July 29th, 2008
10:57 AM ET
14 years ago

Kaine stays mum on Veep buzz

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/29/art.obamakaine.gi.jpg caption="Kaine is staying mum on reports he is on the top of Obama's VP list."](CNN) - The vice presidential buzz is circling around Gov. Tim Kaine, but the Virginia Democrat refused to address the speculation in a radio interview Tuesday.

"What I said about this is that I have been on board with the campaign since February 2007, but I don't talk about my conversations with the campaign," the first-term governor told Washington radio station WTOP. "You know I save my advice, thoughts, etc., for those conversations and I don't really share them."

Kaine, who hails from an increasingly purple state the Obama campaign hopes to snatch from Republicans this cycle, has long been considered a top vice presidential prospect. But speculation increased Monday night after both the Washington Post and the Politico reported Kaine is on top of the Illinois senator's VP short list.

According to the Washington Post, Kaine has told his close advisers he has had "very serious" conversations with the Obama campaign about the position and is eagerly jockeying for it.

CNN Political Market: Kaine's stock on the rise

But speaking to WTOP on Tuesday, Kaine said he did not endorse Obama to "get anything or get appointed to anything."

"It's flattering to be mentioned, my mom loves it, she calls me, she sees it," he said. "But that's for the campaign to decide. The campaign has made very good decisions thus far. And I think, how ever they decide, they are going to make a very good decision about Senator Obama's running mate."

CNN Election Center: Who's on the VP shortlist?

Later in the broadcast, Kaine also refused to say whether he has any meetings planned with Obama: "I've got my 13-year old daughter in the studio. We have a date right after this and that's the only thing on my calendar."

Many political observers have noted Kaine would bring several advantages to the Democratic ticket - in addition to hailing from a conservative-to-moderate state, he has never served in Washington and could easily espouse Obama's message of change. He, like Obama, is also a fresh face in political circles and a graduate of Harvard Law School.

But Kaine has only served as governor for three years, and it's likely his name on the ticket will do little to assuage voter concerns that Obama lacks the experience to be president. Kaine also does little to shore up the Illinois senator's short resume on national security credentials.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Tim Kaine
soundoff (358 Responses)
  1. No McCain!

    He can pick whoever he wants. If he doesn't pick a warmonger or terrorist, I'll vote for him. My favorites, though are Clinton and Gore.

    Obama '08

    July 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Mitt Romney is a coward and a liar

    July 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. FactCheck

    > Hillary, please don't step on a sinking ship

    Yeah, the way she ran her campaign into a near $20 million dollar debt shows what a pillar of fortitude she is.

    July 29, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. McSurge Sucks

    Kaine would be a nice choice. I have not problem with it.

    July 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. FactCheck

    > I hope they realize how many votes they will lose if they don't pick
    > Hillary. You bet I'll vote for McCain if she isn't on the ticket.

    Don't care.. they don't need you and we don't want you. Move on.

    July 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. EJ

    I'm in Virginia and Kaine has many years of leadership experience. Kaine has been the Gov of VA for 3 years, before that he was the Lt GOV of Virginia under Gov Mark Warner when Virginia was named the best fiscally managed state 3 years in a row. Before becoming Lt Gov, Kaine was the Mayor of Richmond, VA, for 4 years reducing crime and increasing property values. Before being the Mayor, Kaine was a city councilman for 2 years. Therefore, Kaine has about 12 years of executive experience. Who cares about foreign experience. That is the purpose of having a Secretary of State, a National Securty Advisor, and a director of National Intelligence. How much foreign "experience" did GWB have. How many years of "Foreign" experience did Bill Clinton have?

    July 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. Sam

    "Bitter Typical White Person" for Barack Obama all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!

    "Bitter Typical White Person" for Barack Obama today, tomorrow, and in November!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. Donna Cunningham

    When Reagen was elected I thought he was not a genuine personality. His background was acting and it gave him the skill to make speeches dramatically. He had a meager education....not worldly and needed help from his underlings, often. I never gained any confodence during his two terms and haven't since. He was a showman who had the edge with his acting skills not what he knew of history, and foreign countries. He had a corrupt cabinet and many convicted of crimes in their government work. He is now considered by some as one of our greatest presidents.
    Why is there doubt that Obama cannot be a good leader? Well educated, attractive as we seem to need, and young enough to have some fresh ideas. He would be a less scripted person....I hope. His mixed background makes him even better. Remember when Reagen said that when he was growing up there were no racial problems. Oh, yes. Let's fix that, too.
    I voted for Clinton and she would have been a good president, but, as a born Democrat I will gladly vote for Obama, now.
    With a good cabinet he'll do very well in trying to get our nation back on track.

