Here’s a wild plot idea for a new Netflix political series: working title “Kaine Is Able and Warner Is Warmer.”
The story goes like this: Two ambitious men, both representing the same state, roam the halls of Congress. Both are graduates of Harvard Law School. Currently they both hold the same title of “Senator” and in the past both have also held the title “Governor.”
And then these political twins both go after the second highest office in the land at the same time.
It sounds like some Hollywood writer has a vivid imagination, except that it is true. You can watch this saga on all media platforms during the 2015/2016 presidential election season.
Let’s begin in the present, with Episode I.
Last weekend the junior senator from Virginia, Tim Kaine, made news by endorsing non-candidate Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.
Kaine told Politico, “I am doing a ton for the 14ers, I’m focused on ’14, but I don’t think it’s too early to start making our position known.”
Since politicians always use “our,” “us,” and “we” when they are really only talking about themselves, I will take the liberty of rephrasing Kaine’s statement to read:
“It is not too early to start making my position known.”
And what exactly is his position? Our plot reveals that Kaine’s 2016 goal is a Clinton/Kaine ticket. (The “camera” cuts to a mocked-up Clinton/Kaine bumper sticker hidden in his family Bible.)
But here’s the end–of–Episode I turn: Kaine’s recent power play to endorse Clinton, thus staking out an early position on Clinton’s vice-presidential short list, does not go unnoticed by Kaine’s political twin, the senior senator from Virginia, Mark Warner. Warner already tops every short list to be Hillary’s running mate, should she run.
Now, with the twins’ ambitions firmly established, Episode II begins to apprise the audience of all the pertinent background.
It was 2005 when then–lieutenant governor Tim Kaine ran for governor of Virginia.
At the time, the incumbent governor was the very popular Mark Warner. Warner served from January 2002 to January 2006. Virginia law allows governors only one four-year term.
During 2005, homes in Virginia were inundated with large colorful postcards from Lieutenant Governor Kaine, who was largely unknown, but most of the photos on Kaine’s mailers were of Governor Mark Warner.
Could this have been a highly calculated political strategy leading low-information voters to believe that Mark Warner was running for reelection?