Mr. Kaine praised Mr. McDonnell for the campaign he ran and while he stopped short of criticizing Mr. Deeds' campaign, he said the Democrat acted on bad advice.Of course, it's easy to blame Deeds' top advisers - and, no doubt, they deserve it - but, as Jim Webb says, "the fish rots from the head down." So, just as Creigh Deeds is ultimately responsible for his horrible campaign, Bob McDonnell gets ultimate credit for the well-oiled (albeit fundamentally dishonest) campaign he presided over.
"I saw it coming as soon as the primary was over," Mr. Kaine said about the Democrat's eventual defeat. Mr. Kaine said Mr. Deeds ran a great primary campaign but "his advisers told him to switch his campaign from what he did in the primary."
"I think they gave him bad advice," he said.
"I was very involved. I was extremely involved in trying to convince them from the first poll I saw, trying to convince them to do otherwise," Mr. Kaine said, adding that it was now "water under the bridge."
By the way, I find it interesting that Tim Kaine's still commenting on the 2009 campaign, both in this interview as well as to Bob Lewis, to whom "he speaks warmly of McDonnell, generously praising his victorious campaign." Apparently, Kaine is rankled his legacy will not include a Democratic successor, in addition to his frustrations over transportation, universal pre-k education, and enormous cuts to state services and personnel. All in all, other than helping elect Barack Obama and signing a smoking ban into law, it was a frustrating four years for Tim Kaine...