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Report: Kaine ‘very, very high’ on Obama short list

Item by Chris Graham

A story published today on has Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine “very, very high” on the short list of presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Barack Obama’s running mates.

Kaine is “getting a critical examination,” the website quoted a source who has spoken recently to senior Obama campaign aides about Kaine.

Kaine, 50, was elected governor in 2005 after having served as lieutenant governor under Mark Warner and previously as mayor of the City of Richmond. A Kaine selection would up the already impressive efforts of the Obama campaign to make Virginia a battleground state. Virginia has not given its electoral votes to a Democratic Party candidate since 1964, but the Obama campaign has treated the Old Dominion as a top priority, opening 20 campaign offices in localities across the Commonwealth earlier this month, with plans to open more, including headquarters in Staunton and Waynesboro, in the coming weeks.

The Politico story highlights Kaine’s political experience in Virginia along with his work as a civil-rights lawyer and Catholic missionary in Latin America as his key attributes.

Kaine’s communications director, Delacey Skinner, told Politico that Kaine is “flattered to be mentioned” in the veep talk, “but he also made a pledge at that point that any strategic conversations he was going to have with the campaign he would keep private.”