January 7th, 2009
04:25 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama to unveil DNC chair, speak on economy Thursday

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/07/art.botight0107.gi.jpg caption=" President-elect Obama is set to give a speech Thursday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Two Democratic officials say President-elect Barack Obama will go to DNC headquarters on Capitol Hill Thursday to pass the leadership torch of the party to incoming chairman Tim Kaine, the current governor of Virginia.

Kaine, an early backer of Obama’s presidential campaign who was also on the vice presidential short list, recently agreed to take the helm of the DNC on a part-time basis until his term as governor expires in a year.

Kaine succeeds Howard Dean, who long planned to step down at the end of the election cycle, after a fairly successful run as chairman of the party. Dean’s “50-state Strategy” of trying to compete in Republican states that Democrats had previously given up on was initially laughed off by some in his party, but the plan was at least partially vindicated in November when Obama carried swing states like Virginia in the presidential race.

Before his visit to the DNC, Obama will deliver what aides are billing as a major economic speech at George Mason University in Virginia. But Democratic officials are cautioning the president-elect will still be somewhat circumspect about the details of the $775 billion economic recovery plan his staff is putting together.

“He will look at the problem, how we got there and lay out how to fix it,” said one Democratic official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to publicly discuss the speech. “But I would not expect a lot of details.”

Democratic officials contend they are holding back on specifics out of deference to Congress, with one official saying the transition team does not want to “dictate to the Congress” on the plan. But holding back on details could also enable the transition team to delay efforts by critics to start shooting down controversial pieces of the program.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • DNC • Economy • Obama transition
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Sue Ellen Stamp

    I'm delighted with Tim Kaine's appointment. It seems to me that the man is a square shooter, and he'll do a good job. As far as details of the proposed economic plans President Elect Obama will be speaking on to-morow – don't you think that your expectations are too high – let's face it, Congress has to vet and approve the bill he has put before them before he is intellegently able to release detailed information on the expenditures. Give him a break! He's not even been sworn iin yet!!!

    January 7, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  2. Chuck Bigalow

    What does Howard Dean have to do to get some credit for the election of Barak Obama? CNN's Ed Henry sort of gives him some credit by labelling his tenure as Democratic chair "fairly successful" and by noting that Dr. Dean's 50 state strategy was "partially vindicated". Was Mr. Henry sleeping on election night when the results came in from an overwhelming Democratic victory?

    January 7, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. Proud American

    Here we go hateful republicans are now going to trash Kaine. What a bunch of stupied Idiots.

    January 7, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. gregg45

    i could care less whom the messiah picks,,, i just hope its larry flynt........... that was so funny,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and the obots fell for it,,,,,,,, goes to show ,,, lol,, lets foolow my god,,,bye bye obots,,, no welfare for u

    January 7, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. Reality Check PLEASE

    Ummm All of you who CLAIM to be from Virgina are full of it. Tim has done a great Job! Some of the highest employment rates, one of the best educational systems.

    January 7, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. Alice

    Its annoying that Blago should be able to weasel in his pick the way he did, but the country has bigger fish to fry.

    January 7, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  7. prosanto

    Tim is an excellent choice. I hope he will diversify the executive bunch with qualified, competent people of all stripes/ethnicity, gender or religious belief.

    January 7, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  8. Cynthia

    Just how did Kaine receive this position. Was it pay to play? Were there no other candidates for the job?????????

    January 7, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. paul oregon

    obama one guestion are you about change or was that b.s. ??????
    harry reid is not helping the dem. cause one bit.
    i lied ihave another question . how does one go about geting a ballot measure to limit the term of house reps. and sentors?

    January 7, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. Patricia in Las Vegas

    Sue, you really should stop smoking crack.

    January 7, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  11. tom


    Actually not. My purpose was to point out that in what SHOULD have been a landslide, like Nixon-McGovern...relatively speaking, Obama Hussein barely beat John McCain and Sara Palin, whom ALL the evidence suggests the RNC left high and dry since the spring based on their unorganized, underfunded and basically poor campaign. So before all you liberals proclaim a mandate, how about actually DOING something instead of just talking. And while my vote doesn't count any more or less than any other vote, I WILL vote in the next election...the bulk of the minorities and kids that voted (after their drink of koolaide) probably won't happen again.

    Especially after all his promises of HOPE and CHANGE fall through.

    Promises MUCH easier said than done.

    January 7, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  12. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    , after a fairly successful run as chairman of the party. ..."

    What a snarky comment! Dean's 50 state plan has elected an outstanding man for President ... and enough like-minded individuals to help move the country ahead.

    Cut out the adjectives, Mr. Henry, or publish on the editorial page as personal opinion!

    and for all those waiting to Obama to "do something" – Bush has to leave first! There is only one President at a time... and its not Obama at this moment!

    January 7, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  13. tom

    Oh...and Amber there really is no difference between communists and liberals...both are looney leftists, so the saying fits either equally well. I prefer to live in the real world, like most Americans...just slightly right of center and the reason this will only be the 3rd democratic administration since the sixties will become apparent after Obama Hussein takes over.

    January 7, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  14. Hammer

    I'm happy that he did not chose Gov. Blagojievich although he knows how to get things moving.

    January 7, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  15. Danny

    Hooray for VA. We have a speech at GMU, ranked #1 University to watch by US News; our governor appointed the head of the DNC; and have painted the state blue across the board (with the exception of a few congressional seats). Nonetheless..what a feat!

    January 7, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  16. lol

    howard dean was a great dnc chair, sad that he has to leave. maybe he can run for president again, that would be GREAT!

    January 7, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  17. RMGofCO

    And so it begins...just a few more days and this man will be our President. How proud we should be ~ the United States of American(s).

    Mr. Dean will be remembered for his leadership and we wish him well. Marva, yes...he and his family, well I just kinda tear up. What a wonderful time in our history.

    He cannot do it alone but I have no fear of his future leadership.

    January 7, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  18. No Hillary = No Obama

    This will be another political appointment – someone who fell in line to support Obama. Obama seems to reward people who supported him, not the best person for the job – look at Panetta, look at the intellectual cherry picking that's going on to stack his cabinet.

    January 7, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  19. RMGofCO

    Tom: I am an African American (or as you say, minority) and I have voted in EVERY election. I feel I am mandated, as a citizen of the great country, to do whatever I can to support whoever is in office.

    I could go on but I won't ~ you get my message. Shame on you and Sue (I am really concerned for her and her hatred).

    January 7, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  20. clifford

    Obama can now make educated decisions after getting advice from the the Current President and three former Presidents today! Isn't that SPECIAL??

    January 7, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  21. BB

    Gonna be a busy 12 days. Then we start healing – slowly, for sure, but healing.

    January 7, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  22. ga.

    we are blessed to have such a caring president and vice president to lead us back to honor and justice. Jan. 20, 2009

    January 7, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  23. Patricia Hubbard

    This is a test.
    Nothing that I've written has ever been posted on this site but maybe this will be posted because it's more rational than all of the hateful and vile comments that you choose to post everyday. The majority of people posting on this site would be better off if they just vanish from the face of this earth because they don't don't want thiscountry to get back on it's feet. They would rather hate so that they can validate their miserable lives instead of doing away with their hate and get up and do something to make this nation great again

    January 7, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  24. Proud American

    Sue January 7th, 2009 5:29 pm ET

    Is Mr. Obama's sister, who is an illegal immigrant, still ensconced in her apartment which is paid for with government monies and still employed by the government? What has this man done about her status in this country? Where is the information on her? Why isn't he speaking up about her???
    Good Lord, little Idiot why hasn't your mother had you commit?

    January 7, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
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