Tags: Virginia Senate Obama

Obama, Kaine Talk About Virginia Senate Race

Wednesday, 16 Feb 2011 07:36 PM


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama spoke by phone Wednesday with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine about the race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb in Virginia, officials said.

The conversation came as Democrats are urging the former Virginia governor to launch a campaign. It was confirmed by a White House official and a Democratic Party official who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Separate from the call, several Democratic officials said Wednesday Kaine is reconsidering his initial reluctance to run and wants more time to think about it. They spoke on condition of anonymity because Kaine has not made a decision.

"I think his view is it's on the table right now and that he owes it to himself and to Virginia and the party to give it some thought," said one Democratic strategist familiar with Kaine's thinking. "Clearly he's thinking about it and he's not a definitive no, or this would have been done already."

Democrats see Virginia as a pivotal state in the 2012 election. Obama won it in 2008, and having a solid Senate candidate on the ballot next year would boost his chances of repeating. The race also could help determine control of the Senate, where Democrats hold a 53-47 majority.

Party leaders consider Kaine their best candidate after Webb announced this month that he's retiring after one term.

The White House declined to say whether Obama pressed Kaine to run. The two are close. At Obama's request, Kaine agreed in 2009 to moonlight as DNC chairman in his final year as governor, a move that drew some criticism at home.

Before Webb's retirement announcement, Kaine said repeatedly he had no interest in running, but party leaders say that may have been in deference to Webb.

"I have reason to believe he's reconsidering," a well-connected Virginia Democrat who favors his candidacy said Wednesday.

Democrats must defend 23 Senate seats next year, including two held by independents. Many are in swing states such as Virginia where Republicans hope to mount strong challenges. By contrast, only 10 GOP-held seats will be on the ballot.

Virginia Republican George Allen, a former senator and governor, is again seeking the GOP nomination, along with tea party activist Jamie Radtke.

Kaine comfortably won the 2005 gubernatorial race after four years as lieutenant governor to popular Democratic Gov. Mark R. Warner, now Virginia's junior U.S. senator.

He presided over Democratic gains during the first three years of the single four-year term to which Virginia uniquely limits its governors. He helped Webb oust Allen in 2006 and bankroll and campaign for a Democratic takeover of the state Senate in 2007 and was influential in 2008 making Obama the first Democrat since 1964 to carry Virginia in a presidential race.

But in 2009, Kaine could not deliver a Democratic successor as Virginia Republicans ended an eight-year losing skid with sweeping victories for all three statewide offices. And last year, the GOP won in another romp, negating the three U.S. House seats that Virginia Democrats captured in 2008.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Politico: Homeland Security Funding No Longer a Priority

Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 10:53 AM

The Department of Homeland Security's funding deadline, once deemed critical by House Republicans seeking to include imm . . .

Paul Ryan Uses Cheesy Prop To Make His Point on Trade

Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 09:11 AM

Rep. Paul Ryan had a point to make Tuesday, and he made it in a way that would have made his home state proud: He waved  . . .

Democrats Hoping to Vilify Kochs for $889M 2016 Warchest

Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 07:34 AM

Democratic groups are planning to pounce on the announcement that the conservative Koch brothers have set aside nearly $ . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved