State of the Commonwealth Reax
Yes, I did watch Tim Kaine's speech last night. Although I'll admit I did flip over to the red carpet coverage at the Golden Globes a couple of times. I stopped after I thought I saw Preston Bryant and Eva Longoria in the same camera shot.
All in all, it was a fairly unsurprising speech. Kaine talked mainly about spending gobs and gobs of more money on education and transportation. He pledged to work in a bipartisan fashion, as if he had a choice. And he provided very little in the way of specifics. The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Roanoke Times, and Washington Post each have decent coverage of the speech.
Around the blogosphere, Chad Dotson has the rundown, while OMT's Norm Leahy links to a very relevant column in the RTD focusing on transportation. I look forward to more reactions especially from Bacon's Rebellion and Waldo Jaquith.
From my perspective, Kaine is certainly right that something must be done on transportation, and soon. I resist the easy solution of simply throwing more money at the problem and I believe that there will be a vigorous debate over the issue in the months to come. As Kaine pointed out last night, this is a problem that affects ALL Virginians, not just those in the DC suburbs or Hampton Roads. I was encouraged by AG Bob McDonnell's response here:
Tonight, the Governor outlined his vision for the Commonwealth. As the former chief patron of legislation to lock up the Transportation Trust Fund, I was encouraged to hear the Governor continue his support for this proposal, and am hopeful we will continue to increase public-private partnerships as part of the transportation discussion. Improving transportation is but one of many challenges we will face in the years ahead. Working together, we will build a stronger and more secure Commonwealth.I hope that all Virginians will be engaged in this effort and will demand openness and accountability from their legislators.
Finally, I have to say that Tim Kaine's eyebrow is certain to have a place of prominence among the Virginia electorate for the next four years. That thing is out of control.