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Opinion: President-elect Obama makes Tim Kaine DNC chairman-elect

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Remember the other day when The Ticket reported that President-elect Barack Obama was going to name good pal and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as the new part-time chairman of the Democratic National Committee?

And the part-time-ness of the Harvard-trained lawyer would last through Kaine’s last year in Richmond?

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Before Kaine becomes a full-time chair or something bigger next year?

Remember that? It was right here with all the background on their connections and similarities. All that.

Well, Obama did all that today in Washington. So now it’s politically official. And you knew about it days in advance because you came here. Or should have.

Kaine takes over the committee on Jan. 21, the day after Obama takes over the White House. Oh, and he inherits a $15-million campaign debt from the outgoing chair, Howard Dean, who also was a governor.

But there’s a new wrinkle now: Bloomberg News points out that as chairman of the Southern Governors Assn., Kaine is intimately involved in raising funds from oil, pharmaceutical, tobacco and energy companies in exchange for access to the states’ chief executives.

Obama, of course, made a big campaign deal over his opposition to lobbyists and special interests.

So how does Kaine’s money-raising as governor and DNC chair jibe with Obama’s stands on that?

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Associated Press


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