Last night, former Governor Tim Kaine (D) faced off against former Governor/Senator George Allen (R). Kaine clearly articulated his attacks more clearly and upbeat than Allen did. For that, the casual observer has to give Kaine the W. The two squared off on each other’s records, Obamacare and the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction.
To recap — neither candidate loves Obamacare. Neither would have voted for Bowles-Simpson. Both are fiscally conservative. Both are independent of their parties. The night was fairly uneventful and as local events go, the camera quality made it difficult to see the candidate’s facial expressions.
Allen started off by pointing out that Kaine is campaigning with Warner who, while claiming to be a moderate, has voted with the D party 93% of the time. It was an excellent point. Moderates often turn out to be the bitches of party leaders in the Senate. No matter their rhetoric, they are party people when necessary.
Kaine countered that Allen voted with Bush 96% of the time. The moderator later asked a question where he stated that Allen voted with Bush 98% of the time. But saying stupid things is kind of Allen’s style. There was a few moments tonight that left Allen with egg on his face. Allen was completely inept in explaining how he would pay to give health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions without the individual mandate bankrolling it. He avoided the question three times. He just didn’t seem up to the challenge.
Oh, and sequestration cuts? Allen hit Kaine on cutting spending as if it was him and not House Republicans who bundeled the debt ceiling last summer.
Tim Kaine is nice and likeable enough to distract voters from the fact that he was all too happy to be Obama’s number one lackey over the past few years. Allen hammered him on this but couldn’t effectively handle Kaine’s rebuttal.
Allen did effectively bring out Tim Kaine’s secret love affair with taxes. But he failed to ask Mr. Kaine anything about his signature proposal.
Kaine, again, touted his tax raising “compromise.” Republicans don’t want to raise taxes on anyone. Obama wants to raise them on people making $250k a year and above. Kaine keeps saying that we should thus raise them on those making $500k or more. It’s the common sense compromise, he promises. But the Governor never explains how he gets there or why it’s superior to everyone else’s proposals. The propsal leaves us with Solomon’s dead baby who has been cut in half, leaving no one with anything to gain.
If Republicans raise taxes, they tarnish the brand and hurt the economy. If Democrats sign off on the Bush tax cuts again, they risk alienating their base and violate their most important principal – letting rich people only pay half of their salaries to the government. Kaine’d “compromise” compromises his common sense, yet no one will call him on it.
Kaine got away without really answering for much and was simply nicer and more articulate than Allen. The latest LCV poll has Kaine with a dominant 50-45 lead over George Allen. To let you know how badly Allen is bungling this race, Obama leads Romney 49-48 with the SAME VOTERS IN THE SAME POLL. In the primary, Virginians were told that Allen was the one we needed to defeat Kaine. So far, he hasn’t been able to capitalize. He has to do better or Allen is going to lose us a Senate seat for the second straight time.