Democratic senate nominee holds rally
Former governor Tim Kaine promotes economic plan, talent-based economy
Tim Kaine, the Democratic nominee for Sen. Jim Webb's seat, held a rally yesterday evening at the Downtown Mall with Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. The event focused on Kaine's economic plan, which stresses job growth, a balanced budget and a "talent-based" economy. Yesterday marked the second day of a two-week campaign Kaine embarked upon with Warner to promote his economic strategy.
Kaine announced his Senate candidacy last April and unveiled his economic platform Wednesday morning at a rally in Richmond.
Kaine cited a 2011 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development study which ranked the United States 16th in the world for the number of persons aged 25-34 earning post-secondary degrees, and he said he wanted to see the country ranked first.
"We need to return to being the most talented place on earth," Kaine said, stressing the need for the United States' development of human capital.
Kaine released his economic platform roughly a year after his chief rival, former Gov. George Allen, released his. Kaine said he had previously designed an economic plan but wanted to collaborate with others to enhance his strategy before unveiling it.
Geoff Skelley, the media relations coordinator for the Center for Politics and a former Cavalier Daily Opinion columnist, said he did not think Kaine's delay in releasing an economic platform would affect the race.
"As much as people in the news and people like myself who follow this stuff for a living are going to talk about it... the average voter doesn't start paying attention to the election until August," Skelley said. "[But] now is a really good time to start showing what your campaign is about and really getting to the specifics, rather than just glossy stuff that has been talked about in the last two months."
Kaine served as the governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010 and lieutenant governor under Warner from 2002 to 2006.
Kaine said he plans to incorporate his gubernatorial experience into national politics, focusing in particular on cutting spending. Kaine said he had experience reducing outlays - including his own pay.
Despite acknowledging that his Senate race would likely be one of the most competitive in the nation, Kaine expressed confidence heading into the election.
"I'm a close specialist," Kaine said, referring to his 2002 victory against Del. Jay Katzen for the office of lieutenant governor in which he won by a margin of 2 percent. "My campaign is about optimism... the 2012 election is going to be one of optimism"