Wednesday, April 06, 2011

In the blue corner, Tim Kaine . . .

Tim Kaine's campaign for Senate has a second video out today talking about Governor Kaine's achievements and generally highlighting his positive vision for Virginia. This video demonstrates one of the reasons that Kaine will be so difficult for the Republicans to beat next year, particularly if they run George F. Allen.

Tim Kaine is a pretty rare political animal--he's someone with a positive vision who is also perfectly comfortable in a fight. A lot of Democratic politicians have positive outlooks, but they shrink away from Republican schrecklichkeit negative tactics. Kaine knows how to throw a punch, as Jerry Kilgore learned to his chagrin. Indeed, it is precisely the unfocused, flailing nature of the Republican attack machine that makes it so vulnerable to someone like Kaine.

Let me make a very broad prediction about how this electoral narrative will play out. Allen and his camp will snipe at Kaine until next year's Shad Planking, when Allen will attempt to roll out a new "nice guy" image. Shortly thereafter, Allen will go hard negative, but it will have little effect on the polls. Allen will go even more negative--the Republican "death spin," as I've called it before, and grow even more frustrated as his attacks fail. Finally, Allen will somehow go too far and fatally damage himself, as he did in 2006.

But that is where the similarity with 2006 will end. Because while Jim Webb withdrew behind his own unassailable rock-jawed dignity and refused to respond to the Allen smear machine, at some point Kaine will respond. Like the political boxer he is, Kaine will await the moment when his flailing opponent steps wrong, lowers his guard and then punish him. The bullyboy Allen loves to dish out negative attacks, but his knees will buckle the moment Kaine counterattacks. Everyone in the Virginia blogosphere and punditocracy knows the following: George F. Allen has a glass jaw.

In 2012, Tim Kaine will end the political career of George F. Allen.

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