[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/08/03/veepstakes/art.obama.afp.gi.jpg caption="Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, left, is Sen. Obama's national campaign co-chairman."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, a top supporter of Sen. Barack Obama, said Wednesday that while he's not running for Obama's vice president, he will do everything he can to help the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate win in Virginia.
"I'm not running for anything. ... But my highest and best uses is trying to be a good governor and trying to help Sen. Obama in Virginia, which as you know traditionally hasn't gotten a lot of attention in presidential years," he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
Kaine spoke from Norfolk, Virgina, where he spent the day with Michelle Obama talking to military members and their families.
"I really believe for the first time in 44 years that we have a great chance of getting the electoral votes in a blue column for Sen. Obama this fall," he added.
Virginia hasn't voted for a Democrat since President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 - but for more than a year, Obama's campaign has cited the state's 13 electoral votes as part of its argument that he can reshuffle the electoral map this fall.
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Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor has said Virginia will play a "pivotal role" in the general election.
Kaine, a Roman Catholic, once worked as a missionary in Central America. He can speak about religious values, something Obama wants more Democrats to do. Kaine speaks fluent Spanish, and could help Obama with Latinos - another target group for Democrats.
Kaine was also born in Minnesota and went to college in Missouri, two swing states in the Midwest.
Stu Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report has said the Virginia governor "makes a lot of sense" for Obama. CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider spelled out some of the advantages: "He's young; he's fresh; he's new; he's an outsider."
Kaine also touched on offshore oil drilling Wednesday, saying that while he's "open to exploration" of gas reserves off the country's coast, there needs to be a "new assessment of the costs and benefits ... In order to do that you need to look at the consequences."
Obama on August 1 eased his policy against offshore drilling, saying it could be part of a larger bi-partisan energy plan.
Like Obama, Kaine believes that the government needs to first drill in the nearly 70 million acres of land that is already leased to oil companies for drilling.
"They have acreage leased already that could do significant good," Kaine said.