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McAuliffe Backs Kaine

The Falls Church (Va.) News-Press has this interesting report from the Fairfax County Democratic Committee:

The former national chairman of the Democratic Party who ran Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign this year told 200 Democratic activists in Fairfax County Tuesday that Virginia Governor Tim Kaine would be his party's best choice as Barack Obama's vice presidential running mate.

Terry McAuliffe brought his articulate, high energy speaking style to the monthly meeting of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee at Oakton High School, to, among other things, "make no mistake" that his party leadership considers Virginia "a battleground state" in the 100 days left to fight it out for the presidency this fall....

McAuliffe was adamant in his recommendation of Kaine as the Democratic Party's vice presidential nominee Tuesday, although he stressed to the News-Press after his speech, which included an informal half-hour question and answer period, that the ultimate choice will be Obama's very personal one.

However, the fact that he proposed Kaine over his own candidate and long-time friend, Hillary Clinton, suggested that he knows the Clinton option is off the table.

He told the large audience in the school cafeteria that there are only two factors in picking a vice president. The first, he said, is the ability of the choice to govern effectively as president, if need be. The second is personal compatibility with the presidential candidate.

"These are the only two factors that really matter," he said. "Others, like geographical considerations, are much less important."

The Politico's Ben Smith got this email from McAuliffe advisor Tracy Sefl:

Terry McAuliffe obviously thinks very highly of Governor Kaine and praised him in his trademark, exuberant way to a packed room of Virginia Democrats. There's a tremendous field of potential Vice Presidential candidates, including Senator Clinton and Governor Kaine. And Mr. McAuliffe supports whatever decision Senator Obama makes.

There is no bigger Clinton cheerleader than Terry McAuliffe. So whomever he is boosting doesn't matter so much as the fact that he's not boosting Clinton.