Tim Kaine says he'll reach across the aisle when he takes office as Virginia's junior U.S. Senator.
Virginia is still pretty purple. That's one conclusion Democratic Senator-elect Tim Kaine drew from election results, in spite of his decisive victory over Republican George Allen. At his first news conference Wednesday, he rejected suggestions that Northern Virginia counties like Prince William and Loudoun were becoming increasingly blue.
"We've worked our way from the red zone to the purple zone,” he said. “I think we're going to be in the purple zone for a while."
Kaine believes he won because voters trusted him more to work across the aisle in the Senate to solve urgent problems like the looming sequester that could bring deep defense cuts.
"The American public wants us to solve the problem," Kaine explained. "The time for the bridge builders is at hand."
Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell also provided a little analysis today. He said he left a congratulatory voicemail for Kaine and got a gracious response in return. McDonnell also offered congratulations to President Barack Obama.
"The president's closing argument was very strong to those undecided voters,” he said. “His vaunted ground game was as good or better than ours was and it's probably the best it's ever been in Virginia."
He also credited the president's ability to reach out to a broad cross section of Virginians.
"To win twice in a row as a Democrat in Virginia is an historic achievement, and again, I credit the president and his campaign for their good work," he said
McDonnell said there is consolation for Republicans in the fact that eight of Virginia's 11 congressional seats stayed in GOP hands. The governor said Republicans now have a lot of work to do.
"We... have to do a better job where the president excelled, and that is doing better to get young people to the polls," he said.
McDonnell said the party must set a more positive tone, reasoning, "If we want people to be a part of the team, we have to look like it’s a fun team to join."