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. Proud American

    Thanks you Mr. President, we look forward to hearing anything you have to say. We thank God for a President who will make sense.

    January 7, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Newport News, VA

    Congratulations Gov. Kaine on your appointment. We are honored to have our new president back in the Commonwealth. Virginia, with our 13 electoral votes is the state that put President-elect Obama over the top. I admire that he is coming here to make such an important speech.

    January 7, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Puff

    I suggest he just stay there and not come back.

    January 7, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. Floridian

    Gov. Kaine is a great choice as the next chairman. Godspeed, sir.

    January 7, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. obama-mama

    Go Obama

    January 7, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Carl from MI

    Kaine's a good pick. He'll get the job done.

    January 7, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. Marva, CT

    We hit the jackpot, a smart, cute president who is decent and honorable who wants to do the right thing. He has a lovely wife and two kids and we will support them whole-heartedly for 4 years, hopefully 8.

    We did something right America, let's keep it up. Teach your kids to be intelligent and kind. They'll go far and will lead us in the future. Intelligence is NOT enough. Look at the birdbrains on Wall Street. Their parents didn't teach them right from wrong. They're wealthy, but lack good character.

    No one will ever remember the Enron guy who stole all those pensions, went to jail and died. No one will ever remember Jerry Falwell fondly, we won't remember Karl Rove except when we think about a scoundrel.

    We need more Barack Obamas in the world, not Karl Roves.

    January 7, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. Virginia

    Go away Tim Kaine–our state is in shambles financially, and you have done nothing to improve it except lay off people in the state government and cut more and more money out of the budget. I hope the DNC has enough money to function, or they are in big trouble!

    January 7, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. tired of corporate politics

    Hey Tim Kaine, you are the next grand leader!

    Oh wait shouldn't we get our puppet president to do the honors, you know, just to make it look good? Yeah give him a call.....

    Obama's speech? ...."“But I would not expect a lot of details.” Dude, the elections over, you can start committing to SOMETHING. How do you feel about your promise speech to Israel now that they are attacking in Gaza? That would be a good start.

    January 7, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. tom

    "But I would not expect any details"...THERE is a surprise, he's been short on details and long on HOPE since day one. But then again he didn't have to fool everybody....just 54%...mostly minorities and kids.

    "If not a liberal when you are 20, you have no heart. If still a liberal when you are forty, you've lost your mind."

    January 7, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. Dean did a great job

    congrats to Dean and I hope he will stay to help the Dems on the next election cycle and those to come

    January 7, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. CA Indie for Obama

    I voted Nixon (my first vote ever), Ford and Reagan twice. I now vote either indie or democratic, and I am not in a looney bin; I actually work for a living.
    if you know you are going to spend $10,000 this year, then GIVE ME THE DETAILS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh, you don't have them; how circuspect!...see how it works....
    rather have a good plan take a bit longer than a bad, quick one.

    January 7, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. Veronica


    January 20th cannot get here fast enough!!!!

    and yes Marva,he is soooo cute!

    January 7, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  14. Veronica

    I meant than you God..sorry

    January 7, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  15. Sue

    Obama has still never uttered a statement with any information. He aways blah blahs without ever any input. What the hell is he going to do when he has to actually DO SOMETHING???

    January 7, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  16. Matt

    @ Tom

    If a conservative at age 20, you're sleeping. If still a conservative at 40, you never woke up.

    January 7, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. Kurt C.

    Proud American, you're going to have to wait at least 4 years for that, if that is what you're hoping for.

    January 7, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. Sue

    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???

    January 7, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. Al, California

    Many thanks to Howard Dean, hope 50 states strategy will go on even stronger.

    January 7, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. Otto

    Thriteen days to go folks and I am holding an offical invitation. The little guys and gals are also welcome to have a seat at the table. This is a far cry from previous administrations.

    January 7, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. J.P..

    Barry will say, "The economy... uh... er... uhh... ummm... er... uh..."

    To which, that Kennedy chick will back him up, saying, "Yeah, the economy... ya know..."

    January 7, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  22. S Callahan

    Congrats to Gov. Kaine.

    CNN is covering the speech at GMU , right?

    January 7, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  23. Want to Know

    Anyone know–will O'Bama's speech tomorrowat George Mason University be televised live?

    January 7, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  24. Amber

    Tom January 7th, 2009 5:00 pm ET
    "But I would not expect any details"…THERE is a surprise, he's been short on details and long on HOPE since day one. But then again he didn't have to fool everybody….just 54%…mostly minorities and kids.

    "If not a liberal when you are 20, you have no heart. If still a liberal when you are forty, you've lost your mind."


    Tom, the operative phrase in that oft-used quote is actually 'communist', not 'liberal'.

    54% are kids and minorities, eh? Well whatever, I guess they don't count because they're less American that you are. Oh well, no matter. It must really chafe you that your white Protestant Christian male slice of the demographic pie gets smaller every day.

    January 7, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  25. WIlly Brown

    Good job for picking th eVA state nitwit little Timmy Kaine. For all he has not done for us here in VA he'll be a grand fit in with th edemocrats of change.

    January 7, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
1 2