Kaine Marks Sabato's Final Guest Speaker in 35 Years of Teaching

By: Chris Stover Email
By: Chris Stover Email

April 14, 2014

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) spoke to professor Larry Sabato's politics course at the University of Virginia, marking the final high-profile guest speaker in Sabato's tenure of teaching the course.

This is the final semester Sabato is lecturing after 35 years.

"There's a time for everything. We all get older and you have to say goodbye," Sabato said.

Kaine has appeared in the course a few times before.

"I've been the subject of many a Larry Sabato prediction over the years, just doing what I do, being in politics for 20 years," Kaine said. "But I love coming here. The questions are fantastic."

Sabato often brings guest speakers to his class. This academic year, featured speakers included now-Gov. Terry McAuliffe, then-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Sen. Ted Cruz.

"I think it really helps for students to see the practitioners instead of hearing the airy language in the classroom of academics who have never been here," Sabato said.

Kaine spoke about gay rights, the death penalty and international relations. He said relations at home within Congress are improving.

"I think we are returning to 'Let's work together,'" Kaine said. "We can have different points of view, different parties, but that doesn't mean we have to disagree on everything. Let's find the areas where we can make progress."

Sabato spoke highly about Kaine, someone the professor has watched since the former governor's first foray into politics 20 years ago.

"He's everything you want in a public servant, and I say that even to Republcians who may not agree with his positions," Sabato said. "But you want a Republican with those same characteristics."

Kaine was hand-picked to be the last guest lecturer.

"I chose him on purpose because his career, in my view, exemplifies the slogan, 'Politics is a good thing,'" Sabato said.

"The great thing about this class and about Larry's teaching style is it's about politics and public policy, but it's also trying to encourage people to be public servants," Kaine said. "Politics doesn't have to be bad."

While Sabato is not leaving the university, he says he does hope to have more guest speakers visit grounds and to stay in touch with the 20,000 students he's taught over the years.

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