Wilder on Campaigning vs. Governing

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This is worth watching, if not to see Governor Wilder’s criticisms of Kaine, but to really see the depth this man has.  Every time I listen to Doug Wilder, the more I like him.  In fact, if you go forward and read his editorial slamming the DNC leadership, you can tell how measured Wilder really is in his criticism — what Wilder doesn’t say speaks almost as clearly as what he does say:

I still believe Obama can stand for positive change. But first he must make some hard changes of his own.

The need is becoming more obvious by the day: He must overhaul his own team, replacing the admittedly brilliant advisers who helped elect him with others more capable of helping him govern. Getting elected and getting things done for the people are two different jobs.

I am an admirer of Tim Kaine, whom I backed in his current position as one of my successors as Virginia governor and even recommended for the vice presidency. But a spate of recent losses in races that Democrats should have won underscores what has been obvious to me for a long time: The chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee is the wrong job for him.

…and of course he’s right.  You look at the way the Obama Administration has conducted itself over its first year, and you can see clearly that Obama’s team was poorly equipped to govern.  Even Wilder is very careful not to criticize Obama… just the people who serve him.

Of course, Kaine doesn’t come out of this looking like a peach.  Criticized by Wilder, losing the Governor’s Mansion to a GOP that was bitterly fractured and just overcoming the ouster of Jeff Frederick at RPV six months earlier, watching the House Republicans pad their majorities, and losing several special elections nationwide — Kaine deserves to hear some criticism.

More importantly, the Democratic Party needs to figure out what it’s about.  Obama has clearly ruined much of the goodwill with which he entered the White House.  Congressional Democrats have not been allowed to consolidate their majorities.  Public opinion is now starkly opposed to any Democratic agenda on health care.  Kaine’s job is to smooth some of this over… and clearly there’s not a lot he can do if Obama won’t let him.

Still… not quite the legacy Kaine wanted to leave behind nationally, but a legacy many in Virginia were quite familiar with in Richmond.

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