January 5, 2008
Tapped to serve as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Governor Kaine will have two roles to play but political analysts say Kaine will most likely have to concentrate on one for now.
"And I think that the DNC role might suffer a bit because Virginia's got some very important issues with the budget going on right now and Governor Kaine won't be able to take his eye off of that ball," said Cordel Faulk of the UVa Center for Politics.
But Monday Kaine said that he expects the first year of the job to be mostly electronic. Done largely by phone and with computers. Saying he took the job after some persuasion and an agreement by Obama that he could do the job part time.
"Initially when Kaine was asked by Obama 'is this something you'd like to do,' Kaine said no and those instincts were good, that is what he should have said for his own political future. Obama had to come back and you don't say no to a president twice," said Faulk.
Some Virginia officials say it's a great honor but Kaine has to put the commonwealth first.
"Make certain that his duties as chairman of the Democratic National Committee don't take away from his service as governor of virginia. that service has to come first," said Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, R-Virginia.
Bolling says Kaine will also have to be cautious, and will have to balance his DNC position with the bipartisan support he'll need to run the state.
"The governor is going to have to be very careful to not let the partisan political nature of this position spill over and adversely affect his ability to get things done on the state level," said Bolling.
Current DNC chairman Howard Dean will step down January 21st after Obama's inauguration.