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Kaine Kicks Off U.S. Senate Run With Speech to Fairfax Democrats

Former Virginia Gov. and Democratic National Committee chair Tim Kaine, in his first major address in Virginia since announcing his plans to seek the U.S. Senate seat in 2012, delivered a fired up campaign clarion call to hundreds of supporters at the annual Fairfax County Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in McLean tonight. Dispelling any notion that he relucantly agreed to run to keep in Democratic hands the Senate seat bring vacated by the retiring Sen. Jim Webb, Kaine exclaimed tonight, “I’m all in. I’ve never lost a race and I am not going to lose this one” to rousing cheers from the audience.

Former Virginia Gov. and Democratic National Committee chair Tim Kaine, in his first major address in Virginia since announcing his plans to seek the U.S. Senate seat in 2012, delivered a fired up campaign clarion call to hundreds of supporters at the annual Fairfax County Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in McLean tonight. Dispelling any notion that he relucantly agreed to run to keep in Democratic hands the Senate seat bring vacated by the retiring Sen. Jim Webb, Kaine exclaimed tonight, “I’m all in. I’ve never lost a race and I am not going to lose this one” to rousing cheers from the audience.

Responding to reports of a poll showing he and prospective GOP challenger George Allen in a “dead heat” at this stage, 19 months before the November 2012 election, Kaine said that although he’s never lost an election since he began running for mayor of Richmond in 1995, he’s never been ahead in any poll before Labor Day of any election year, so he looks at the current poll with optimism. Noting the gains in economic growth, educational achievement and embracing of diversity in the last two decades, Kaine predicted that “2011 and 2012 will be good years to run as a Democrat. He said his party’s gains in the past decade elevated it politically from :”irrelevancy” to the Democrats in statewide and national races, to “a battleground state” which is what it will be in 2011 and 2012. “In battleground states, you win some and you lose some,” he said. “We Democrats lost some in the last two years, but when you are in a battleground state, perseverance matters.”

“We have a record to run on,” he said, noting that he was governor of Virginia when the Great Recession hit, yet while he was forced to make many tough decisions to cut the budget, “We did it without screwing up the economy or shredding the social safety net.” Now, he noted, the Republicans in Washington are talking about breaking up Medicare and Social Security. He noted that if someone put $1 into the stock market when George W Bush came into office, when Bush left it would be worth 78 cents. If someone put $1 in the market when Obama came into office, it would be worth $1.50 today. The Bush administration left office with 22 consecutive months of job losses, and the Obama administration has had 13 straight months of job growth.

“My wife and I, through our law practices and my 16 years in elective office, have always operated with a passion for making Virginia better,” Kaine said. “It is our passion to make Virginia more economically just, socially inclusive and politically competitive. We’ve been participants in that effort throughout. So, when there’s a battle afoot, you don’t stand on the sidelines.” Thus, he said, his decision to run.

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Kaine Kicks Off U.S. Senate Run With Speech to Fairfax Democrats

img_3091Former Virginia Gov. and Democratic National Committee chair Tim Kaine, in his first major address in Virginia since announcing his plans to seek the U.S. Senate seat in 2012, delivered a fired up campaign clarion call to hundreds of supporters at the annual Fairfax County Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in McLean Sunday night.

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