Thoughts on Why Obama Might Pick Kaine

I think politico-types are reading too much into the veep-stakes' tea leaves. On the most basic level, consider the obvious:

  • Kaine is the only one of the final choices without a convention speaking slot
  • Obama and Kaine are speaking together tomorrow in Virginia.

On another level, consider that Barack Obama and the Democratic party have made it clear the emphasis this year is on faith. It's going to be a faith-based convention. Obama has always been hope and change, and people tend to focus too much on the change. Hope, which equates with faith, is an equal part of his message.

Here's Tim Kaine on why he went into politics: [More...]

Faith, Kaine says, led him into public service, and it's important for public leaders to share what motivates them to be in public life.

"Why do you want to run for public office? I cannot answer that question without drawing on my faith and spirituality," Kaine said. "I wouldn't be doing this if it weren't for a commitment to serve other people, and that commitment to serve other people is rooted in a very fundamental thing--and that's my religion."

Kaine does not believe Democrats are a secular party:

Kaine dismisses claims by pundits, the media and Republicans that Democrats are a secular party.

"Who are Democratic voters? It's a whole lot of people to whom faith is critically important," he said. "No party has got a monopoly on vice or virtue--no party's got a monopoly on faith. But I'm not going to let the Democrats be painted as sort of the anti-faith party because it's just flat wrong."

That's the wrong dichotomy. It's not whether Democrats have faith or oppose faith. Of course most Democrats have faith. It's whether they believe their faith should be brought into politics and Government. On that, I say no. And as I asked this morning, what happens once we get all these evangelicals and religious voters into our party? Do we then modify our positions on issues to keep them?

On yet another level, Kaine helps Obama with four demographics: Virginians and their 13 electoral votes; Catholics, who were not among his key constituents during the primaries; evangelicals, who for some unknown reason, Obama and the Dems are hell-bent on bringing into our party; and Hispanics, another group luke-warm to Obama (Kaine was a missionary in Honduras and speaks fluent Spanish.)

At least Kaine personally opposes the death penalty, although he hasn't lifted a finger to end it and doesn't have a problem with carrying it out in Virginia. If he's consistent, then he also won't let his personal opposition to abortion get in the way of maintaining Roe v. Wade as the law of the land.

While a month ago, I preferred Kathleen Sebelius if Hillary wasn't going to be chosen, I can live with Kaine. I'll be rolling my eyes at all the faith-based talk -- and I'm not planning on attending any of those events in Denver -- but it's such a relief to me that it won't be Biden, I'll take what I can get at this point.

Obama-Kaine isn't an exciting ticket, but it's better than McCain and anyone he picks. It could be a better strategy for Obama than one in which he pins his hopes on iffy, smaller states like Nevada, NM and Colorado. He doesn't seem inclined to put great emphasis on the rural voters in big states like Ohio, Florida and Michigan, so maybe a combination of faith-based voters and gains among Hispanic voters will put him over the top in at least one of these critical big states.

It's pretty clear Obama doesn't care about what the netroots or progressives think of his choice. Other than his early focus on the War in Iraq, he's never paid as much attention to promoting progressive causes as he has to promoting his all-encompassing but amorphous philosophy of hope and change.

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    The over-abundance (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by dskinner3 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:01:34 PM EST
    of faith showing up in this election is beyond troubling. Kaine is a dealbreaker.

    Gotta wonder (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:05:23 PM EST
    if Obama is taking the whole "gotta prove I'm a Christian" meme a little too far (to allay the false "Muslim" rumors).

    It could be Obama-Satan, (none / 0) (#113)
    by djiivu on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 06:16:25 PM EST
    for all I care. This isn't about pleasing me, or the "netroots," or Obama's current supporters. This is about ensuring the broadest appeal, even if it means moving toward the center. This is about winning an election.

    I would be willing to bet that none of our ideal candidates would get elected this November. We have to compromise. We're in trouble if people really consider Kaine, or whomever is chosen, to be a deal-breaker. Now is not the time for stubborn idealism.


    is kaine a dealbraker to you (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:07:09 PM EST
    over other veep choices, or is Obama a deal breaker to you? If it's that you are opposed to Obama, or anyone on the ticket besides Hillary, it's not really fair to single him out. If he is a dealbreaker and the others under final consideration are not, then please tell us why.

    Kaine Is A Deal Breaker For Me (5.00 / 5) (#10)
    by BDB on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:10:12 PM EST
    Can't speak for others.  But he's a sign that the Democratic Party's future is one of yet more compromises on women's rights, gay rights, and every other progressive ideal that I believe in.  It's particularly a slap in the face to women and gays.  We're not nearly as important as winning the votes of all those evangelicals who hate us.

    I don't think it's too much to ask that the Democratic VP nominee be to the left of Richard Nixon.  Kaine is not.  


    Okay... (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by dskinner3 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:11:08 PM EST
    Anyone pro-life, republican, or lacking experience are non-starters. Kaine fits there easily. I'm not the least bit happy about Obama to start with, but the VP choice will either be the infamous straw, or the reason I hold my nose and vote for him.

    Only Clinton for me (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by waldenpond on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:59:18 PM EST
    as VP.  But the VP choice will impact how I treat the party.  If the party selects someone like Kaine, I will leave the party and have the most rigid standards towards any Dem I might have considered voting for.

    Yup (none / 0) (#104)
    by SueBonnetSue on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 12:14:32 AM EST
    I am no fan of my Governor, the 'not really' candidate.  

    Sorry Obama, but Tim Kaine is a terrible choice.  America will never elect TWO such unqualified, inexperienced, candidates.  


