Kaine for VP? He Hasn't Rejected the Possibility


(Sunday, January 27, 2008 7:58 AM EST)

Gov. Kaine says he wouldn't expect to be chosen and doesn't think he would be the best choice, but he also hasn't explicitly ruled out running as the Democratic vice presidential nominee, if asked to join the ticket.

Speaking to state business leaders in Richmond on Jan. 23, the governor said that “there are much better people out there” to be the vice presidential.

Asked about the possibility of joining the ticket during a “Chamber Day at the Capitol” event, Kaine said he plans on serving his full term as governor, and will try “to get things done that need to get done in Virginia.”

Kaine has appeared on lists of prospective vice president picks, should U.S. Sen. Barack Obama win the Democratic nomination. Kaine was the first governor to endorse Obama, and now serves as a national co-chairman of his campaign.

An Obama-Kaine ticket would be balanced geographically (one candidate from the Midwest, one from the Southeast) and politically (one a senator, the other a governor). A Virginian's presence on the ballot also might help Democrats compete for the Old Dominion's 13 electoral votes; Virginia has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1968.

Kaine would not have to resign the governorship in order to run for national office. But, if the Democrats were to win the White House, the remaining year of Kaine's term would be filled out by Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican.

Kaine is not the only Virginian whose name appears on lists of vice presidential prospects. U.S. Sen. Jim Webb has been mentioned, although he says he doesn't want the job, and former Gov. Mark Warner has been touted, although his run for the U.S. Senate this year would appear to put him out of the running.

On the question of the overall strength of the Virginia economy, Kaine told business leaders he was “very bullish and optimistic,” although there would be short-term concerns about the state budget.

“I don't gripe or complain about it - you do exactly what a family does and what a business does: you tighten your belt and get creative . . . analyze everything we do and try to be better.”

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