Governor Kaine’s early bet turned out to be politically astute when in November 2008 Obama turned Virginia blue. Not since 1964, with Lyndon Johnson leading the ticket, had a Democratic presidential candidate won the state.
Ever loyal to his first fans, President-elect Obama named Governor Kaine to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Starting in January, 2009 Kaine held both jobs as he finished his last year in the governor’s chair.
Kaine stayed on as DNC chairman until April 2011. Then in November 2012 he ran for and was elected to the U.S. Senate from Virginia.
Episode III ends with Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, Virginia’s two Democratic senators and former back-to-back governors, plotting their next VP moves in 2015 and 2016. One is a professional politician who married the daughter of a former Virginia governor. He also speaks Spanish and is Catholic. The other is a successful businessman turned politician who in college assumed he would be president and has been waiting patiently ever since.
Finally the preview for Episode IV asks these compelling questions:
Does Kaine’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton in May 2014 signal that Kaine is trying to make amends for his early 2007 endorsement of Obama?
Is Hillary capable of forgiving Kaine for that endorsement?
Will Kaine’s political skills prove exceptionally useful to Clinton when he builds a bridge from Obama’s failing administration to Hillary’s rising campaign?
Did you remember that Kaine speaks Spanish and was chairman of the DNC?
If Mark Warner wins his 2014 reelection by a wide margin, does that further enhance his prospects to be named Hillary’s V.P. candidate — inching ever closer to achieving his presidential dreams?
But wait! The most colorful character of all, the current Virginia governor is briefly introduced. His name is Terry McAuliffe, but his last name might as well be Clinton — for he is a long-time influential member of their political family.
Since Virginia has become an important swing state and a “must win” for the GOP presidential candidate, that means Governor McAuliffe (also a former DNC chairman) will likely play a key role influencing Hillary Clinton to select a Virginia senator as her running mate.
If so, the Kaine/Warner 2016 VP showdown will be the one to watch. (And if Hillary decides not to run, expect even more action.)
That, of course would also be a Republican dream come true.
— Myra Adams is a media producer and political writer. She was on the 2004 Bush campaign’s creative team and the 2008 McCain campaign’s Ad Council. Her writing credits include PJ Media, the Daily Beast, RedState, and the Daily Caller.