    About Kaine and Roe (5.00 / 8) (#4)
    by BDB on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:07:09 PM EST
    Don't buy it.  He's the classic democrat who supports "Roe" in the sense that he knows it would be really bad for him to say he wants it overturned.  But he's only too happy to support every way that Roe can be undermined (as Dems have become experts at).  Among other things, he opposes "partial birth" abortion (using the conservative name for it), supports parental notification and other conditons, and has said his beliefs about abortion are generally in line with George Bush's.  So you can have your right, you just won't be able to exercise it. Which is worse than if Roe were overturned because it keeps people from taking out their anger over losing their rights on people like Tim Kaine.  

    Kaine also, btw, opposes stem cell research.  So while he allows people to be executed against his personal beliefs, he's prohibited stem cell research because it violates his personal beliefs (which is yet another indication of his true beliefs on abortion and what he might do if he were in a position higher than Governor).  

    He also gay baited his opponent for Governor, pledged to sign an onerous amendment ensuring Virginia gays remain second-class citizens,* and supported a coal producing plant (as well as lifting restrictions on offshore drilling).  

    As Melissa McEwan said when Kaine was tapped to give the SOTU response:

    Some of the commenters at Pam's place are arguing, "Gay rights isn't the only issue." True enough. But let me respond to that notion with this: Taxation without representation was an important enough issue for this country to declare its independence and fight a Revolutionary War. Equal rights was an important enough issue for this country to split into two and fight a Civil War. If you enjoy representation and equality as a result, you need to take a long look in the mirror and consider what it means that you'll gladly give up someone else's rights to the same without a fight.

    And if that still doesn't make you give a flying sh[*]t about this, then consider instead that in the Dems' move rightward as they chase an elusive victory, they're willing to throw gays to the wolves--and women's right to choice is next on the chopping block. Already we're seeing Dems who support disastrous legislation like parental notification laws or are openly pro-life, if not explicitly anti-choice. What's next? Who's next? What will be your turning point before you finally stand up and say enough as enough?

    If you've ever wondered why moderate Republicans and genuine conservatives didn't do more to stop their party from disintegrating into the sorry state of hateful anti-Americanism it has become, maybe it was just because they were willing to sacrifice too much to win, and realized only after it was too late at what a steep cost such a victory comes.

    But, hey, he feels really bad about executing all those people.

    What's that ol country song say (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:21:02 PM EST
    "You got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything." Yep, that's how I'm feeling. I've been nuanced to the end of my rope. If they pick an anti choice person who doesn't respect that every individual should have the right to choose their own life partners and have the same protections when they do so, then screw em'. I will not compromise anymore of my principles. Put a fork in me and call me done.

    You're right. He s*cks. (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by Joan in VA on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:30:28 PM EST
    He, Warner and Webb are about the best we can do now. Just shows how red this state still is. And shows how hard it will be for Obama to win it.
    That marriage amendment was disgraceful. I hated that it was on the ballot and hoped against hope that it wouldn't pass. Kaine promised that he wouldn't interfere with lawful actions and he has kept his word. Progressives here thought he would be different after he was elected but he isn't. Sound familiar?

    That's Just It (none / 0) (#87)
    by BDB on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:55:15 PM EST
    Kaine's not bad by Virginia standards, but this is the state that elected George Allen not that long ago (and would've again had it not been for a camcorder) and Virginia's standards are not what I want in the White House or anywhere near the White House.  And I say that as someone who lived for nearly a decade in Virginia.

    I live in VA too (none / 0) (#105)
    by SueBonnetSue on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 12:17:01 AM EST
    And Kaine is HORRIBLE choice.  On top of that, he's so unpopular here he won't help Obama carry the state.  I have NO doubt that republicans in VA will be celebrating, big time, if Kaine is the man, the very inexperienced, man.  

    I think the new definition of (5.00 / 7) (#42)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:36:50 PM EST
    "pro-choice" is "I'm for it in the context of what I believe the right choices are."

    That's what "nuance" has done for us - fooled people into thinking that as long as a politician says "pro-choice" it means the same to the people as it does to the politician.

    It's time someone called them on it, before it's too late.


    You put this perfectly Anne (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:42:55 PM EST
    I was so frustrated yesterday trying to explain why you really can't call Kaine pro choice but you managed to do it in one short and sweet post.

    Pro choice means recognizing the choice belongs to the individuals involved and it should not mean that people like Kaine can "limit" choice to death because they don't like the choices OTHER people make.


    I also hate how.... (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Maria Garcia on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:48:24 PM EST
    ...in defending a woman's right to choose some Dems keep insisting that they know most women discuss terminating a pregnancy with their pastors. I don't think this is the case and I think that saying it makes women feel that they did something wrong if they didn't, or were perhaps less ethical or responsible if they didn't.

    Even if it were true, it is irrelevant. (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Valhalla on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 09:03:33 PM EST
    Rights are rights; they don't depend on 'what most people do'.

    Most people go to church (occasionally, anyway).  How do we feel about a law compelling people to go to church?  Better yet, how do we feel about a law that requires people to go to church depending on which state they live in?


    I think that abortion laws need to be strengthened (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by SarahSpin on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:48:20 PM EST
    And I don't think it's possible to trust someone who claims to be personally opposed to abortion who promises to "uphold existing laws" to do more than that - and they certainly can't be trusted to push back as the laws are weakened even more.

    In fact, the phrase "personally opposed to abortion" is really a type of code word to assure people that the speaker doesn't have much intention of working to assure and save abortion rights.


