November 13, 2005
The Governor-Elect of Virginia, Tim Kaine, is part of a new breed of Democrats. Even in a "red state" a Democratic Candidate, who posseses the optimum blend of centrism and common sense practicality, can be elected. Add in a healthy sprinkling of religious references and expression and the candidate becomes very palatable indeed to the average American voter.
This observation is either alarming or refreshing ...it's hard to know which. I believe that the man is genuinely religious. He is religious without be a zealot. Also, importantly, he got elected by moving to the center, AKA moving to the right (in his case). As an optimist, I choose to believe that Governor-Elect Kaine representend himself genuinely as religious man who is opposed to abortion. A cynic would say that he simply adopted some conservative principles that which he strategised would get him elected. Whatever the case may be, it would seem prudent if some of the more far-left Democrats were to adopt the Tim Kaine playbook of moving to the center if they want to get elected. I believe that we will start to see more and more Democrats abandoning the far-left Michael Moore conspiracy theory brand of rhetoric in lieu of a much more practical and agreeable brand of centrism.
If my prediction comes true a new paradigm of political positioning will emerge onto the American political landscape. It is Clinton-era triangulation* re-invented. The ingredients of this new type of triangulation seems to be: Tough, centrist, Democrats claiming the political territory of religion, and hawk-ishness usually reserved for Republicans. What will be the next ingredient? Democrats getting elected by promising to cut taxes? It's almost a "if ya can't beat 'em join 'em" mentality or perhaps more cynically a "if ya can't beat 'em then simply adopt their policies and platforms".
*The main principle behind the political strategy of triangulation is that if a candidiate assumes the same or similar positions of thier opponent then the line that differenciates the two candidates is blurred thus increasing the chance of success for the chameleon-like candidate.
My prediction is that we will see a new wave of centrist Democrats attaining success by adopting this latest incarnation of Triangulation... Did someone say Hilary?
We shall see.