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Q&A with Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine

At an Oct. 14 Monitor breakfast, Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine discussed the outlook for Democrats in the midterm elections, the coming fight in state legislatures over redistricting congressional seats using the 2010 census, and how President Obama might change in the second half of his term.

By Dave Cook / October 16, 2010

Tim Kaine, Democratic National Committee chairman, at a Monitor Breakfast with reporters Oct. 14.

Michael Bonfigli/Special to The Christian Science Monitor

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Washington

Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine previously served as Virginia's governor. He was the guest at the Oct.14 Monitor breakfast in Washington. The Monitor has also extended a breakfast invitation to the Republican Party chairman.

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The outlook for Democrats in the midterm elections:

"We're running into a head wind, running uphill, which we acknowledge from the start.... I believe there's a strong uptick in energy on the Democratic side."

How he allocates resources to candidates:

"You don't have a single person that says you're giving me enough.... I'm not going to give a courtesy gift to a person who's going to win, and I'm not going to give a sympathy gift to a person who's going to lose."

Why top Democrats keep talking about former President Bush:

"We do talk about President Bush and Bush-era policies but only because this [Republican congressional] team has promised to embrace them if they get the majority....It is primarily a forward-looking argument."

Rumors he is moving to a cabinet position:

"I was not seeking the job I have. I did it because I was asked.... I'm just going to do what the president wants me to do."

The coming fight in state legislatures to redistrict congressional seats using the 2010 census:

"It's going to be a real blood bath, I would think."

How President Obama might change in the second half of his term:

"He feels like he got elected at a particularly tough time to do hard and important things.... Maybe we can think about the way to talk about it a little differently and communicate it differently. But I don't think the mission will fundamentally change."

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