By Al Giordano
Jed posted this video of Virginia Governor Tim Kaine on Face The Nation this weekend.
The guy is growing on me.
The number one rule in choosing a vice presidential nominee is "first, do no harm." If you're a presidential nominee, you don't want a running mate that will distract from you, commit gaffes, speak off-message, or that secretly thinks he or she is too good to be number two.
And the second rule is, "then, do some good." You want a VP that will reinforce your messages and make voters more comfortable with you.
Kaine is so far passing both tests with flying colors.
Faced with the typical trick questions of television anchors, Kaine had a magic word to dispel each attempted curve ball: "Virginia!"
In the nine-minute interview, Kaine mentioned "Virginia" fourteen times. Virginia, Virginia, Virginia... Yes, Virginia... there is a Virginia!
And for those believing the hype about the titling of the Wednesday night convention show "Securing America's Future" somehow being a "tell" that General Clark will be the vice presidential nominee, I bring as our first witness Wes Clark, Jr., posting comments tonight on DKos about dad's VP chances.
About him as a VP choice or being on any list whatsoever. Dad doesn't really know anyone on the search committee, so my guess is that he is not going to be Obama's VP choice.
Don't hold your breath on the VP nom. I've seen no sign that Obama ever considered him for the job.
And also here:
I don't want to dash anyone's hopes, I just don't see the VP thing happening. Obama'll probably go with somebody like Bayh, Kaine or Sebelius.
Remember: Dad doesn't lack ambition. Without ever having served in elected office, Clark ran for president in 2004. This is most certainly daily chatter among Clark family members. If young Wes thinks it's down to Bayh, Kaine or Sebelius, in all likelihood that's what he's heard from Senior. If Clark was under serious vetting, you would definitely not find his son posting such comments on the Internet.
With Sebelius taking on a more institutional role at the convention, it seems to be down to Kaine or Bayh or a dark horse.
Kaine - in this TV interview and elsewhere - emanates a fundamental decency (and in a mild and unforced southern accent) that Bayh simply does not. After the 1990s, there's a "slick factor" that must be avoided at all costs in choosing the vice presidential nominee.
A couple more points:
Indiana has 11 electoral votes. Virginia has 13.
(That's, literally, a couple more points!)
And the comfort factor is always easier with the ally that's been with you all along.
Kaine would make for a very solid - comfort building - Wednesday night at the convention.
I'm thinking, at least right now, that this guy is looking like the wingman of 2008.
That's not yet a prediction. It's an instinct.
To be continued...
Morning Update: The Bayh boomlet hits a wall:
Mr. Bayh's support of authorizing force in Iraq stands in sharp contrast to Mr. Obama's oft-stated view that he showed the good judgment to oppose the conflict from the start. After his vote, Mr. Bayh in early 2003 joined Mr. McCain as an honorary co-chairman of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which made regime change in Iraq its central cause.