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Monday, August 1, 2016

Washington Post: Tim Kaine's Zigzag Path to Gun Control

The Washington Post posted a great article on their website Monday afternoon about Tim Kaine's gun control journey.  Post reporter Laura Vozzella captured the essence of Kaine's political career as a candidate who says what he thinks will get him elected:
His current push for more regulation reflects new calculations by Democrats that after years of mass shootings, they can campaign on gun control and win.

“Back before you had these mass shootings that seem to happen every month, running on gun control did not put you in a strong position in a Southern state,” said Wayne Turnage, who served as chief of staff when Kaine was governor. “I don’t think there’s any question the national appetite has shifted.”
He first waded into the issue as Mayor of Richmond when he spent $7000 of taxpayer money to send busses of gun control supporters to the Million Mom March in 2000.  After an outcry from pro-rights advocates he finally agreed to raise the money from private sources to pay back the city treasury.  Vozzella goes on to lay out how a year later, when running for Lt. Governor, he was singing a different tune:
The next year, when Kaine was running for lieutenant governor, he needed to convince rural Virginia voters that he wasn’t too liberal. He rebranded himself as an outdoorsman who supports the Second Amendment and appreciates guns used for sport. He had camo-style bumper stickers printed. And he played up his role in helping to insert language in the state constitution that guarantees Virginians the right to hunt and fish.
Then he went clay target shooting to prove his Second Amendment bona fides as a candidate for Governor.  Now he relishes the fact that he is once again in the crosshairs of the NRA as Hillary Clinton's running mate, saying the group has opposed him every time he has run for office and he has never lost.

Read the entire article.  I don't often recommend articles in the Post but this piece is spot on.

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