June 1st, 2009
07:18 PM ET
9 years ago

Kaine: Texas is the next Virginia

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/29/art.dnc.gi.jpg caption="The DNC has its eyes on Texas ."](CNN) - Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine appears to have his eyes set on Texas, announcing Monday the organization's fall meeting will be held in the Lone Star state.

"Not only is Texas a great, beautiful and diverse state, it represents a tremendous growth opportunity for the Democratic Party," Kaine wrote in an e-mail to DNC supporters.

Now, some might find that notion odd given Texas's traditionally conservative bent and its recent history of supporting Republican candidates for elective office," Kaine continued. "But I don't find it odd at all - and in fact, I am more convinced than ever that Texas is trending our way and will continue to do so."

Obama lost to Republican presidential candidate John McCain by 11 percentage points and close to 1 million votes. Still, that margin is less than more than half of what it was when the state's favored son George W. Bush was on the presidential ballot.

In his letter Monday, Kaine specifically cited Texas' large Hispanic organization and the grassroots infrastructure put in place by the Obama campaign in 2008 as reasons the traditionally-considered red state may turn blue.

"In so many ways, I believe Texas is poised to move towards our column, just as Virginia has," Kaine said.

Full letter after the jump:

Dear Friend:

It's time to announce the location of the DNC Fall Meeting, scheduled for September 10th – 12th, 2009. I'm excited to be the first to tell you that this year's meeting will be in Austin, Texas. In a phrase, we are Lone Star State bound!

Of course, as you know, not only is Texas a great, beautiful and diverse state, it represents a tremendous growth opportunity for the Democratic Party. Now, some might find that notion odd given Texas's traditionally conservative bent and its recent history of supporting Republican candidates for elective office. But I don't find it odd at all - and in fact, I am more convinced than ever that Texas is trending our way and will continue to do so.

It wasn't that long ago - less than 10 years, in fact - that Virginia was considered just as strong a lock for the Republicans as Texas has been. In Virginia, we had Republican Governors, Republican U.S. Senators and a strong Republican majority in our Congressional delegation and state legislature. And we didn't merit any attention from Presidential candidates during general elections because no Democratic candidate since Lyndon Johnson had won Virginia's electoral votes.

Today? I'm the second consecutive Democrat to serve as Governor of Virginia, we took back the State Senate and have reached near parity in the House of Delegates. Both of our U.S. Senators are Democrats, and Democrats are the majority of our U.S. House delegation. And of course, in November, Barack Obama became the first Democratic Presidential candidate since 1964 to carry the Old Dominion.

In so many ways, I believe Texas is poised to move towards our column, just as Virginia has. Texas is an increasingly diverse state with a burgeoning and politically active Hispanic population that went strongly for Barack Obama in 2008. And, as a result of investments made by my predecessor, the commitments we've made, and the hard work of the Texas Democratic Party - which has done an outstanding job rebuilding the party, attracting good candidates, and expanding our reach - we have a strong and growing Democratic Party infrastructure. Add to that the significant investments we plan to make in Texas through Organizing for America (OFA), and the work OFA will be doing in communities across the state in support of the President's important and popular agenda, and we have every reason to feel bullish about our chances in Texas. Exciting things are possible because we believe every single state on the map is important.

Of course, it's also a very exciting time for us to meet because of what Democrats have accomplished electorally in the past year and because of what the President - with our support - has accomplished during his first few, short months in office.

President Obama was elected on a mandate for change. Because of his victory last November and Democrats' relentless work to make the change he promised during the campaign a reality, women will finally receive equal pay for equal work, four million additional children have access to health care through the State Children's Health Insurance Program, and a historic economic recovery package is putting Americans back to work. And of course, by the time we meet the Senate should have confirmed the President's historic choice, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, for the Supreme Court.

I look forward to seeing you in Austin on September 10th at this historic time for our party and the DNC. Austin is a world-renowned destination - a truly wonderful city - and I know we'll all have a great time. Information about making a reservation can be found below, and if you have any questions whatsoever please don't hesitate to contact XXXXXX at XXXXX or XXXXX, or the Secretary's Office at XXXXX.

Hope to see you there,

Governor Tim Kaine

Filed under: DNC
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Benjamin

    This is almost as laughable as Michael Steele's "renaissance in virginia" comment. Almost. I think it woudl be too extreme to suggest that Texas could ever go blue, but I'm sure there are House seats there that are competitive, or can become competitive.

    June 1, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  2. Sick of the bull

    Tim, please shut the hole. you are just another politician. I am so tired of the garbage and bashing that the DNC insists on. I am switching. Time to moveon.