    Obama is (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by JThomas on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:08:28 PM EST
    doing very well with the hispanic vote to this point..64-21 was the last poll I saw. Hispanics are pretty religious, catholic and otherwise. Do we not want them to be democrats? They are a growning voting bloc and I would think attracting them would bode well for the democratic for decades.
    Having people who believe in god vote for you  is almost necessary to win elections in america in my humble opinion.
    And of course the hardcore older evangelicals are not voting for democrats anyway.

    The Democratic party I joined..... (5.00 / 11) (#22)
    by Maria Garcia on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:18:27 PM EST
    ...did not exclude anybody. That's the point. The evangelicals excluded themselves because they did not want to belong to a party of tolerance. If that has changed, then they are welcome. But if in order for them to be included, the rest of us have to pray to a diety that we don't believe in, then I'm out.

    Amen. (none / 0) (#39)
    by Joan in VA on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:32:06 PM EST
    Well said (none / 0) (#81)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:20:01 PM EST
    Thank you

    So are you saying that the (5.00 / 9) (#28)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:21:30 PM EST
    democratic party should become a republican-lite party and all that it entails.  
    I grew up Catholic.
    They used to NOT believe at all in a state/church combo.  And even then when they were ready and willing to fund their own churches, schools and charities, they were still very good at supporting workers rights, the poor, marching against war and poverty and segregation.
    THAT CHURCH has disappeared.  Now the catholic church publicly spurned Kerry and told their parishoners they should not support a pro choice candidate or they could be excommunicated.

    Why would I want to belong to a party that is electing as leaders people who go against the separation of church and state; go against equal rights for all; go against the rights of women?


    That is an OVER generalization (5.00 / 4) (#37)
    by txpolitico67 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:31:33 PM EST
    of Hispanics.  Being Chicano and coming from a VERY politically active and aware family, I can tell you right now.  I have both my parents, five brothers, two sisters, 7 brothers and sisters-in-laws, and about 15 nieces and nephews of voting age.   They are all practicing Catholics, not overtly devout, but go to church.  Guess how many are voting for Obama?

    3-My sister, her husband and their youngest son. And I work with 5 other Latinos, all of whom say they are just not voting this year.  I could go on and on about countless Latinos who are not going Obama, Kaine or no Kaine this time.

    So I would like to know where you are getting this BIG number about Latinos for Obama.  I have mentioned before that I ran 11 states for Hispanic outreach for Governor Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign.  I worked with Jerome Wiley Segovia, superdelegate on the RBC who worked for Gov Dean as well.  And about 70% of the people who I remain in touch with are either voting 3rd party or not at all.

    Your numbers don't jive with me.  Or from what I am seeing and hearing all the time.  


    My relatives from Ilinois are pro-Obama. (5.00 / 4) (#61)
    by Maria Garcia on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:51:51 PM EST
    ...but the majority of the Latinos I know here in the DC area are not so enthused. But to the larger point of religiosity as being a carrot to lure Latino voters, I thoroughly reject that.

    One more time, with emphasis (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by jb64 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:53:10 PM EST
    it's the economy stupid.

    Obama will lose this game trying to out Jesus McCain. Americans already know how the republicans come down on evangelical issues, hell they own them. As far as I'm concerned they are welcome to any and everybody who believes that the leader of the "free" world has to be some kind of Tali-Baptist. that's precisely why I am a Democrat.

    obama would be killing John McCain right now if he were willing to put the words "Clinton economy better than McCain-Bush economy" in every soundbite he utters. Wasting his time trying to cut into McCain's margins among evangelical voters is as much a waste of time as believing he can carry the state of georgia.

    it is absolutely absurd to believe that deeply religious voters are not part of the Democratic party, that is nothing more than a GOP talking point. Hispanics are fine people, hard working, family focused, and religious, but it is an insult to all of them to suggest that they are a monolithic block that demands some sort of religious litmus test in order to choose who best represents their interests.


    Thank you (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by IzikLA on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:11:06 PM EST
    These foreign policy and patriotism arguments he keeps getting into with McCain are a losing battle.  You can add the faith-based issues to that as well.  It's the economy.  If we want change and according to the primaries we do, we need to be focusing on that.  That is the winning ticket.  Why has his campaign not figure that out yet???!!!!

    And of course, Clinton would be the best pick to hammer that home.

    If he picks Biden it again becomes about foreign policy and we will lose.  Plus, he looks as old as McCain, I just don't think that is the image Obama wants to project and I don't think it's winning.  That is one of the only reasons I think it is Kaine if not Clinton.  Kaine projects the image that Obama and his campaign are adhering to.


    Can't speak for all Hispanics (none / 0) (#107)
    by sj on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 08:31:15 AM EST
    But my family will be inspired by a populist voice, not a religious one.  They'll go to church if they want a sermon.

    I love it (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by standingup on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:09:43 PM EST
    The Republican brand is not selling and the Democrats have a big opening with the voters.  And what is Obama going to change?  It appears he the change he is attempting to make is to change Democrats to be more in line with the Republicans.  Unbelievable.

    This is so discouraging (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by Miss Led on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:12:57 PM EST
    I am giving my funds to the ACLU.
    Kaine is a poor choice IMO and focusing on faith is a bad idea: it just reminds everyone of Wright and that whole debacle.

    Unbelievable (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by hitchhiker on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:13:59 PM EST
    Bush wasted 8 years when scientists might have been closing on the task of understanding how to use embryonic stem cells and now we have a Democratic nominee considering a running mate who's not with us on this issue?

