Politico Arena Topic: Will Obama Help or Hurt Tim Kaine?
Tim Kaine will make a formidable Senate candidate, and regardless of his GOP opponent, will have a decent chance of keeping the Virginia seat in Democratic hands. It will be anything but a cakewalk, however. If former Senator George Allen gets the Republican nomination, Kaine would have his hands full as Allen is a skilled and experienced campaigner. But an Allen nomination would ensure that the term “macaca” will again enter into our everyday lexicon as the infamous “macaca incident” will be retold and replayed countless times by the media and the Kaine campaign. Tea Party candidate Jamie Radtke, on the other hand, is a complete wild card. Who knows how she would hold up in a full-blown run for the U.S. Senate? Would she be Sharron Angle redux?
As DNC chair and former governor of Virginia, Kaine will not lack for funds. He will have the money to fully contest the seat. Whether or not President Obama will help or hurt Kaine’s chances will in large part be based on how the economy is performing. If the economy continues to improve and the unemployment rate continues to drop, Kaine’s chances will be good. If we are headed for a double-dip recession as some analysts fear, Kaine and Obama are in serious political trouble. One thing is absolutely certain, both parties will be all-in to win the Virginia seat. It should make for a hell of a show.
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