It was a job he didn’t want, but Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is still approaching his responsibilities as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee with due diligence. This has never been more apparent over the past few days.
On Friday, the Governor welcomed Democratic party executive committee members to their quarterly business meeting in Richmond. On Sunday, the Chairman represented the party front and center as he met Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Meet the Press. It was the first time the two have squared off on a Sunday morning talk show. You can watch his appearance here.
Governor Kaine’s public leadership of the party (a group he called Friday the “political arm of the White House”) must be balanced with his stewardship of Virginia. A stewardship that is especially challenging given the current times. While the Governor dealt with national issues on network television on Sunday, He was forced to deal with the pressing financial circumstances of the commonwealth at an event on Monday. The Governor revealed that state revenues have come in below the low expectations his administration had set for the first quarter.
((More on Kaine’s efforts as Governor and Party Chair, including video from his remarks to the DNC after the jump..))
The competing constraints on Kaine’s time were one of the reasons he had at one point rejected the idea of becoming the DNC chair and it has become a source of regular criticism from his Republican opponents in Virginia.
For his part, the Governor/Chairman does not reject the concept that both jobs are difficult. Speaking to his DNC counterparts, he said the following:
“I am trying to juggle two pretty challenging jobs. As I shared with you in January, It is not an easy time to be a Governor. As I talk to Governor’s all across the country we all agree it is a tough, tough time to be a governor.”
There aren’t too many people that expect the challenges of both jobs to get only more difficult over the next few months. With important elections in his own state to the mounting problems regarding the state’s fiscal crisis it is clear that end Governor Kaine’s tenure in Virginia and at the DNC will have an impact. The results of that work could determine where he is headed next.