    "On WTOP's "Ask the Governor" hour, Governor Kaine said that he opposed using taxpayer money for embryonic stem cell research. Kaine said that he believed "there are huge advances that can be made in adult stem cell research" and that "that's the way to go."

    Well, it won't matter because the Californians have begun to run a west coast version of the NIH just to do this science . . . but I gotta say, this faith-based governing is an ongoing bad dream.

    And I'm a church-goer.

    Wonder if Claire can get Michael J. Fox to do (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Teresa on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:20:34 PM EST
    an ad for them? I didn't know this about Kaine.

    I didn't know this either (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:31:38 PM EST
    I'm about ready to throttle Obama and Company.

    Thank G-d for states like CA. This is a personal issue for me.


    Kaine is a dealbreaker (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:15:36 PM EST
    I listed how I felt yesterday. With Hillary on his ticket I'd tepidlyt support him, if he picked a candidate that actually voiced progressive ideals such as choice and equality I wouldn't vote against the ticket(I probably wouldn't cavas but I would probably stay home) with Kaine on the ticket I will work against the ticket. If the Democratic party needs to be saved from itself so be it.

    Kaine's right about this: (5.00 / 6) (#20)
    by txpolitico67 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:16:24 PM EST
    Kaine does not believe Democrats are a secular party

    As a secular humanist/atheist I changed my registration from Dem to independent on the evening of Sat May 31st.  One less heathen to vote for a straight party ticket.

    The religious views of the right-wingers have wrought so much damage.  Dam* has the DNC been asleep for the past 7 years?!!?!?  The abstinence only programs here pushed by faith based zealots led to Lubbock, Texas being the capital of teen pregancies.  As a volunteer for the AIDS Resource Ctr here in Fort Worth,  doing outreach and testing at the high schools we found at one particular high school where the AOFB programs were in full-tilt boogie that 9th and 10th graders were testing POSITIVE for VD at a rate of THIRTY-THREE percent (Eastern Hills HS/FW,TX).

    So if the Dems want Kaine, have him. g-d and all. I think they are stepping into a mine field.  They will use Rev Wright as Obama's 'Christian model' and BOOM election over.

    I told myself I will vote Dems who are working on behalf of my interests.  But until they get this faith-g0d stuff out of their system, count me out.

    The Dems need an exorcism.  Paging Governor Jindall!

    and how interesting would it be (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by ccpup on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:22:43 PM EST
    if Kaine were forced in a debate to defend Obama's association with Rev Wright?

    I try to think of other candidates he could run with that wouldn't pose a problem for him, but I come up empty.

    It seems everyone is either too inexperienced or too experienced.  So, the problem really isn't the VP pick, it's the Candidate himself.


    Re: (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:18:10 PM EST
    Of course most Democrats have faith. It's whether they believe their faith should be brought into politics and Government. On that, I say no.

    Unfortunately, our politicans almost never frame it this way.  Few politicans on our side of the aisle have a strong sense of the limitations that should be placed on governance while also understanding the appeal of civil religion to that same set of anti-choice people.  

    Obama's idea of winning over anti-choice faith voters is empathizing with their doubts.  But he should make the debate not about abortion, but about government and law.

    I feel like we've slayed the dragon of evangelical Christian voting (as some commentators on the evangelical movement noted earlier this year, gays have been adopting and marrying, and the sky hasn't fallen...).  I'm not quite sure how we did it, but we did.  Voters don't seem as compelled to have a moral faceoff as they once were.

    For me, this goes back to the concept of civil religion.  Obama seems to have a good grasp of the importance of articulating national concepts that bind us.  Of sanctifying what America is.  He is capable of defining America in ways that many people find spiritually satisfying.  

    But instead of persisting with that, he also seems determined to acknowledge a dying evangelical movement.  Rick Warren should be irrelvant to us.  People are ready for big change.  Ellen is now more popular than Oprah.

    Obama acknowledged that the question of when human life begins is beyond his personal pay grade.  What a dumb answer.  He could've, and is rhetorically capable of, reshaping the debate.  But his people have decided to present a way more prosaic image of Obama as a seriously religious man who loves the Bible, Old and New.  

    Obama simply hasn't learned the secrets of the truly great leaders, like Jefferson, who were loved for their moral authority, not their moral likeness to our most religious.

    Jeralyn...read what you just wrote: (5.00 / 8) (#23)
    by txpolitico67 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:19:23 PM EST
    I'll be rolling my eyes at all the faith-based talk -- and I'm not planning on attending any of those events in Denver -- but it's such a relief to me that it won't be Biden, I'll take what I can get at this point.

    I know McCain is bad news but remember:  today's compromise is tomorrow's standard.  Inch by inch the Dems are drifting away from what they were supposed to be stalwarts of.

    I think it's time to push back.  Before it's too late.

    Yep (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:22:31 PM EST
    by tacitly endorsing this movement, voters are ensuring that they truly have no representation.

    "Today's compromise... (none / 0) (#108)
    by sj on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 08:45:48 AM EST
    ... is tomorrow's standard."

    Thank you for that little kernel.  Do you mind if I take it and use it as a sig on this and other sites?


    have at it (none / 0) (#112)
    by txpolitico67 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 04:17:01 PM EST
    been using it in my sales job for the past 8 years.  very effective in my line of work.

    That comment by Kaine that the (5.00 / 6) (#33)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:27:02 PM EST
    Democrats are not a secular party should be a deal-breaker for everyone, and it should, in my opinion, disqualify him from holding office.

