Virginia, Kaine Take Center Stage in Campaign '08

By: Matt Holmes Email
By: Matt Holmes Email

Sunday August 10, 2008

"[Tim Kaine has] been a governor for three years. He's been able, but undistinguished. I don't think people could really name a big, important thing that he's done."

With those words, former White House strategist Karl Rove set the tone for the debate Sunday morning on CBS' 'Face the Nation,' a program that also featured a live sit-down interview with Virginia governor Tim Kaine.

Rove continued his criticism of Kaine's credentials, telling host Bob Schieffer "[Kaine] was mayor of the 105th largest city in America. Again, with all due respect to Richmond, Virginia it's smaller than Chula Vista, California, Aurora, Colorado, Mesa or Gilbert, Arizona."

Governor Kaine didn't offer anything new Sunday morning about his chances of appearing on this fall's Democratic ticket, but he did take the opportunity to weigh in on an anti-Obama campaign ad that's generated a lot of buzz.

"The whole ad about the, you know, the Paris Hilton and the celebrity thing, I mean, it was funny, but wearing a clown suit and juggling would be funny, too," Kaine said. "It doesn't connect with the concerns Americans have about gas prices, about the war, about the economy. So I think on things like that, shoot, I hope the McCain camp does more of those ads and we'll just let 'em do those ads."

As for Kaine's chances of landing on the ticket this fall, Rove says they're pretty good.

"He's going to view this through the prism of a candidate, not through the prism of president; that is to say he's going to pick somebody he thinks will, on the margin, help him in a state like Indiana or Missouri or Virginia. He's not going to be thinking big and broad about the responsibilities as president."

Back in March, John McCain held an 11 point lead in the commonwealth.
Polling in May showed Obama up by seven. Right now, about two-and-a-half months out from election day, the two candidates are essentially neck-and-neck.

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