    July 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Mike

    If Obama picks Hillary, 95% of Blacks will not vote, and they will lose.

    IF PUMA tries to get Hllary on the ticket, she will not win in because 95% of Blacks will not vote for a Democrat. We will vote for Nadar.

    for CHANGE


    for the SAME!!!

    July 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. a guy

    He also gave the rebuttal speech to the State of the UNion in 2006

    July 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. Eric in JC TN

    Just one quick thing...
    For all of you folks making the "oh great, two rookies running the country," comments. Do you think that the architects of the constitution and the bill of rights were experienced? Where do you suppose that they got their experience in running a government that was unlike any other in human history? In fact, it was exactly that "rookieness" that allowed them to lay the foundations of this wonderful experement. The United States of America was born out of a resistance to the old powers and to a stale and corrupt rule.

    July 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Mike

    All you Democratic flip-floppers are still sore losers.

    THIS Country cannot AFFORD John McCain. If you are willing to vote for a Republican, then you are the problem and not the solution.

    John McCain will not reduce the deficit, he will not end the IRAQ war, the economy will continue to sink this country.

    July 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. Jan, Knoxville, TN

    I think Obama should pick Joe Biden since he is such a foreign policy expert and good campaigner. This Virginia guy doesn't have enough experience although I'm sure he would be better than any Republican.

    July 29, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. MZ

    So we're going to run "Obam-Mc Kaine" ( Obama-Kaine ) against John McCain? "brilliant"...
    If this is the case, Barrack just lost MY vote!!!

    July 29, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. Richard


    No Hillary! No Barack HUSSEIN Obama!

    July 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. CNN - took out my comments on this?? Lets see if you keep it in this time

    I will try again: Obama pick a good VP so that if you get in and start to screw up big time, which you will, we can impeach you and have a good back up. SO – pick a good one!!!

    July 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  17. Stacy

    Obama would be nuts to pick someone that is not well known through out the country. He needs someone that would cross the huge gulf from the way out left (where he is) to the middle. He needs someone with economic smarts, who will not be afraid to tell him that "hey, we cannot raise taxes on small business people by 25%". That would mean that they would only be netting 47% rather than the 61% they do now. People will soon start doing the math and realize they made a big mistake by voting for you. Someone who will tell him, "hey, we cannot afford to give free health care to every man, women, and child just because they are in America. That will bankrupt our health care system and pretty soon people will be dying while they want 18 month for a CAT scan. Wake up people....obama is not the Messiah...neither is McCain....McCain is just the less of two evils.

    July 29, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. Dian

    Some of you are missing the point! Kaine would be a good choice because he has similar views as Obama. He's been a good Governor... and I think will make an excellent VP. All this talk about experience this or lack of... is nonsense. Hillary had no experience...but many of you gladly voted for her. I am so tired of the whiners complaining about not picking the obvious better choice ... because he may not pick Hillary. Grow up... you sound like a 5 y.o.

    John McCain is not the same person he was 8 years ago... He clearly has no agenda... half of the time he doesn't remember what he said. It's sad... I like McCain...but he has no business trying to be President at this stage in life...

    July 29, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. William

    On the top doesn't mean he is the only one. This is just a teaser to keep the republicans guessing. Obama is very smart. He wouldn't be the party's nominee if he wasn't. He has stayed one step ahead of McCain since this became a two man race.

    July 29, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. Wisconsin


    Hey CNN why isn't this a story?

    Republican presidential candidate John McCain's signal that he may be open to a higher payroll tax for Social Security, despite previous vows not to raise taxes of any kind, is drawing sharp rebukes from conservatives.

    July 29, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. kent

    If he doesn't do it my way and select my pick, then I am not voting for him.

    July 29, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Barbara

    Hope this is a decoy; Jack Reed has everything Obama and the country needs. No Hillary; she should retire herself and her debt.

    July 29, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. sarah

    obama and kaine
    1 nobody + 1 nobody = loser ticket
    way to go dems ! we really should have won this year.

    July 29, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. Pat F

    Two men on the ticket – big change.

    Ask Obama why he doesn't support school vouchers but sends his own kids to a super-elite private school. One rule for him, and another for the rest of us? Big change there, too.

    As NWA says – Don't Believe the Hype!

    July 29, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. tx kid

    you idiots who say your gonna vote for McCain if obama doesn't pick Hillary are crazy, your basically saying you don't care about the 45 million people w/out health care.Or the fact that McCain voted against equal pay for women. I'm not asking you all to just vote for Obama but for the 45 million who need you and the women who deserve equal pay.

    July 29, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
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