Warner believes Kaine will decide this week
Senator Mark Warner has been very cautious about his comments regarding Tim Kaine‘s future. Virginia’s soon to be senior senator inadvertently made some news last week when he told Bloomberg that he thought the chances of Kaine running were “slim to start with…(but) they’re getting a lot better right now.”
Kaine is still on vacation with his family out of state, and is not expected back in town until mid-week. The Politico’s Mike Allen reported this morning that the former governor is “increasingly likely” to leave the DNC to jump into the race.
Today (Monday), in a short chat with NBC12 after his morning forum with Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), Warner refused to handicap the odds of Kaine getting in, but made it clear that his “friend” was his top choice.
“I hope Tim Kaine decides to run for the United States Senate,” Warner said. “I think he would bring an important, new voice to the Senate.”
Warner did not give any indication of which way he thought Kaine was leaning. He said that the former Richmond Mayor still needs time with his family to make the right choice.
“I think folks ought to give him the chance to make that decision.”
Warner is very close politically and personally with Kaine. The two served together when Kaine was Lt. Governor and Warner lived in the Governor’s mansion. Kaine was the Commonwealth’s chief democratic cheerleader when Warner and his good friend Barack Obama were elected to their current posts in 2008.
While Warner is asking people to give Kaine space, he doesn’t think the wait will be very long.
“I think he will probably make it (the decision) this week,” he said. “I’m rooting that he will take the plunge.”
You can see extended clips from our conversation with Senator Warner, including his thoughts about what happens to the Democratic field if Kaine decides to this one out.