb, who has a national reputation and could garner support throughout Appalachia, Kaine’s influence is confined to the Old Dominion. He just hasn’t gotten the national stature.

    Kaine also lacks experience in foreign policy, military affairs, and national security, the very areas where Obama is perceived to be weak. So, I just don’t think Kaine brings anything that is necessary to the ticket.

  2. You state that that thegov doesn’t have a record that would give him automatic reelection. Are you aware that in Virginia a governor cannot run for a second consecutive term? Kind of hard to pay attention to your analysis when you don’t have your facts straight.

  3. I am definitely for Kaine as VP. Obama is so close to being able winning virgina and kaine coule help with that. Also kaine is cool. He was a while ago on one of the sunday morning talk shows and he was a fantastic surrogate, he knew almost everything including the name of legistlation that obama has introduced and passed. He effectively argued on obama’s behalf beating out the mccain surrogate, i mean hes just great.

  4. Jeff, how is life under that bridge? While it is hard to pay attention to your comment through all the snark involved, I will try.

    I am aware that Virginia does not allow a governor to succeed themselves. As a matter of fact, it is such a fundamental matter of Virginia governance that it does not need to be explained to Virginans-or most folks who follow Virgnia politics. Many folks don’t need to have elementary facts spelled out for them.

    While Virginia governors cannot succeed themselves, a test widely used in this commonwealth is to ask if their record is such that they could win reelection if that opportunity were available.

    If Kaine had a record worthy of reelection then he would likely have the support in the party and would have a wide variety of options based on that support. An example of this is Mark Warner had a record that could have won him reelection (were the option available), and that record and the resulting support has stayed with him since he left the governor’s mansion.

    Perhaps you think Kaine’s record is good enough to pass the “second term” test…but instead you choose to engage in ad hominem insults. C’est la vie…but if that is the best that Kaine supporters have to offer, then his future political options are limited at best.

  5. Do you reallllly think that Bolling would then run if he was elevated to Gov? I don’t think he would…he’s already made a platform off of this ticket…and it would be wrong to turn back now.

  6. It would be wrong only if McDonnell says it is wrong…

    I also think that human nature is going to kick in. If Bolling becomes governor, it will be hard to slide back to LtGov and then hope to be able to go back to the Gov mansion in 2013.

    Plus, in the back of his mind he has to be thinking that it has been a really long time since a candidate running for Virginia statewide positions (as opposed to federal) has been able to win from any variety of positions on the ballot in three consecutive years…I think the last one to pull if off was Lindsay Almond, and that takes us back to 1957.

    Yep, it Bolling becomes governor, then plans change for 2009.

  7. Pingback: …but Kaine has Little Hope for VP « Renaissance Ruminations

  8. For what it’s worth, Bolling and Mcdonnell have agreed that if Bolling should become Governor, both men would then run for reelection to their respective offices.

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