Animadversions.

The weblog of Joshua Drescher

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Hometown Hero.

July 29th, 2008 · No Comments · Politics

So the current veep-stakes buzz is that Virginia’s Own Timmy Kaine may get the nod to run with Obama. It seems like a good fit to me for a number of reasons:

1) He’s roughly the same age as Obama, but looks older. Sad but true, age is a factor on both sides of the aisle. Obama needs to pick someone who brings the “wisdom vibe” without having that person also overshadow him in terms of experience. Speaking of which…

2) He’s basically a rookie. Kaine was Mayor of Richmond and Lieutenant Governor (which are essentially useless positions in terms of national prominence) before becoming Governor in 2006. As a result, Obama’s “national” experience is nearly DOUBLE that of Kaine (well… 33% greater, but still…), making him look like a wissend Elder Statesman by comparison.

3) He’s been groomed by the Party. Kaine’s good on the stick and was Governor for less than two weeks before he was tapped to give the official Democratic response to Bush’s ‘06 State of the Union speech. He’ll smile and say the right things without pushing Obama to back any of his pet projects.

4) He’s from a big swing state. I know Obama’s camp has said that they aren’t choosing VP candidates based on whether or not they can provide a hometown bump in key areas, but that’s obviously total bullshit. Virginia has been a Red State for a long time and it would be a major feather in Obama’s cap to flip it to the Democrats in this election (to say nothing of the fact that its 13 electoral votes could provide a handy buffer against a loss in Florida and the like). Obama is REEEALLY close to doing that already and tapping Kaine could definitely push him over the tipping point here.

5) He and Obama are BFF. Kaine’s backed Obama since the beginning (he endorsed Obama in February of ‘07) and Obama campaigned on Kaine’s behalf in ‘05. Obama’s in the rare position of being able to grab a useful running mate that can push critical votes his way WITHOUT that person also being someone he hates.

6) He’s not Hillary Clinton. Let’s be honest, that one’s high on Obama’s person list of requirements.

In the end, I’d be pretty happy with Obama/Kaine. While Kaine signed some godawfully abusive DMV regulation into law at the start of his term, he (along with the equally-silly state senate) quickly realized it was an unbelievable mistake and flailed around wildly trying to back it out. Other than that, he’s been a solid B+ Governor.

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