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Friday, September 21, 2012

A Tim Kaine Gaffe?

Or is this a moment of honest rumination?

If he's being straightforward, he's in big trouble with his base.  And with his buddies in the media.  But me?  I'd like to hear more from him.

Because Tim Kaine may be on to something:
Candidate's "47 percent" remark narrows Virgina Senate race
By Patricia Zengerle, Reuters

Washington (Reuters) - Democrat Tim Kaine handed his Republican rival George Allen a gift in their closely watched Virginia Senate race on Thursday, when he said unexpectedly he would be "open" to a plan to force all Americans to pay some level of federal income taxes.

Kaine made his comment in a debate when he was asked something that should have been easy for him - weigh in on Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's assertion that 47 percent of Americans pay no federal income taxes and feel entitled to government assistance.

"I would be open to a proposal that would have some minimum tax level for everyone," Kaine said, a comment that seemed ideal for use in Allen's advertising ahead of the November 6 election.

Kaine continued by referring to Romney, saying, "But I do insist, many of the 47 percent that Governor Romney was going after pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than he does."

The gaffe came just as polls showed Kaine starting to pull away from Allen, a former governor and U.S. senator. The two men are vying for the U.S. Senate seat now held by retiring Democrat Jim Webb, who narrowly defeated Allen's re-election bid six years ago. [link]
The Reuters reporter dutifully characterizes Kaine's candor as being a gift to Romney, like that which Kaine said was a huge no-no.

But here in red-state Virginia?

Demanding that everyone "have some skin in the game" and that everyone help row this boat we call the USA is very mainstream.* And it'll be well-received here in the Commonwealth.

If he's being truthful ...

* Sorry about the use of that awful metaphor. It won't happen again.
** You can tell the Reuters reporter is pissed with Kaine.  How else to explain the headline announcing that his "gaffe" had narrowed the race, before any polls made such a statement a reality.