Kaine decision to come in a matter of weeks
February 18th, 2011
09:17 AM ET
9 years ago

Kaine decision to come in a matter of weeks

(CNN) – Tim Kaine spoke with President Obama earlier this week as he considers a potential Senate bid in Virginia, but the Democratic National Committee chairman is still a couple weeks away from making a final decision.

Kaine - a former Virginia governor whom Obama is reportedly lobbying to run for Senate in the wake of Democratic Sen. Jim Webb's retirement announcement – won't announce his plans until the end of February or early March, DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse said.

There had been some speculation Kaine might have an announcement of some kind this weekend, when he addresses the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner - a major Virginia Democratic Party fundraiser in Richmond Saturday. Kaine was a late addition to the event, a move the fueled speculation that he is at least seriously considering jumping into the race.

Kaine will thank supporters for their encouragement at Saturday's dinner, but will not discuss his decision process further, Woodhouse said.

Webb's decision earlier this week has left Virginia Democrats scrambling to find a strong candidate to run in his place. Former Sen. George Allen is hoping to recapture his seat, which he lost to Webb in the 2006 election, but must first survive a primary campaign against at least one conservative rival, Richmond-area Tea Party activist Jamie Radtke. Corey Stewart, the GOP chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, is also likely to run.

Kaine is reportedly reluctant to run, though Obama gave him a boost Wednesday during an interview with a Virginia television station.

"I want to hear what he wants to do," he told Richmond's WWBT Wednesday. "I think he would be a great senator from Virginia if he chose to do that."

Kaine is by far the most prominent name on the roster of possible Democratic candidates – a list that also includes former Reps. Tom Perriello and Rick Boucher.

- CNN's Peter Hamby contributed to this report

Filed under: George Allen • Jim Webb • Tim Kaine • Virginia
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. T'sah from Virginia

    Please run!!! We welcome you back and I know that would bring President Obama here to campaign for you!!!! Yes!! Also, I will get "geared up" to campaign for you also!! (Besides, we need to BEAT Mr. Macaca (sp)!!!)

    February 18, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  2. ConservaFascists

    I like Tim Kaine, but I'd prefer to see Rep. Bobby Scott run.

    February 18, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  3. American

    Anyone but Allen...
    America does not need his reprehensible "macaca" nonsense in our government.

    February 18, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. chris

    I think TIm Kaine should run. I mean lets face it we have been down the Allen road before and everyone knows where that path led us to!!!

    February 18, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  5. gt

    a pure snake oil salesman.....kaine wont fool the voters again.. now the voters know what a left wing hack he is.....

    February 18, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  6. terry, va

    I hope Timmy boy does run. Bring Obummie in to campaign for him and that will be certain DEFEAT !!!! Virginia as well as the rest of the country has caught on to Obummie's ignorant policies and are rejecting them daily.

    February 18, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  7. Fair is Fair

    Yeah – run the guy who, as the head of the DNC, presided over the biggest electoral disaster for the democrats in 80 years. Let me know how that works out for you.

    February 18, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. james

    Kaine doesn't have a choice. If he's going to be a good little liberal he has to run. Webb is quitting because he knows he'd get beat by anyone because he's been a good Obozo shill and the people of Virginia will make him pay for it. Kaine's getting pressure from Obozo and the national party to try to hold a Democrat seat because no one else has enough name recognition to try. But Kaine's approval rating when he left the governor's office was in the high 30s, and serving as Obozo's main shill for two years certainly won't improve that number. Bringing Obozo here to campaign would just be the death knell of the campaign, like it was for most campaigns in November.

    Democrats need to accept that this seat is gone and focus on others they have a better chance to hold. Bobby Scott - are you joking? He doesn't even have name recognition in his own district.

    February 18, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Good luck Mr. Kaine! Beat the Macaca man like a rented mule.

    February 18, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |