Kaine continues to send mixed signals about senate run
It was is becoming a drawn out process, former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine admitted to his
law school undergrad leadership studies class at the University of Richmond that he is “increasingly likely” to run for the Senate. What Kaine didn’t say was that he was in for sure.
His offhanded comment turned into an internet firestorm with reputable sources reporting the DNC Chairman was in the race to replace outgoing Senator Jim Webb. However, Kaine sent his DNC communications team to work to play down his remarks to the class and continue to leave a fog over what the leading democrat for the job really wants to do.
In a statement, Brad Woodhouse admitted that Kaine is leaning toward a run, but made it clear is not ready to commit completely.
“No final decision will be made or announced until the governor has had a final round of consultations with folks about how he can best serve the President, the people and the causes he cares about,” Woodhouse wrote.
Presumably that is what Kaine has been doing for the last month since Webb announced he would not seek re-election. Webb’s announcement came at the behest of party insiders that were concerned that they would not have the time to prepare for what is bound to be a serious Republican challenge. (Former Sen. George Allen is already in as is Tea Party leader Jamie Radtke. Several other Republicans continue to mull campaigns)
But while Webb made his intentions known several months before he had planned to, Virginia Democrats have not been able to take advantage of the opportunity, in part because the field is waiting for Kaine to make up his mind.
Over the last several weeks Kaine has talked to President Obama about a potential run, huddled with former staffers at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner and went away on vacation with his family to clear his head with the goal of making a final decision. All of that consultation is apparently not enough, because Kaine still seems hesitant to make the plunge.
No one seems to really know what is in Kaine’s head except for Kaine himself. It looks now like we won’t know his intentions until at least the end of the month.
The complete statement from Brad Woodhouse can be found below:
“In response to a student’s question, Governor Kaine told his law school class today what is already widely known which is that he is increasingly likely to run. However, no final decision will be made or announced until the governor has had a final round of consultations with folks about how he can best serve the President, the people and the causes he cares about; he is assured that the Democratic Party will be in good hands should he choose to make the race and leave the DNC; he has the support that would be necessary to mount a successful campaign and he completes commitments for travel and fundraising he has made to the Party and the President through at least the end of the month.”
- Brad Woodhouse DNC Communications Director
UPDATE: The University of Richmond’s excellent College Newspaper, the Collegian is challenging the DNC claim. According to the paper, which spoke to students in the classroom, Kaine told them he was going to “give it a shot”. They report that the students in the class said Kaine didn’t qualify his intentions with “very likely’, but said that he was in for sure and will formally announce in a week or so.