    June 1, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  3. Kevin B

    The GOP is doing a grand job of ensuring that Texas will be a blue state in the very near future with thier extremist, shrill rhetoric and silly name calling.

    The Hispanic vote will tip the scales in Texas for sure while Mr Obama and the dems will continue to runs circle around the the republican party nationally in '10 and '12

    It is such a pleasure to watch the GOP come unhinged on a daily basis. They are like a rudderless sinking ship.

    June 1, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  4. Patrick, Mass.

    If there are Democratic romps both in 2010 and 2012, including Texas for Obama's reelection, then the Republicans may just go the way of the Whigs. They'll need to start over, just as the Republicans did themselves after the demise of the Whigs. Doubt it will happen, but it would be interesting political history to live through.

    June 1, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  5. Joe

    Makes sense, the Republican party has been hating on the Hispanic community for a while now. Well, hating on everyone that isn't white to be more precise. The larger cities are getting bigger, and with that brings more common sense, which means more votes for blue.

    June 1, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  6. LB

    Of course it represents a "tremendous growth opportunity" ....that is because everyone and the grandmother are moving here from other states. Texas has jobs, affordable housing, no state income taxes and it's in pretty good shape financially when compared to other states. Now, if the DNC moves in here and tries to take control just how long do you think that will last? Be honest....It didn't do California a heck of a lot of good to be "blue" now did it? So my note to the DNC - back off and stay away. We like Texas just the way it is - not bankrupt.

    June 1, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  7. Steve H.

    This Texan has voted in the Democrat column since the 80s. Texas would look much better in blue.

    June 1, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  8. susan,

    can we also try arizona, georgia and definetely missouri.

    June 1, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  9. Hopeful Optimist

    Being from Texas myself, I sure hope he's right. However, he may be a little ambitious. We still have an awful lot of racism here. And LBJ nailed it when he said, immediately upon signing the 1964 Civil Rights Bill, that he felt he'd turned the South over to the Republicans for the next 30+ years. Only he underestimated the length of time involved. And, unfortunately, its probably a little premature to expect Texas to turn over a new leaf. Still a lot of hatred around here, but they (Repubs) will never admit that race is the real reason for it.

    June 1, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  10. Ricky

    I'd prefer it be retunred to Mexico.

    June 1, 2009 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  11. Shark

    Sorry Tim, but Texas, with the notable exception of Travis county – the "keep Austin wierd" crowd – and those few counties along the border where 70% of the public school kids are illegals and buy into your identity politics, is still a conservative state.

    Heck, even the Californians moving here every day are conservatives who can no longer stand being a part of their own beautiful state being trashed by bad democrat policies.

    Yes, the last election wasn't as lopsided as the one before it. Big whoop. That's because the only conservative in sight was a veep with some of the worst campaign people in history. But if you want to believe it was some siesmic shift, Tim, you go right ahead and waste your time and money here in the land of no income tax and right to carry gun laws.

    Buena suerte, gringo loco...

    June 1, 2009 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  12. tigerakabj

    Keep up the good work Mr. Kaine. Fight for every vote, cede no territory.

    Liberals, moderates, and conservatives can exist (and do) in the big-tent Democratic party. Competing ideas within a party are good, which also decreases the likelihood of complacency and staleness.

    Democrats can talk about gun issues, life issues, and other important issues relevant to Texas and other states.

    Lock-step, hardcore, no-compromising ideology and communication system leads you to where the GOP is at, circling the drain.

    June 1, 2009 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  13. with any luck Texas willl break away from the nation

    and take 'W' with them

    June 1, 2009 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  14. JJ

    "...that margin is less than more than half of what it was..."

    yeah ok.

    And this sentence is less than more than halfway intelligible!

    June 1, 2009 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  15. Ex-RepublicanTX

    We welcome you with open arms...Looking forward to some leaderships. Thanks

    June 2, 2009 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  16. ScienceMan West Texas

    I have been saying this for some time. Glad to see that the DNC leadership has noticed! Texas is poised to go strongly Democratic along its entire Southern region within 100 miles of the border, in Dallas, and in its Western regions. The only regions in which this does not hold are those that are adjacent to Oklahoma, and those are retreating demographically.

    THe wester parts of Texas bear more resemblance to New Mexico and Colorado, and as someone who spent some time in formerly Republican portions of Colorado helping get President Obama elected, aI can say that there 's hope in Texas just as there was in Colorado!

    June 2, 2009 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  17. bigTXoil

    Welcome friend, anything but Palin. No one is blinded by thefailing GOP.

    June 2, 2009 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
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