Former Governor of Virginia Doug Wilder Tuesday urged President Barack Obama to remove Tim Kaine–a fellow member of the Virginia Governors club who once earned Wilder’s endorsement–from his post atop the Democratic National Committee.
“[A] spate of recent losses in races that Democrats should have won underscores what has been obvious to me for a long time,” Wilder wrote in a column for Politico. “The Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee is the wrong job for him.”
Wilder, who became the nation’s first black governor in 1990, also had tough words for the President, writing that Obama’s seemingly permanent campaign may be hindering legislative successes.
“Getting elected and getting things done for the people are two different things,” he said. Excelling at the latter, he said, requires overhauling Obama’s team by “replacing the admittedly brilliant advisers who helped elect him with others more capable of helping him govern.”
But if the President hopes to salvage his agenda, and the 2010 midterm elections, he’ll need to do more than fire his hand-picked party chairman: He’ll need to disavow the nepotism that plagues his administration.
“The changes must go deeper. Obama’s West Wing is filled with people who are in their jobs because of their Chicago connections or because they signed on with Obama early during his presidential campaign,” Wilder wrote.
Wilder’s reminder that the “ax is already at the tree” comes after months of muted criticism from within the Democratic ranks that Kaine, who until recently was dividing his time between the DNC and the governor’s mansion, was “not doing either of jobs very well.”
The Republican National Committee today jumped on the opportunity to draw attention to the potential schism, emailing reporters a research memo entitled “The DNC Dud.”
Highlighting Kaine’s impotency on the trail and in fundraisers, the memo said that despite his influence as the out-going governor and Democratic party chief, “Kaine couldn’t even muster” a win for the Democrat in his native Virginia.