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Tim Kaine to Head DNC; Will the Fifty-State Strategy Survive?

timkaine.thumbnail.jpgLooks like as of today, Virginia governor Tim Kaine is the new head of the Democratic National Committee.

The reaction to this has been interesting, to say the least:

Sara K. Smith of Wonkette (via MSNBC): Tim Kaine’s "a terrible drip" who is getting the "powerless" DNC post as a consolation prize for losing out in the VP race.

Al Giordano of The Field: Kaine understands Latino voters and their issues, which is of prime importance as they are a) a fast-growing segment of the American populace and b) not as firmly locked up in the Democratic camp as we would like.

Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight: "Kaine does strike me as being a pretty good fit for this position, though. He oozes a certain sort of optimistic sincerity that ought to play pretty well on television, where he’s liable to be deployed ubiquitously on the Sunday Morning talk circuit, perhaps sometimes playing ‘good cop’ to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. It seems probable that Kaine’s role is going to be more about public relations than tactics, with the latter function to be fulfilled in large part by elements of the Obama apparatus itself."

One thing that’s been mentioned a lot in the discussion of Kaine: His personally pro-life stance, which he takes as a devout Catholic. However, that stance doesn’t always seem to translate into anti-choice policies — at least, not enough to please the anti-choicers over at Pro Life News, which labels Kaine "pro-abortion".

The big question: Is this the end of Howard Dean’s Fifty-State Strategy? Or will that strategy, as Nate Silver believes, be taken up by Obama’s "apparatus"? And is that a healthy development, if so?

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