    We have a secular government, or at least we're supposed to, so by extension, the political parties should be secular.  That does not mean that the people within those parties are godless heathens, but it should mean that it is not the goal of either party to legislate religious beliefs.  Keep framing everything in religious terms and it won't take long for religion to take over government - how much longer before we are fighting religious wars in this country?

    It irritates me beyond description that Democrats still have not figured out how to seize the high ground on so many issues without now resorting to faith and religion.  Hunger and poverty and health care and the environment and human rights and war do not have to be framed in terms of religion in order to eliminate, improve or address them, and leaders with a basic understanding of our secular government ought to be able to keep the focus where it belongs.

    Makes me want to screm.

    Scream (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by txpolitico67 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:56:30 PM EST
    scream as loud as you can. Silence=death.

    O-McKaine.... (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Andy08 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:41:05 PM EST
    that would be pretty anticlimactic....

    I dislike religion in politics and all these faith based initiatives make me cringe: it is not "just rolling of the eyes" They disturb me profoundly
    because I see them as the root-excuse to cut federal help and social programs: they just dump these to religious orfanizations. And why does ANYONE that needs help have to go to a church looking for it?? I find it  demeaning to those
    in need. Christianity is a proselitistic religion.
    I was taken aback recently by the story of someone who went to an AA meeting: up there in their steps is the acceptance of Jesus Christ in your heart...

    Ugh...bad english sorry (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Andy08 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:44:33 PM EST
    I meant "proselytizing religion"

    and while I'm at it "orfanization" should read "organization"


    holy... (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Lil on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:52:38 PM EST
    "I'll take what I can get at this point"  That just about says it all, Jeralyn.  I thought I'd be much happier saying good bye to GWB; now I'm just hoping we still pull this out.

    Obama doesn't want to lose. (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by karmadillo on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:54:33 PM EST
    It has to be Hillary. Picking Kaine would be like walking around with a giant "kick me" sign on his back. It really would make me doubt his sanity.

    NBC saying it is Biden (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:08:03 PM EST
    That the "I'm not the guy" from Biden does not mean anything. Sounds like a Biden mistake to me.

    Better get that graphic (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by txpolitico67 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:50:14 PM EST
    out Jeralyn.  I still laugh at that line you used about Biden being your father's Oldsmobile.



    Now Biden walks it back (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:14:42 PM EST
    Sounds like he IS the pick again.

    I Cannot Believe (5.00 / 7) (#19)
    by BDB on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:16:07 PM EST
    Biden would almost be a relief at this point.  Biden is awful.  

    Have I mentioned I really am beginning to hate the Democratic Party?


    I have come to agree with you BTD (5.00 / 5) (#36)
    by MKS on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:30:56 PM EST
    On Hillary as VP....both that it would be a good idea and that it is unlikely.

    And, after Saddleback and the weird event that was (not at all what I had imagined), also on outreach to Evangelicals.....Warren sandbagged Obama....He was talking about tax policy as a Republican....The audience applauded most when McCain talked about off-shore drilling.  Truly weird.  And Warren then said the next day the President of Georgia called him.  Huh?  Who is he to conduct foreign policy?

    I had thought that outreach could be done....The only way to tame the social conservatives is to flat-out beat them.....Then, they will be more manageable....There is too much religion in politics now, and I was open to the idea of a little co-existence in the political arena. Now that I have seen it in operation, no thank you.


    Those (5.00 / 5) (#60)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:51:04 PM EST
    of us who live in the south have always known this. I have seen evangelicals simply destroy school boards and many other institutions. Gore had it really, really right when he talked about the "assault on reason." It's exactly what the evangelicals do--reason is supposed to be thrown out the window and everything is supposed to be based on "faith." The Bush administration is the prime example writ large.

    They are simply people who must be defeated at the polls time and again.


    Yes, Yes, Yes. (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by hairspray on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:06:17 PM EST
    I had thought that outreach could be done....The only way to tame the social conservatives is to flat-out beat them.....Then, they will be more manageable....There is too much religion in politics now, and I was open to the idea of a little co-existence in the political arena. Now that I have seen it in operation, no thank you.

    Now I'm back to feeling bad forJeralyn. (none / 0) (#45)
    by Teresa on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:40:36 PM EST
    He needs to just announce this and get it over with.

    Heh, he may want to wait until (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:45:00 PM EST
    Denver. Sounds like most of his choices aren't going to do him any favors and he can't afford any more drops in the polls.

    It sucks (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:45:34 PM EST
    because I think short of Hillary that ALL of us are going to lose out with his choice.

    It's so frustrating. I started out wanting her no (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by Teresa on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:55:26 PM EST
    where near that ticket but I've changed my mind. It still means a lot to people I know to have her on the ticket. It's reassuring and with all that is going on the world today, who wouldn't want the Clinton brains on their side? It's so obvious that it truly makes me question if Obama's personal feelings mean more to him than what is best for the party and the country.

    Remember when he said Hillary "rocks". I guess she's just a little pebble.


    Maybe he meant he's not the guy (none / 0) (#49)
    by DemForever on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:43:33 PM EST
    who makes the choice, that's Obama.  Or he goofed.

    that's good call - Obama's the guy who sez (none / 0) (#64)
    by DFLer on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:54:01 PM EST
    and here's a completely goofy analysis, brought on by veep selection derangement syndrome.

    Joe meant: he's not the guy, he's the woman.

    Joe meant: he's not the guy, he's the goy.

    Joe meant: he's not the guy, he's the buy-den.

    Joe meant: he snot the pie, don't eat it.

    Aaeeyyee..i'm melting.


