Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has ruled out a run for State Attorney General, citing his desire to devote his time to his family. He did, however, say that a political run was the next step in his future.
Virginia- (this is a big one...be patient...)
Several high-profile Democrats are lining up to run against incumbent Republican Senator George Allen in 2006. Democrats are angry with Allen because of his role in the 2004 Senate elections that elected 7 new GOP senators. Some names that are being circulated include: Governor Mark Warner, Lt. Governor Tim Kaine, Congressman Rick Boucher, Congressman Bobby Scott, 1997 Lt. Governor nominee L.F. Payne, Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim, and retired General Claudia Kennedy.
Here's my opinion of each candidates pros and cons--
1-Mark Warner-Warner is a self-made millionare in the communications business (think Nextel). Everyone knows Warner will run for something...they just don't know what for sure. His options are...A)2006 against Allen..B)2008 in a potential open Senate race...C)President/Vice President in 2008. While I do hope he runs, I'm inclined to think he'll pass on this one.
2-Tim Kaine-Kaine, a former Richmond Mayor, is currently running for Governor in 2005 against Jerry Kilgore. If that doesn't work out like we hope it does, Kaine's most logical step would be to run for the Senate. Tim Kaine is a great person and a very nice guy to talk to, and if he can convey that on the campaign trail, he'll have a good chance. He must, however, avoid the "too Liberal" label that plagued him in the 2001 LG race.
3-Rick Boucher-Boucher has been my district's congressman since 1982, and prides himself on constituent service. He represents an area about the size on New Jersey, so running state-wide wouldn't be much of a problem. He's fairly moderate on economic issues, which will sit well with the voters in Central and Southside Virginia.
4-Bobby Scott-An African American, Scott will do very well in the inner cities where there are high black populations, but will probably sink in the rural areas. Scott is probably the farthest Left in the list of potentials. If I were a gambling man, I wouldn't put my money on Bobby Scott.
5-L.F. Payne-Payne is probably the least known of the group, but, like Warner and Kaine, has already ran statewide (although Payne lost to John Hager). Payne is also the oldest of the group, but he is plainspoken and does very well with senior citizens and minority groups. This will help him not only in high black population areas (southside) but also in areas such as Russell County, Dickenson County, etc. (Boucher's backyard)
6-Paul Fraim-Tim Kaine tried to convince Paul Fraim to run for LG in 2005, but Fraim passed, possibly for a 2006 race. Fraim has executive experience and is an excellent speaker. Watch Fraim closely to see if he comes from the socialist wing of the left to take out Payne or Scott.
7-Claudia Kennedy-The first woman to attain the rank of General in the U.S. Army, Kennedy would obviously do well with traditionaly Republican groups, like military voters and "soccer moms," not to mention the Conservative Democrats who couldn't stomach John Kerry's anti-war stand.
The candidates I'm going to support will be Kaine, Payne, Fraim, and Kennedy. Of the four, I can't pick a favorite.
In other news, Tim Kaine actually called me yesterday, and I'm his coordinator for my city! Petition drives, bumper stickers, signs, pins, and good ole politicing. Fun fun fun!