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Democratic leaders to ask Gov, Tim Kaine to respond to State of the Union

by PageOneQ

In a story posted today on the Roll Call newspaper's website, it was disclosed that newly elected Governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine (photo), will be asked to respond to President Bush's State of the Union speech on behalf of the Democrats.

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Here are excerpts from the registration restricted article.

National Democratic leaders today will ask Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) to deliver the party’s response to the president’s State of the Union address, believing that the new governor can best deliver their 2006 message of inclusiveness, American values and high ethical standards.

Sources said that Senate and House Minority Leaders Harry Reid (Nev.) and Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who chairs the Democratic Governors’ Association, plan to call Kaine today to offer him the assignment. Kaine was sworn in as Virginia’s governor last weekend, succeeding fellow Democrat Mark Warner, under whom he served as lieutenant governor. * * * * A Democratic House aide called choosing Kaine “a no-brainer,” adding that the new governor also provides a fresh face for a party running on a message of change and reform.

Kaine is viewed as one of the Democrats’ strongest examples of how the party can appeal to an electorate even in a conservative state. Kaine ran on an independent-minded, value-themed message during his hard-fought campaign against Republican Jerry Kilgore.

Another Democratic source said that Kaine “just got elected on a winning message. He talks about values and serving all the people. Certainly, as Democrats, that’s one of our themes. We represent all Americans from all walks of life, not the wealthy special interests that the Republicans represent.”

Rep. Jim Moran (d-VA) expressed support for the pick of Gov. Kaine. "He ran on his values and took on issues like the death penalty and abortion head on,” Moran told Roll Call. Moran added, “And, he prevailed in a conservative state.”


Originally published on Thursday January 19, 2006.

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