I recently read that VA Republican Congressman and House Deputy Whip Eric Cantor was being considered by the McCain team as a runningmate. This after news that VA Gov. Tim Kaine is the front-runner for Obama Veep. Why all this attention to my state which is supposedly in play but has only voted Dem in one presidential election since 1952? If it’s a calculation that a Virginia running mate will help the ticket pick up Virginia’s 13 electoral votes, I think the calculation is in error. I like Cantor but if McCain wins VA (and I think that he will) it won’t be because of Cantor. He’s from the western foothills, not the most prosperous and populous part of the state, the DC suburbs in Northern VA. Northern VA is like a separate state from the rest of the Old Dominion; politically, economically, and culturally. Northern VA voters would feel no greater loyalty toward Cantor than they would to a vp from the Carolinas.
As for Tim Kaine, he’ll will provide neither an electoral boost for the democratic ticket nor any great expertise or skill at governing (maybe VP is the place for him). Tim Kaine has proven fairly ineffective as governor. I can’t think of a single signature issue that he can tout as an accomplishment. Kaine recently called a special session of the general assembly to deal with transportation problems and nothing was accomplished. Kaine’s transportation bill did not receive a single vote in the House of Delegates, not even one loyal Democrat would support him. Besides, even though Virginia has gone Democrat in a few recent statewide elections (2 governors and a Senator) thanks to rapidly bluing Northern VA, I don’t think the trend will put VA in the Obama column this Fall. On impostant life or death issues like crime and punishment or national security, Virginians have voted consistently for Republican presidents and Attorneys General. Virginia will be red this Fall, regardless of whose name is on the bottom of the ticket.