    Well it's not Kaine (none / 0) (#101)
    by BestinShow on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:35:15 PM EST
    DNC release has Gov. Tim Kaine speaking Thursday night, (VP speaks WED)

    Common sense and logic tells me it's Hillary

    From CBS
    Barack Obama heads to Springfield, Illinois on Saturday, where he is expected to announce his running mate. The two will appear at a rally at the Old State Capitol, kicking off a pre-convention tour.


    I should have added...both (none / 0) (#102)
    by BestinShow on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:42:19 PM EST
    Obama and Hillary are from/have strong ties to  Illinois ---



    with Kaine's own (none / 0) (#7)
    by ccpup on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:08:42 PM EST
    approval ratings taking a hit in Virginia  -- someone mentioned a 40% number or something? --, I don't know if he'll bring as much to the ticket as one would think he might.

    For some reason, we Democrats have a hard time locking up the State our VP picks are from (see, Edwards, John in 2004).

    But I think you're right, Jeralyn.  It'll probably be Kaine because Obama feels comfortable around him and ... well, what can one do about a milksop ticket like that?

    It might (none / 0) (#12)
    by Little Fish on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:11:15 PM EST
    That link (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by txpolitico67 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:44:18 PM EST
    doesn't say anything. First of all, HuffPo lost all its credibility when it went from HuffPo to ObamaPo.

    Second, the only thing I took away from that small blurb is that it keeps the speculation going.  Yeah, because you gotta keep the media on a string, when you have nothing else.


    Obama'Kaine is a losing ticket. He's picking Hill (none / 0) (#13)
    by masslib on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:11:19 PM EST
    I keep trying to link properly but it's not working, so anyway here is why:


    I doubt it (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by ccpup on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:19:46 PM EST
    He's surrounded by people with CDS, Michelle is decidedly NOT a Hillary fan and she told him to pick someone he felt "comfortable with" and I sincerely believe he has a fear of being eclipsed by his Running Mate.  A safe nobody like Kaine fits the bill.  

    Hillary Clinton could stand in the background and never say a word and people would know KNOW without a doubt based on her debate performances and the fact that she won every Major Primary there is (save IL) that she's smarter, more capable, more experienced and should be in the Top Spot, not him.

    And that knowledge would just kill him.


    I have to agree (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by txpolitico67 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:47:39 PM EST
    when Mrs. Obama went on TV and was asked about supporting Hillary if she became the nominee she said she would have to think about it.

    I think right there was the beginning of the end of ANY viable working relationship between the two camps.  Two strong women, a VERY strong man (Clinton 42) and a beta-male like Obama would be a mine field.  Invesco Field isn't large enough for all those egos, much less the White House.

    Ain't gunna be Sen Clinton.  Kaine's the way.  I wonder since the religion angle is so big will we hear, Obama and Kaine...are Able.


    It's Ironic... (3.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Brillo on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:34:48 PM EST
    That Sen. Clinton won so many of those primaries  upon the backs of working class Whites (and especially Catholics) with quite similar views on abortion and some of these other 'social' issues as Kaine...

    do not even equate Hillary with Kaine (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:50:04 PM EST
    on women's issues. There is a world of difference between some one who has an awesome record on women's issues and children's issues saying that "she doesn't care for abortion" and a guy who as far as I can tell has done little to nothing but runs his mouth about how his faith dictates his position on this issue.

    I wasn't. (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Brillo on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:11:54 PM EST
    I wasn't equating Hillary and Kaine, they're nothing alike.  

    I was equating a major portion of Hillary's primary coalition with Kaine.  And on that front, I think the comparison is absolutely warranted.  Kaine is the son of White, working class parents (father was a welder), from Kansas, and a practicing Roman Catholic.  Sound familiar?  Demographically, he's a part of (or at least was) a part of one of Hillary's major voting blocks.    

    He's not just demographically similar to that group either, but he's quite similar to them in terms of his stance on some of the issues that many of us find so objectionable.


    ooppps sorry (none / 0) (#82)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:26:44 PM EST
    I was one of the coalition who worked to put Kaine in the governors office. I didn't want to see Warner's work flushed down the toilet and I knew Kaine was better than the alternatiive. I don't dislike Kaine personally but I don't want him in the WH and I think there comes a point and time where you have to stand up to the party and say "hey, you're going in the wrong direction."

    Such as? (none / 0) (#55)
    by Joan in VA on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:48:13 PM EST
    It was much deeper than just abortion (none / 0) (#74)
    by hairspray on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:11:34 PM EST
    Liberal Catholics like JFK, etc. see their responsbility to LIVE humans more importantly than to a zygote.  Thank heavens.

    And? (none / 0) (#77)
    by Brillo on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:14:04 PM EST
    You don't think the many Catholic Democrats who voted for Clinton feel the same way?

    Of course they do! (none / 0) (#99)
    by hairspray on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:53:51 PM EST
    Please let it be Biden(D-MBNA) (none / 0) (#14)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:11:42 PM EST
    I've always thought that pretzel shaped cheetos would be tasty.  I may start giving a certain site my hits just for the comic relief.

    The goal of talking about Relgion (none / 0) (#24)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:19:41 PM EST
    I don't believe the goal of talking about religion and the democratic party is to change the platform, but to take away Christianity= Republican in this country.   This association is a huge benefit to the Republican party, when in actuality the teachings of Jesus and most stories in the old testament support the polices of Democrats.  There is much more to the bible other then Abortion and gays (and the clarity of even these issues is suspect).  

    But I don't want (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:25:16 PM EST
    religion or the bible being any part of the democratic party.  Dammit, if they get included, then why not Wiccans, or Muslims, or Jews???

