Wilder concerned about Kaine and Obama in 2012
L. Douglas Wilder, the former Governor of Virginia and a man never afraid to give his opinion, expressed his concerns about the state of the democratic party and the level of enthusiasm for President Barack Obama leading into the 2012 elections.
Wilder, said that former Senator George Allen and “whoever the republican nominee for president may be” both have realistic shots of winning in 2012. He said democrats must be prepared for a fight this time next year.
“What is taking place at the national level will play such tremendous role in it (the election) that the Obama administration is going to deal a lot with money, money, money”.
According to Wilder, virtually every issue can be tracked back to money and the general public’s feelings about the economy. With lagging unemployment numbers and an economy still struggling to recover, Wilder believes no candidate should feel comfortable with their prospects for next year.
“How money is handled and how money is to be handled is going to be key and uppermost in this election,” he said.
Wilder believes that while Allen’s infamous “macaca” incident (which he apologized again for this week) will still be talked about, but the republican will be able to put that behind him. For Allen and former Governor Tim Kaine, the focus will be their records pertaining to the dominant issue of the economy. Records that are both lengthy and will be judged comparatively for the first time.
“People will be running on their records…and that is where things get sticky,” he said.
But distinguishing those records will be the responsibility of the local party organizations. A strength of the democratic party in 2008, in part because of unprecedented enthusiasm for the Obama campaign. It is a factor Wilder believes democrats cannot guarantee will be there next year.
“The question is will the excitement still be there? With the seniors, with the young people?.. That excitement is not there now,” he said. “Is the Democratic Party organized in Virginia? Is it structured to bring in additional organizational strength that the Obama campaign brought before? That is why I am saying Virginia is going to be pivotal… and it is going to be exciting.”
Extended clips from our interview with Gov. Wilder can be seen below. It includes his belief that Bobby Scott won’t end up challenging Tim Kaine in a primary and the chances that the eventual GOP nominee for the president may not “even be in the race yet”.