March 29th, 2011
08:38 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) - At a DNC fundraiser in Harlem, Barack Obama all but endorsed outgoing DNC chair and former Virginia governor Tim Kaine for U.S. Senate – a decision Kaine has not yet made (or at least announced).
While many have speculated Kaine will go “plunging back into the hurly-burly of electoral politics,” as Obama described it, so far the DNC chair has only coyly said he is likely to run for the seat being vacated by Sen. Jim Webb (D).
"I don't know if those rumors are true, but what I do know is that I cannot imagine someone who has been a better partner to me, a better friend,” Obama said, according to a pool report. “Should he choose to do so, he would be an outstanding senator for the commonwealth of Virginia."
Perhaps this pre-endorsement is some kind of quid pro quo. After all, Kaine, then Virginia’s Governor (and superdelegate), was one of Obama's earliest supporters after the Illinois senator launched his long shot campaign against Hillary Clinton.
“I've often said, even better than being a part of a historical" campaign is "the opportunity to play a small part in a transformative presidency," Kaine said of Obama at the $1.5 million fundraiser.
If Kaine were to receive his party's nomination, he would likely face former Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator George Allen, who has already announced his candidacy.