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Tim Kaine: Taking Email — and His Campaign — to the Next Level

By Mike Signer | April 25, 2012 | No Comments

Anyone who’s run for office or been involved in campaigns knows that campaign emails usually don’t feature the most original or adventurous prose, much less arguments.  Yet in the many years that I’ve known him, Tim Kaine has always been a politician impatient with received wisdom.  Just as he’s comfortable challenging audiences to rethink basic assumptions (rather than simply play to them) and a person who, even as DNC Chair returned to Richmond to teach classes at the University of Richmond, he also wants to raise the bar when it comes to basic aspects of how his campaign communicates with his (hopeful) new Senate constituents.

Hence the extraordinary email he sent yesterday.  I’m pasting it in full below.  In the email, Tim carefully works through an outrageous, Karl Rove-type attack that the George Allen campaign has been launching recently, asserting that because Kaine has worked with President Obama, that he’s not on the side of Virginia.  We’ve grown accustomed to this sort of blunderbuss politics, and it’s one of the reasons the U.S. Senate seems so fundamentally broken.  Usually, like deserves like — outrage receives outrage.

But Tim does something different in this email — he walks the reader through exactly why the attack is so absurd (in face of Tim’s long and specific service in Virginia), what his relationship exactly is with President Obama (he agrees sometimes, disagrees sometimes, but is always proud to support the elected chief executive of the greatest nation on earth), and puts Allen’s attack in its proper context — as a symptom of everything Virginians should repudiate with their vote this fall.

Kudos to Tim and his campaign for marshaling facts, logic, and patriotism to respond to another tawdry shadow from the Bush-era politics of destruction our country desperately needs to claw out of, if we’re ever to summon the collective energy to tackle today’s problems.

And here’s the email:


Dear Michael,

I’ve seen a lot in 18 years in politics. But here’s something that surprised me.

My Senate opponent, George Allen, is using billboards that say: “Tim Kaine. Obama’s Senator. Not Virginia’s.”

The message? That somehow, supporting the President makes you anti-Virginian. And today we learned that Karl Rove’s group, Crossroads, is coming out with a new attack ad against me tomorrow that reinforces that same message.

Most Virginians want our President to succeed — regardless of party — because that means our country and state will succeed.

And I can’t think of anything that’s more pro-Virginian.

It’s time we reject this type of divisive politics. If you want a Senator who’ll partner with the President to do what’s best for the nation, I’m your guy.

But I need your help to raise an additional $50,000 before the end of the month so we can fight back against these attacks and send an important message.

Can you make a contribution today and show that it’s not anti-Virginian to support the President? Your support will help show that it’s pro-Virginian and pro-American.

I’ve lived in the same neighborhood in Richmond for 27 years, and Anne and I have raised our three kids here.

I’ve served my community as a civil rights lawyer, parish council member, non-profit board chair, councilman, Mayor, Lieutenant Governor, and Governor.

I’ve helped my city and state win accolades for quality of life, business climate, and fiscal management.

But, suddenly I’m anti-Virginian?

We’re a state where more than 1 in 10 people are veterans and where our active duty, Guard and Reserve, DOD civilian employees, DOD contractors and military families predominate. We’re the home of the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery and the greatest concentration of naval power on earth. Suddenly it’s anti-Virginian to support the Commander in Chief — the man who ordered the mission to take out Osama bin Laden?

I am a proud friend and supporter of President Obama. We don’t always agree. And, when we disagree, I have and will continue to say so.

But the President is the top elected official of the greatest nation on earth. I’ll always work hard to be a partner to the President — whoever the person and whatever the party — for the good of my Commonwealth and my country. Just as I worked with President George W. Bush when I was governor.

Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?

Too many of our politicians would rather fight partisan battles. Too many of our politicians would rather pit us against one another — telling us what makes us a “real Virginian” and what doesn’t.

I have news for them. We’re ALL real Virginians. We may not always agree on every issue, but we all love this Commonwealth and country, and want to work together to address tomorrow’s challenges, not rehash yesterday’s battles.

Can you make a contribution today and help to restore the politics of respect and defeat the politics of division?

Thanks very much.

Tim Kaine

Paid for by Kaine For Virginia

Contributions or gifts to Kaine for Virginia are not tax deductible.

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