Digital News Report- In a press conference at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) today, President-elect Barack Obama announced his selection of Virginia Governor Tim Kaine to succeed Governor Howard Dean as Chairman of the DNC. Dean has been the DNC Chairman since February of 2005.
Governor Dean offered his congratulations to Governor Kaine stating, “I was actively engaged in Tim’s campaign for governor… and knew then he would become one of our Party’s great leaders. Tim’s strong record of accomplishment has resulted in Virginia being named the best-managed state in America.”
Kaine was elected governor in 2005, after serving as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and Mayor of Richmond. His accomplishments include promoting smart growth reforms to help traffic move better, increasing the number of children getting health care and a pre-K education, and invested in schools while holding them more accountable. Kaine is also known for his response to the Virginia Tech tragedy in 2007, where he cancelled a trade mission to Japan and India to attend to the situation.
“Governor Kaine is uniquely qualified to expand the coalition for change we built over the past two years,” said President-elect Obama. “In a state as diverse as Virginia, Tim has been a successful governor not by appealing to our divisions, but by appealing to our common hopes; not by pursuing policies that advance any ideology, but by pursuing policies that work for the people of Virginia.”
Kaine endorses President-elect Barack Obama during the primaries in February 2007. He was the first major politician to endorse Obama outside of Illinois. Kaine gained even more attention when rumors started circulating that he was on a short list to be Obama’s running mate. Senator Joe Biden was eventually selected for the position. Obama was very outspoken in favor of Kaine’s bid for Governor saying that Kaine, “has a message of fiscal responsibility and generosity of spirit.”
“In Virginia, we’ve treated politics as a way to advance policy and get things done for people,” said Governor Kaine. “That’s why we’ve not only won elections, but our state has been ranked as the best managed, and we’ve made meaningful differences in people’s lives. President-elect Obama is giving me the opportunity to take that approach nationwide, and I’m honored to be here.”
Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, who is a veteran organizer and manager who served as the Obama campaign’s Battleground States Director, will serve as Executive Director. Obama has said that, “Jen O’Malley Dillon is a tireless organizer, a beloved manager, and has served me as a trusted advisor. She will ensure… that we will continue to build our grassroots movement from the ground up in all 50 states.”
Dean has also expressed his support of O’Malley saying, “her strong managerial and political skills make her well-equipped for running the day-to-day operations of the DNC, and I wish her the best of luck.”