At a press conference moments ago, President-elect Barack Obama endorsed Virginia Governor Tim Kaine to be the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee, succeeding the highly successful Howard Dean.
After praising Dean’s “outstanding work,” Obama highlighted Kaine’s “progressive philosophy” that allowed him to build “a model of good and responsible government in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
Kaine, who in February 2007 became one of the first prominent supporters of Obama’s presidential campaign, initially rejected Obama’s efforts to convince to take the helm of the party, but today he told the president-elect, “You are a very persuasive individual.”
He laid out three goals for his tenure as DNC chair: to “promote this president’s agenda,” to “carry the proud banner of this proud party” and to “engage Americans in new ways in politics.”
But he acknowledged the challenges of following in Dean’s footsteps. Under Dean’s four-year watch, the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006 and then made further gains in 2008 while also winning the presidency.
“I’ve got huge shoes to fill,” he admitted.
For the first time at a post-election press conference, Obama did not take questions from reporters.
Kaine must be officially elected by the DNC, but with Obama’s endorsement, it’s a foregone conclusion.
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