Maybe my view of Tim Kaine is colored by his failure to do anything to support his own Executive Order 1 (2006) - which allegedly afforded employment non-discrimination protections to gay Virginia state employees - when its effectiveness was being litigated in court after the leadership of the Virginia Museum of Natural History fired Michael Moore, a young gay man.
In the final analysis, Moore was fired solely because his sexual orientation apparently offended the sensibilities of then Musemum Executive Director Tim Gette. This is a topic I've addressed previously both here on Bilerico and on my personal blog.
Or maybe my dim view of Kaine is because he seemed more focused on his role at the DNC than he did on being governor during the period that his DNC responsibilities overlapped with his term as Governor of Virginia. Or it might even be because of his tone deafness to the issues important to the Democrat Party base and his utter failure to mobilize Democarats to prevent the 2009 GOP sweep in Virginia - which saddled the state with gay hater extradordinaire, Ken Cuccinelli - and the debacle in last November's federal elections.
Whatever the cause, I am far less than thrilled that Kaine will be remaining as DNC chair for another two years. While giving lip service to LGBT rights both as Governor of Virginia and at the DNC, Kaine is in truth anything but a strong LGBT ally, in my view, and activists in national LGBT rights organizations need to recognize that lip service will likely be all they see from Kaine. Hence why I am leaving the "Don't Ask, Don't Give" link on my personal blog for the time being.
Unless court decisions force change, I don't see either Obama or Kaine championing our equality over the next two years. These highlights from the Washington Post look at Kaine's decision to remain DNC chair:
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine said Sunday that he plans to stay at the helm of the national party another two years because that's where President Obama wants him to serve.
"My agreement with the president is I was going to do what he wants me to do," Kaine said on CNN's "State of the Union." "And what I know sitting here today is he wants me to continue in this spot and that's what I'm going to do with excitement, you know, traveling all around the country, going through the TSA lines like everybody else, going out and being the president's advocate and promoter. And it's a wonderful job and I intend continue it."
Obama campaigned for Kaine's gubernatorial bid in 2005; two years later, Kaine became the first major elected official outside of Illinois to back Obama's White House bid. He also was on Obama's vice presidential shortlist in 2008.
Late last year, Politico reported that senior Democratic officials were floating the possibility of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs succeeding Kaine as DNC chairman, with Kaine potentially in line for a Cabinet job. At the time, the White House pushed back against the speculation and a Kaine aide noted that the chairmanship is a four-year term.
Again, my prediction with Kaine: two more years of mealy-mouthed lip service to LGBT equality, but no leadership or action at the DNC chair level. It's unfortunate, but I believe that is what we will see occur.