    It ridiculous.  Theocracy destroys countries and justifies the most hideous hate and pillaging.


    Uh... (none / 0) (#43)
    by Brillo on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:38:33 PM EST
    I'm not alone in being a non-Christian who's faith directs them towards this party.  It's seriously unfair to paint religious Democrats with the same brush as the Repulicans, much less to start talking about Theocracies.  

    Yeah but religious Democrats are.... (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by Maria Garcia on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:56:33 PM EST
    ...not the problem and never have been. It's those Christian Republicans that so many in the DNC seem obsessed about that are the problem.

    It's the slippery slope (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:13:42 PM EST
    You cannot mix the church and state at all.  Trying to say "we can only mix church and state when the church only includes Christian PROGRESSIVES."  It's nuts.  

    You invite the notion of it's OK to bring in Christian thought as long as someone deems it is progressive Christianity and then the Wiccan says, "well I am a progressive wiccan...."  and the the conservative Christian says "Hey equal under the law..."  It's a dam Pandora's box.  RELIGION and THE STATE need to be 100% separate.


    I didn't say anything about (none / 0) (#80)
    by Maria Garcia on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:19:06 PM EST
    ...progressive Christianity and thats not at all what I meant. I am talking about how the Christians that have traditionally been part of the Democratic Party have been content to keep religion and state separate. I don't want a Wiccan state either!

    Then I apologize (none / 0) (#85)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:45:38 PM EST
    for misunderstanding your comment.

    actually it is the dem leadership's (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by hellothere on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:58:54 PM EST
    chasing of these far right religeous groups that is the problem. these groups will always be around.

    Then why are Obama (none / 0) (#72)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:10:20 PM EST
    and his supporters pandering to the right wing religious folks????

    write his campaign and ask him. why not! (none / 0) (#106)
    by hellothere on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 01:25:06 AM EST
    i'm sure we'd like to know why he is making such silly decisions.

    Listen, you can enjoy your bible (5.00 / 5) (#41)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:36:25 PM EST
    and it's teachings all you want. I prefer to NOT have it in my politics. Separation of Church and State. Period. End. Of. Discussion.

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:38:40 PM EST
    At the end of the day I can agree there is ALOT more in the Bible then what the GOP uses. What I don't agree with is using dogma to manipulate voters. Everytime someone like Kaine says, "marriage is between man and a woman" they reenforce the VERY SAME dogma that the GOP is using to manipulate voters. So your argument that they are using faith to take that bludgeon away from the GOP just repulses me on all levels. Personally, I find faith personal. The idea of it being utilized for political gain is offensive for me on a whole bunch of levels

    Actually the old testament is more Republican (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by hairspray on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:15:48 PM EST
    and it is the new testament with its emphasis on forgiveness and redemption that is more Democrat-like.  The old testment is punitive and unforgiving.

    I think of the old testament (none / 0) (#84)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:32:28 PM EST
    As creating community.  That the community is what defines us.  These are the lessons I learned from the Torah.  Certainly there is some pretty powerful punishments going on, but that is more for violation of the community.  

    Though I have not read the new testatment as extensivel as the old testment, I always thought of the new testament as restating the old in a more user friendly sorta way :)


    The old testament (none / 0) (#86)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:52:22 PM EST
    was in a sense the first government.  It was a guide to behavior to insure the well being of the community.  But it was limited in that knowledge was limited.  Fear were based on mythology rather than science.  People were able to figure out after a group got sick that eating pork that perhaps not eating pork was a good solution.  For the times, a time without refrigeration or understand of how different  meats spoils, it made sense. But for now????

    Now if people choose to go along with that in their private life, that's fine.  But why would a community/government decide now to not eat pork?  Catholics not eating meat was a way the Vatican (the government of that culture at the time) insured fisherman would do better.  But they could not come out and say it so they threatened people with punishment for meat on Friday.  Insane that people followed that unquestioningly for years.

    MY POINT.  Religions should remain in the private sector totally.  Separation of church and state assures all of us a right to believe or to not believe.  Meshing government with religion in any way is just a bad idea.


    Side note (none / 0) (#89)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 09:01:27 PM EST
    Kosher laws, though they have something to do with health concerns (e.g. Shell fish from the meditaranian can be dangerous part of the year), the major concern is keeping the community together and exclusive.  For example, Kosher wine is not just Kosher because it is made in a particular way, but because only Jews have handled it.  If I sat down with a Kosher bottle of wine with a none Jew, the wine stops being Kosher, which if I kept Kosher would be an issue.  This by its nature keeps the community together, and keeps those that aren't Jewish out.  

    I understand that (none / 0) (#91)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 09:04:15 PM EST
    and it made sense over 2000 years ago when those who were different (monotheists as opposed to polytheists)  could be killed.

    Now, it doesn't make so much sense to me.  Why continue to push exclusivity?  It's what all religions do which is why I no longer choose to be a part of one.


    Is that true? (none / 0) (#98)
    by jerry on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:47:02 PM EST
    I am not quite a none Jew, but sometimes close.

    But I'd never heard that kosher wine stops being kosher....

    Can you clarify that?  Is it just that person's glass of it?  And why?  And is wine special in that regard or is any kosher food given to a non Jew then non kosher.

    I've never heard of this, and it seems odd.

    I've often thought if I had the money I would go into business with a Moslem and start a national distribution of guaranteed kosher/halal/organic meats.


