UPDATE: Obama taps Kaine to head Democratic Party

By Andy Jenks - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The move to make Governor Tim Kaine the next Chairman of the DNC, began the week before Christmas, when Kaine met in Washington and Chicago, with President Elect Obama and his advisers.

Kaine says, "He's a pretty persuasive guy. And I am very kinda humbled that they would reach out to me and despite initially me saying this isn't something I think I can do."

As Chairman, Kaine will promote Obama's agenda, and raise money. Analysts say that's not a bad thing for "Virginia".

"He's going to have the ear of President Obama in a, perhaps, almost day-to-day capacity, which is a good thing for Virginia," says Jen Thompson, VCU Professor and Political Analyst.

But Republicans like Delegate Bill Janis - said it's not good news for Virginians.

Janis says, "But let's be clear. Tim Kaine has already announced what his next job will be when he's no longer Governor. And every decision he makes between now and when he leaves office next January will be affect his next job."

Kaine's role in the first year will be "part-time", for no pay. He'll act as a Supervisor of DNC operations, largely by "e-mail" and "phone".

Del. Jennifer McClellan says, "My guess is since he's gonna be a full time Governor and part time Chair, he'll mainly be the talking head and have plenty of time for his first priority which is serving the citizens of Virginia."

Kaine said he accepted after Obama called it an "all hands on deck" moment for the country.

Kaine says, "Look, I think everyone in this room is multi-taskers in their own way. I do know what comes first, and I have made that very plain to the President-Elect."

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