Oct 28, 2008

Kaine addresses campus in support of Sen. Obama

by Jennifer Schmidt

In lieu of a rumored appearance by Sen. Barack Obama, the democratic campaign commissioned Gov. Tim Kaine to address Liberty’s student body during Monday’s convocation. Introduced by Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. as a man of accomplishment, Kaine referred to himself as “a surrogate for Barack Obama.”

In the brief speech, Kaine noted how “happy” he was to revisit Liberty, telling students “I know the school values your participation” in the election process. Kaine referred to Obama as a close friend, one of his main reasons for joining the campaign in 2007.

“I saw things in him that are important for the next president,” Kaine said. “He has strong moral values . . . and he has dealt with adversity in powerful ways.” Kaine explained his admiration for Obama’s inner-city work in Chicago, saying, “I have a heart for people who allocate their talents to help the least of these.”

Kaine noted the gravity of America’s current economic position, but did not give any specifics regarding Obama’s plan to address the problems. He defined the strength of national security three ways – “strong military,” “strong diplomacy” and “strong moral example” to the world.

Kaine then addressed two “concerns” he said most Liberty students would have – abortion and gay marriage.

“Obama wants to reduce the numbers of abortions in the U.S.,” Kaine said, explaining Obama’s focus on abstinence education – “not abstinence-only education” – and providing better health care.

Kaine prefaced his remarks on the gay marriage issue stating, “Both myself and Barack Obama believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” eliciting cheers from the audience. Some of these turned into boos following his further comments, expressing support for civil rights of gay individuals.

He closed by focusing on the country as a whole, “Everyone here believes we are in a challenging time . . . we need God’s grace to get us through the challenges ahead.”

Kaine explained once more why he “feels so comfortable being (Obama’s) supporter,” because the senator is able to work with those that hold different views.

“We need humility – none of us have all the answers,” Kaine said. “Obama finds the intersection of those views and wants to work together to achieve unity in those areas.”

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