Kaine Spotting

Last night Tim Kaine and his wife sat in the row behind my wife and me at the Westhampton Theater in Richmond, attending a showing of “The Queen.”

The Governor dressed like an ordinary bloke: He wore a tieless, button-down shirt and a leather jacket. That’s one of his more appealing traits. He may be the Governor, but a year on the job doesn’t seem to have changed him. He hasn’t grown impressed with himself — he does the same things he did as Lt. Governor, mayor and private citizen. Over recent years, I’ve seen him pop into a wine store in the Fan, walking alone down the sidewalk in downtown Richmond, and chowing down on hamburgers with the wife and kids at the River City Diner in Shockoe Bottom.

The two central characters in “The Queen” are Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Tony Blair, a moderate liberal politician in much the same philosophical mold as Gov. Kaine. When the movie was over and the lights came on, I was tempted to ask the Governor his impression of how Blair was portrayed. But I decided not to: The movie had opened with Princess Diana fleeing the torments of the paparazzi and driving to her death. Even public figures deserve their privacy. Indeed, respecting the rights of people, especially prominent people, to their privacy is a sign of civilized behavior — a trait that the Queen found to her dismay that the British people no longer possessed.

But Virginians are still civilized and respectful of the rights of others. So, I left the Governor in peace. I guess I’ll have to wait until the next blogger conference to ask him what he thought of Tony Blair.

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8 responses to “Kaine Spotting”

  1. Waldo Jaquith Avatar
    Waldo Jaquith

    Gov. Kaine provided the introduction at King and Grisham’s event for Jim Webb here in C’ville a few months ago. I’d expected some bloviating, because that’s just what goes with the territory when a governor speaks. But, to my surprise, he was excellent. He was dressed like a regular human being, was low-key and unassuming, and clearly understood that it was the job of the three guests of honor to shine, while his job was simply to introduce them.

    I guess he’s just good at this stuff.

  2. Ray Hyde Avatar

    I guess those people at Dominion Power must not be Virginians.

  3. Ray Hyde Avatar

    Maybe the Governor can give them a few lessons.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    I just wish that Kaine would have fought for his campaign promise to give local governments authority to reject requests for rezoning when the roads cannot handle the existing traffic. That position certainly added to his vote total in NoVA.

    I don’t understand why he is willing to expend political capital to raise taxes instead of advancing reasonable land use regulations that are found in most areas of the country. That tells me more about his true character than his positive sense of self and ability to keep his ego in check. While those latter traits are truly admirable (I mean this sincerely), promising one thing as a candidate and delivering the opposite is far from admirable. It’s wrong. Let’s hope that Governor Kaine remembers his campaign promise in year two of his administration.

  5. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    geeze TMT – the guy’s a politician. Even Mark Warner promised one thing and did another…

    or… we could look at Gilmore who promised gutting the car tax .. and did exactly what he promised.

    (which some claim is the reason that Kaine will have to raise taxes to get it back)


  6. Anonymous Avatar

    Let’s not forget that we Americans fought two wars against the English so we wouldn’t have to bow before their silly queen.
    And, as an Irish-American, Kaine probably is well aware about how the English treated his ancestors.
    Civil? Hah! They are murderers! Good thing they lost their empire years ago.

  7. Anonymous Avatar

    Larry, the tax-happy crowd contradicts itself on the Gilmore car tax argument. The big taxers argue that we must protect the general fund against raids for transportation needs and also argue that, but for the car tax cuts, Virginia would have more money for roads. The money to cover the car tax comes from the general fund, which the big taxers insist must be protected from transportation project raids. Therefore, the money that goes from the general fund to reimburse localities for the car tax could not be used for transportation.

    If one of our public high school students ever made an argument as self-contradictory, he or she would receive an “F” from our teachers. Yet, the business community, the MSM and the tax-happy crowd in the GA make it regularly. It says much about the quality of the self-proclaimed elite.

  8. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    TMT – razor sharp insight! – I’m serious.

    The original car tax went to localities that – instead of using it for transportation infrastructure for growth and development that it should have been used for – was spent on non-transportation needs – schools in part.

    So when Gilmore “removed” the local tax – he really didn’t remove it – he essentially reassigned it to statewide taxpayers and the money was .. essentially sent to Richmond to be re-allocated to localities.

    Sound familiar?

    What this is – is a battle about WHO gets the tax revenue – the State or the Localities – and WHO decides what it will be spent for.

    Someone once said that Karl Rove’s genius was knowing how to “frame an issue” such that voters would believe the carefully crafted message no matter what reality is especially if it is repeated over and over.

    So – here’s the message: “Something MUST be done about Transportation in Virginia” – so “taxes must be raised”

    There is a significant and embedded business constituency that essentially believes that taxpayers should provide the funds and that business interests should decide how best to spend those funds for “public benefit”.

    This is why (I believe) they want to increased taxes going to Richmond where it can be manipulated and “politically” allocated.

    I think voters are catching on – especially with regard to transportation money.

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