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Thursday, July 31, 2008

No, It Won't Be Tim Kaine!

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict Tim Kaine is not going to be Obama’s VP pick. A bucketful of pixels and a bunch of angst have been spilled on the progressive blogosphere about this possibility. But who’s the one who has been touting Kaine as the most likely pick, based his meeting this week in DC with Obama? Tim Kaine himself.

But as The Fix points out today, the list of candidates for vice president is longer than the press previously believed. That means that either Kaine has been deliberately putting out the stories about how seriously he’s in contention as a diversionary tactic or his loose lips have killed his chances (bolding in quote is mine).
The hard vetting involves follow-ups to lingering questions about candidates' backgrounds and clarifications of their stands on issues. While the process is intensifying, the fact that the number of potential candidates still being considered is larger than generally believed, suggests that no decision is imminent, just 26 days before the opening of the Democratic National Convention.

It also runs counter to much-publicized comments by Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine Tuesday that "there has been a long list. It seems to be getting shorter."
Tim Kaine is known to be a friend who enjoys a close relationship with Obama. He’s also one of Obama’s earliest supporters. So, is he happily taking on the role of red herring and playing along with Team Obama’s diversionary tactics to distract the media in its speculations? Or did Kaine’s premature talk kill his chances?
With the exception of Kaine, who seems to be on something of a media blitz of late, all of the candidates above -- and their key political people -- are saying almost nothing about where they stand in the process. The idea guiding that approach is that the more publicly a candidate declares his (or her) interest in the job, the less chance there is that person will be the pick.
Obama has been known for running a disciplined campaign that stays on message. So, all the discussion about Kaine may actually be misdirection. As much as Obama wants to win Virginia, I suspect Kaine and Obama also are mindful of the problems that would be created if Kaine were to desert the Governor’s mansion and leave it to Bolling.

My speculation is that Kaine gets a midterm cabinet post instead. The only real question is whether that's been the plan all along.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know whether it will be Tim, but I'm willing to bet that if he isn't VP, Tim Kaine will be offered a spot in the cabinet.

Same result in terms of VA politics.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Not if he gets a midterm cabinet post. The thing is a lot of appointees only serve in cabinet posts for a couple of years, which means something could be available in 2011. Remember, a new president doesn't take office until January 20, 2009. So, a cabinet appointee may only serve until 2011 or 2012 then go back into private industry, which is a fairly common timeline.

The more I think about it, I suspect Tim could be appointed to Commerce or HUD. I'm sure there are other possibilities I'm just not thinking of yet.

That may be the deal, in fact. That Tim acts as the red herring to divert press speculation and then gets appointed to an opening after his term as governor. That would earn him the gratitude of Virginia Democrats, give him federal experience to burnish his resume, and launch him into other career possibilities after serving in an Obama administration.

For example, Mark Warner may yet run for higher office after buffing up his own credentials with six years in the Senate. Or Jim Webb might decide not to run again because he will already be 65or 66 and he has said he considers himself a writer first. Writing is his first love.

I'm sure Tim will defer to them, but something may open up in the Senate or a seat in the House of Representatives for him.