    I don't know about the wine (none / 0) (#100)
    by hairspray on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:00:48 PM EST
    but I do know about the dishes and cutlery. In a hospital where I worked, Kosher dishes were kept separate and it they were soiled with non Kosher prepared food, they were either buried or thrown away or submitted to a rigorous purrification process. I am not sure about the process, however.

    Dishes are the canonical rules. Food, not so? (none / 0) (#103)
    by jerry on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:52:28 PM EST
    "but I do know about the dishes and cutlery. In a hospital where I worked, Kosher dishes were kept separate and it they were soiled with non Kosher prepared food, they were either buried or thrown away or submitted to a rigorous purification process. I am not sure about the process, however."

    Right, I know about keeping two sets of dishes.

    He was short and fat, and rode out of the West
    With a Mogen David on his silver vest.
    He was mean and nasty right clear through,
    Which was kinda weird, 'cause he was yellow too.

    They called him Irving.
    Big Irving.
    Big, short Irving.
    Big, short, fat Irving.
    The hundred and forty-second fastest gun in the West.

    He came from the old Bar Mitzvah spread,
    With a 10-gallon yarmulke on his head.
    He always followed his mother's wishes,
    *Even on the range he used two sets of dishes

    But I've never heard that somehow serving wine (or food) to gentiles made the wine or food non-kosher.  We had kosher wine served to non-Jews at the wedding and our Rabbi, well she didn't say anything.  So it just seems curious to me.

    And now, here are some furries re-enacting the Ballad of Irving


    Very strict law (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by samtaylor2 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:25:12 AM EST
    I have talked to more then a couple of rabbis about Kosher Law, as it made no sense to me in the modern world for health reasons or even humane reasons now.

    I don't have a problem with expressing faith (none / 0) (#92)
    by MichaelGale on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 09:09:49 PM EST
    quietly and sincerely and not often. I do feel bad for other people of faith who are not Christians when every candidate talks about their Christian faith. I am also totally convinced that Jesus wants them to shut up.

    I am apprehensive of faith based groups offering mental health services and social programs without accountability. I believe that Obama said he will have a Faith Czar to keep the idea structured but I
    am uncomfortable with that idea also.



    As I Pointed Out... (none / 0) (#31)
    by Brillo on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:24:31 PM EST
    A couple stories down, Kain is in fact speaking at the convention.  He and Gore are up Thursday before Obama.

    I saw news articles saying Gore (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:30:26 PM EST
    was speaking, but not Kaine. The DNCC hasn't included him yet. I'd love a link (in html format)

    Here Ya Go. (none / 0) (#70)
    by Brillo on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:59:49 PM EST
    Kain and Gore speaking.

    Don't have the link to the DNC's press release bookmarked, though it's probably not too hard to find.  


    So? (none / 0) (#47)
    by txpolitico67 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:41:25 PM EST
    What does that have to do with Kaine?  

    On Tim Kaine (none / 0) (#83)
    by notime4lies on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:28:36 PM EST
    I met Tim Kaine several times on the campaign trail in Virginia and even have a pic with me and him talking, one on one. Having said that, Tim Kaine should not be the v-p nominee. No international experience, except for his missionary stint right out of college.  About that religion "thing," it's no schtick.  He's really serious about his faith.  And he really is against the death penalty. Big time.  That's what he and I were talking about when the pic was taken.

    Nevertheless, it's a no-brainer.  Like everyone says.  Hillary or bust; that is, no Hillary and take a chance of losing in November.

    wow (none / 0) (#94)
    by dws3665 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:19:59 PM EST
    are you overdue for a dose of medicine or something? talk about loose associations.

    i'm more concerned about how simliar Obama-Kaine sounds to McCain. And to Novocaine.

    I deleted the comment (none / 0) (#95)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:23:47 PM EST
    you are replying to.

    so i wasn't the only one (none / 0) (#97)
    by dws3665 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:38:44 PM EST
    who thought it was a bit "out there" - thanks!

    what the eff, ever... (none / 0) (#96)
    by HypeJersey on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:28:07 PM EST
    if he picks Kaine, I surely won't vote for him.

    Obama's weakness is inexperience and lack of (none / 0) (#109)
    by esmense on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:11:02 AM EST
    a resume -- that is, specific accomplishments he can point to as proof of his competence.

    With the crisis we face in the economy, and the serious situations we face in foreign policy, demonstrated competence, especially in the wake of the extremely incompetent Bush administration, is going to be a much more important factor in this election than faith (or hope).

    I don't understand why the congressional Democrats and the Obama campaign can't see that simple and undeniable fact. Are they denying that reality because they know competence is the one promise they can't deliver on?

    I'm tired of the earnest protestations of personal faith and the cute family photo ops. And I think a lot of other Americans are too. What in the hell does any of that have to do with the problems we are facing? It's like the Democrats are campaigning in some entirely different century.

    They are running like it is 1959.


    Well, Okay! (none / 0) (#111)
    by bmc on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:44:55 AM EST
    That officially drives me out of the Democratic Party. I despise so-called "faith-based" politics because this is inherently unconstitutional. This whole "Christian" political theme is really offensive. We are a nation that provides freedom of religion by virtue of our separation of church and state. When we lose that separation, we lose freedom of religion. No religious test for office, remember?!

    I cannot BELIEVE ANY PROGRESSIVE would stand for this! But, what the hey, they have cheered on sexism and racism against the Clintons already, and are cheering on ageism against McCain now, so who knows where Obama can take this party. Wherever this candidate leads, I won't be going along for the ride.  

    Why Obama Might Pick Kaine? (none / 0) (#114)
    by clio on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 12:06:26 AM EST
    He's determined to lose?