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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Governor Who?

Richmond's pride and joy, Tim Kaine, is finishing up a second lackluster year as Governor. He seems a likable guy and a good administrator, but a little short on inspiration and ideas. Judging from the polls, most people like it that way. I just don't follow state politics like I do City Hall. I don't find as interesting. Governor Kaine's idea of a bold initiative is universal Pre K. This is supposed to be some kind of remedy for the poor shape schools are reported to be in, especially for the urban poor. This also is designed to appeal to women voters who would be relieved of finding child care for their preschoolers, but I just haven't heard the groundswell calling for this. It's a major spending initiative expanding the role of government in our lives. Classic liberalism at it's best and worst. While the Republicans sit around and grumble about taxes and guns, both the Democrats and Republicans suffer from an appalling lack of ideas and intelligent debate. I guess that would be expecting a lot, but I do expect more, at least from a governor who is a former mayor of Richmond and should be keenly aware of the inequities between city and county governments, the steady creep of suburban sprawl with all it's attendant problems, both environmental, structural and economic, the appalling state of mass transit, the crippling restrictions of the archaic Dillon rule and the terrible waste of the war on drug users. He seems more to be just keeping his seat warm and staying out of trouble, the makings of a successful politician and a lackluster leader.

I feel some of the same disappointment in Tim Kaine that I feel about Doug Wilder. Both of them faced great opportunities to make significant changes for the better using the power of their respective positions. The two are in no way equal. Doug Wilder has been a colossal failure as Mayor while Tim Kaine has been just plain disappointing. His main support seems to come from Democrats who are just glad to have a Democrat as governor. It keeps the evil Republicans at bay and offers hope for a better future where Democrats watch over our every need. I suspect it's as much about putting friends in positions of influence and dolling out the cash to the politically connected. Now if only I were politically connected.

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