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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

DNC Chair enjoying Crist-Rubio duel, hopes Alex Sink sticks close by Obama



Kaine Buzz caught up with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, who has been raising money, meeting with activists (and Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio) in Tampa, Orlando, and Sarasota. The former Virginia governor says he's paying close attention to Florida's senate and governor campaigns.

"Both of those statewide races matter a lot to us, because frankly in your midterms normally you're just worrying about playing defense and we don't want to just play defense. We want to play offense and Florida gives us two opportunities to play offense in big statewide races,'' said Kaine, who has been watching the tough Senate primary between Crist and Rubio.

"In Florida and elsewhere we are really struck by this deep divide between what we call the tea party side of the Republican party and the Republican moderates such as they exist. That divide worked for us when the Republican party chased Arlen Specter into the Democratic party in March, it worked for us when the Republican party turned on their own congressional candidate in upstate New York and we think this continuing divide will definitely going to have an effect in the Florida senate race." said Kaine, noting the strong fundraising by Democratic senate candidate Kendrick Meek.

He dismissed the suggestion that Sink should distance herself from Obama, given his falling approval ratings: "No percentage in doing that. I had a gubernatorial candidate in Virginia, my erstwhile successor, who did that despite a lot of advice to the contrary and he did very poorly,'' said Kaine, suggesting Sink should instead work closely with the president on helping small businesses and creating jobs.

"She is the best positioned candidate for governor we've had for some time in Florida, and the president is very supportive of her and so am I."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:16pm]


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