The campaign to replace retiring U.S. Senator Jim Webb (D-Virginia) is a dead heat right now between two presumptive nominees who are former Virginia governors: George Allen (R) and Tim Kaine (D). But polls taken this early in an election cycle can be deceiving, and in this instance, they are probably downright misleading. Here’s why: Tim Kaine is tied so closely to Barack Obama that they are virtually joined at the hip, and Virginia voters are coming to grips with the fact that the Obama they helped to elect in 2008 is not the same Obama who has been governing this nation since 2009. For that deception, there should be hell to pay on Election Day.
Tim Kaine isn’t just another Democratic governor who supported Barack Obama. He was the first governor outside Illinois to endorse Obama for president. What did Kaine see in Obama that led him to believe that Obama would be a good president? It wasn’t his accomplishments as an Illinois state senator, because he didn’t have any; it wasn’t his accomplishments in the United States Senate, because Obama was too busy campaigning for the presidency to waste his time trying to advance a legislative agenda; and it couldn’t have been his remarkable achievements outside of politics, since Obama’s experience is void of anything noteworthy. There was absolutely nothing in Obama’s record indicating that he had the makings of a good president, and his record as president bears that out. Tim Kaine will have to explain to Virginia voters why he supported Barack Obama and his programs in a sensible way and that will be a daunting task because it makes no sense at all unless it was for political reasons only. Virginia voters are smart. In due course, they will come to terms with that reality.
But there’s more. From January 2009 to April 2011, Tim Kaine was chairman of the Democratic National Committee. In that job, he became Obama’s front man, pitching the president’s programs to a bewildered nation — programs such as ObamaCare, environmental regulations that have strangled large and small businesses all across the fruited plain, “investments” in green energy firms that turned out to be nothing more than payback to individuals and groups that supported candidate Obama in 2008, and government spending on a myriad of handout initiatives without regard for our nation’s critical deficit and debt problems. Kaine will need to explain those things to Virginia voters as well, and it won’t be easy.
Obama’s assault on the coal industry in particular is becoming the stuff of legend. He promised to bankrupt the coal industry if he became president, and that’s one promise that he has tried his best to keep. After failing in his effort to pass a national energy tax, Obama resorted to backdoor maneuvers to accomplish the same thing via EPA regulations and executive orders. Those slick schemes may amuse residents in Northern Virginia’s trendy suburbs of Washington, D.C., where Obamanistas like to gather, but since Virginia is a coal-producing state, they aren’t appreciated by people in the rest of the Commonwealth.
Despite his record of support for the coal industry as Virginia’s governor, Tim Kaine will have to share responsibility with the president for attacking coal producers since leaving office because Kaine wasn’t an innocent bystander while it was taking place. He proudly hawked the president’s policies with his advocacy on the Sunday morning talk show circuit and elsewhere as a key player on Team Obama. Virginia voters won’t forget that, and neither will George Allen. He’ll remind Virginians about it on the campaign trail until the polls close.