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Tim Kaine’s Advocacy for Obama Will Haunt His Campaign

The former Virginia governor has been one of the most visible of the president's supporters during the last three years.

by
Neil Snyder

Bio

April 20, 2012 - 12:00 am
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As a member of the House of Delegates, as a congressman, as governor, and as a United States senator, Allen was the epitome of a pro-business government official. Kaine, too, was regarded as pro-business, but that was B.O. — Before Obama.  On Election Day, I have a strong hunch that Virginians will prove once and for all that they understand political gimmickry when they see it and correctly conclude that Tim Kaine is just another smooth-talking politician like Democrats before him who stood for one set of principles when they ran for state office and another set when they sought advancement in the Democratic Party at the national level.

Barack Obama is a noose around Tim Kaine’s neck, and Kaine ended up on the gallows by choice. The 2012 presidential election will be a referendum on Obama’s performance as president. Forget promises about hope and change and personalities this time around. This election will be about the president’s dismal record, and Tim Kaine can’t hide from the role that he played as an Obama enabler.

In 2008, candidate Obama promised to heal a polarized nation, but he has surprised even his most ardent critics with his bafflingly stubborn political brinkmanship. Obama is the most polarizing president that our nation has ever seen.  His signature piece of legislation, ObamaCare, is a perfect example.  He literally shoved it down the throats of legislators from both political parties and totally ignored strong objections from a majority of voters. No one even read the bill before Obama signed it into law, and that includes the president, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Tim Kaine. Yet all of them, including Kaine, did their utmost to sell it to the nation as the cure for our country’s healthcare ills. The Supreme Court is in the process of deciding if ObamaCare is constitutional — an issue that was raised by many before the bill was passed and blithely swept aside by the president while Tim Kaine applauded.

As I said, President Obama is in serious trouble in Virginia, and so is Tim Kaine even though the polls don’t show that convincingly at this point. Compared to Kaine, George Allen looks like a knight in shining armor despite the fact that he made mistakes in 2006 that cost him re-election to the Senate. Allen’s two most significant missteps in 2006 were calling one of Jim Webb’s aides a “macaca” and making disparaging remarks about his role as senator.

“Macaca” is regarded by some as a racial slur, and Allen paid the price for using that word.  He also paid the price for demeaning the role that senators play while he was seeking re-election. Those things are ancient history now, and they pale by comparison with Kaine’s support for President Obama and his misguided programs and tactics.  Interestingly, Allen’s frustration with the Senate had to do with its slow pace of activity and the fact that very little is accomplished in that august body. Those are frustrations that most Virginia voters share.  When they enter the voting booth and pull the lever, the last thing that most of them will want to do is send another Democratic senator to Washington to take a seat in a chamber that’s led by do-nothing Democrats who can’t even pass a budget. Virginia voters want real change.  George Allen offers them that hope, especially if Republicans take control in the Senate.

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Neil Snyder is a chaired professor emeritus at the University of Virginia. His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily. His latest book is titled "If You Voted for Obama in 2008 to Prove You’re Not a Racist, You Need to Vote for Someone Else in 2012 to Prove You’re Not an Idiot".
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