Barack Obama didn't make Tim Kaine his running mate in 2008, but George Allen is trying to create an Obama-Kaine ticket in Virginia voters' minds as 2012 approaches.
On Fox News Monday night, Allen said, "Tim Kaine was the handpicked chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and has been with President Obama on every significant issue -- from Obamacare to these counterproductive, punishing energy policies. He is in favor of raising taxes on small business owners in the midst of this recession, which is what he tried to repeatedly do as governor."
The Allen campaign makes this case in a new web video, which says Kaine would be "President Obama's senator, not Virginia's." In a news release, Dan Allen of the Allen campaign said, "As Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Mr. Kaine declared Obamacare would 'go down in history as one of the great achievements of this president.' Instead families and small business owners are struggling under another failed Washington policy, on which Chairman Kaine sided with President Obama instead of Virginia."
Kaine supporters, meanwhile, are taking a tack often associated with Republicans, hitting his rival on spending. The Democratic Party of Virginia released a web video that, as the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot puts it, "juxtaposes an admission by Allen at last week's debate that spending 'was a problem' during his time in the U.S. Senate with the price tags for entitlement growth, a foreign war and tax cuts approved in that era." The Shad Plank says the video "parodies the Mastercard 'Priceless' commercials, using clips of Allen" from last week's debate.
Of course, neither man is actually his party's nominee yet. E.W. Jackson, a black minister who is seeking the GOP nomination, addressed the Danville Tea Party and said "the country is in deep trouble and he believes he can help solve its problems," the Danville Register and Bee reports. Jackson "blasted" the Obama Administration, "likening its policies to fascism, under which the government controls everything from 'what kind of light bulbs you must use, what kind of car you can drive and the food you can eat.'"
* The Richmond Times-Dispatch says Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli hosted his annual paintball fundraiser Saturday in Leesburg. The gubernatorial hopeful's political director said about 60 people, including a "veteran of the war in Afghanistan," paid $100 "to shoot paint-filled balls at each other with the pro-gun attorney general."
Veteran conservative activist Richard Viguerie is impressed by Cuccinelli, writing at ConservativeHQ, "Every once in a while a figure comes along who embodies a movement at that particular time. Ken Cuccinelli is the mood of the Tea Party and small-government, constitutional conservative movements."
But Bacon's Rebellion is less impressed, saying Kaine "famously went AWOL from his job as Virginia's governor in the midst of a paralyzing recession" to become head of the DNC, and it seems Cuccinelli "is doing the same thing. Too busy popping off about Rail to Dulles to bother with the mundane tasks of the office to which he was elected."
* NBC Richmond's Ryan Nobles reports Democratic Del. Bob Brink has "proposed doing away with the centuries old rule that prohibits the governor of Virginia from running for re-election" -- a restriction unique to Virginia. (Virginia governors can be elected to more than one term, but not consecutively.) Gov. Bob McDonnell is a longtime supporter of the change. But while the idea comes up often, "it rarely makes much headway" because it would require a change to the Virginia Constitution.
Brink says the restriction limits governors' ability to take action, and gives them an incentive to pass tough choices on to their successors. The Washington Post says the proposed change "was part of a broader package of government reform measures that Democrats intend to push in the coming General Assembly session. Many of the other measures are aimed at improving government transparency."
* Gov. Martin O'Malley tweeted Monday: "@LadyGaga thanks for your advocacy against bullying. Katie & I would like to invite you to dinner to discuss eliminating bullying in MD." The Baltimore Sun notes, "The governor and his wife, Katie O'Malley, launched an anti-bullying campaign a few months ago, and O'Malley recently asked other governors to join him in that effort." But the tweet-vite may be it for now; the Sun says O'Malley "has no plans make a more traditional overture to the superstar singer."
* Tim Day, the former Ward 5 D.C. Council candidate who brought concerns about incumbent Harry Thomas Jr. to the fore, has ended his bid for an At-Large Council seat in order to prevent a Republican primary, the Associated Press reports. Day had been set to face off against Ward 6 GOP activist Mary Brooks Beatty in an April primary.
Meanwhile, over in Ward 7, Republicans gathered at the Benning Road Denny's for a Christmas party, and as the Post's Mike DeBonis writes, "This was most definitely the party of Ron Moten." In addition to the "few, graying folks who used to be the only ones to call themselves Ward 7 Republicans," the guests included the "friends, family and retinue" of the Peaceaholics co-founder, "and the members of gay teen gang 'Check It.'"