Kaine Has Obama's Appeal, and His Flaws

Va. governor has a thin resume, but much post-partisan appeal
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2008 6:00 AM CDT
Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, left, stands on stage with Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., at the Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, Va. Thursday, June 5, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – In 10 years, Tim Kaine has steered a meteoric rise from mayor of Richmond to governor of Virginia to prospective Democratic VP candidate. In many ways, writes the New York Times, Kaine's story mirrors that of Barack Obama: a liberal who speaks openly about religion, he disdains Washington and has sought to bridge racial divides. But he has no foreign policy experience, and even the governor's supporters admit that his record is thin.

Kaine, like Obama, trained as a lawyer at Harvard before moving to Virginia, where he joined a black Catholic church and sang in the choir. As governor, he won plaudits for his handling of the Virginia Tech massacre, in which he told students that he had cried for the victims. But his legislative accomplishments are few; said one UVa professor, "He really is in the bottom quartile of governors."