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  Kaine Grinning His Way to a Legacy
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ContributorThe Sunset Provision 
Last EditedThe Sunset Provision  Feb 16, 2007 12:38pm
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MediaNewspaper - Washington Post
News DateFriday, February 16, 2007 06:35:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionIf Virginia Sen. James Webb (D) is eternally serious [Virginia Notebook, Feb. 8], then Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) could be his opposite twin.

The "guv" is never without a wide grin.

Never mind that Kaine's in his 13th month on the job and still waiting for the General Assembly to reach a transportation deal he can sign. Or that his major land-use reforms look doomed this year. Or even that his preschool initiative has been trashed in the House of Delegates.

None of that seems to faze Kaine, who refuses to allow the news of the moment -- no matter how grim -- to wipe the confident smile off his face. It's as if he knows something we don't. Maybe he does.

The truth is that in Virginia, governors rarely seem to have much success in their first year in office. Kaine, like others before him, is entering his second full year in office without a big victory on which to claim his legacy.

That's certainly no worse than his predecessor, Mark R. Warner (D). The Richmond Times-Dispatch was still describing Warner as "bloodied and hobbled" by the end of his second year in office. It wasn't until his victory over House Republicans halfway through his third year that Warner seemed to be sprinkled with pixie dust.

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