The Washington Post is reporting that Democratic Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is on the short list of names the Barack Obama campaign is considering for the vice president position on the Democratic ticket. The Post is reporting that talks, according to associates of Kaine’s, about the vice president slot are “very serious.” Kaine is being a little more evasive with reporters, telling them in answer to whether or not he would like to be vice president that, “I haven’t sought it. I’m not running for it. I’m not asking for it. I’ve never asked anything of the campaign.”
The GOP, never one to let an opening get by without a scathing shot, are already saying that such a combination would be the “most inexperienced” set of candidates that have ever run for office.
Politico.com is reporting that an undisclosed source who has recently spoken with Obama aides says that Tim Kaine “ranks very, very high on the short list.”
On that short list is Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn, Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, Delaware Senator Joe Biden, and Indian Senator Evan Bayh, and Virginia Senator Jim Webb.
With the election now less than 100 days away, both political camps are gearing up and vetting potential candidates down to final choices. Obama’s choices may come down to strategy. Picking Nunn of Georgia or Kaine (or Webb) of Virginia might swing those states into the Obama electoral fold come election day, giving Obama the votes he needs to clinch the presidency. A choice of Kaine, who was also once mayor of Richmond and not a Washington insider, might also work to solidify Obama’s message that he is intent on change in Washington.
Both Georgia and Virginia have shown themselves to be possible swing states. According to RealClearPolitics.com, a July 2 Insider Advantage poll in Georgia placed Senator Obama within two points of Senator John McCain (46-44) in a traditionally conservative, Republican-voting state. However, Rasmussen had Senator McCain with a commanding lead on July 17 (53-42). A Virginia Rasmussen poll on July 16 had Senator McCain ahead of Obama by one point (48-47). Margin of error puts both these states within reach of either candidate.
Tim Kaine’s elevation to the “short” list comes just two days after the Obama camp floated the name of Republican Ann Venneman as a possible vice presidential candidate. Venneman would also be a strategic choice, aiming to pull in independent and moderate Republican voters.
William Kristol of the Weekly Standard told “Fox News Sunday” that he believed that Obama had already chosen Kaine. He predicted that Obama would announce Tim Kaine as his running mate on Monday, August 4th, in Richmond, Virginia. Kristol also admitted that he was going way out on a limb with that prediction.
Michael D. Shear, “Kaine Responds to Reports of Obama V.P. Discussions,” WashingtonPost.com
Ben Smith and Amie Parnes, “Kaine ‘very, very high’ on VP shortlist,” Politico.com
Tim Craig, “Va. Gov. Kaine A Focus In Obama VP Search,” WashingtonPost.com