Former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder endorsed Democrat Tim Kaine yesterday in Richmond, but not without the feeling of party duty. That’s been the Kilgore campaign’s talking point on the event, but reports of the event confirm it. One of Kaine’s hallmark positions in the campaign is his support for the 2004 “budget reform” (read: enormous tax increase). As governor, Wilder closed a large deficit without raising taxes (we call it “cutting spending”) and he still disagrees with last year’s hike.
Oddly, the Richmond Times-Dispatch article (linked above) explains Wilder’s delay in endorsing Kaine as a tactical choice: “he ‘wanted to show that it wasn’t the usual partisan endorsement.'”
The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star has a different story: “Asked why he waited so late…, Wilder said he was seriously weighing the candidates.”
Seriously weighing the candidates until the last week in the race? Sounds like a tough choice: buck the party (again), endorse a Republican, and cause an uproar, or endorse a mediocre, tax-raising Democrat.