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State Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw said it “doesnt matter one whit.”

“If a guy who was chairman of the DNC for three years doesnt have a Rolodex to beat the band, I dont know who does,” Mr. Saslaw, Fairfax Democrat, said.

But Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican, said Mr. Kaine will have to answer for his connections - and it wont be easy.

Like other observers of the race, Mr. Bolling said he thought Mr. Kaine enjoyed his DNC position too much to run, if not for the urging of the president. Mr. Kaine is a “reluctant warrior,” he said.

“The last two years, hes been the chief apologist for Barack Obamas failed policies,” Mr. Bolling said. “Obama and Tim Kaine are joined at the hip.”

Mr. Kaine doesnt deny his connection to Mr. Obama could prove detrimental if the presidents popularity suffers during the campaign - not only because of his close connections to Mr. Obama, but also because of Virginias status as a bellwether state in national politics.

But he said he likes his chances “within the framework” of how Mr. Obamas campaign fares.

“If youre not competitive and relevant in presidential politics, youre actually not that competitive in politics at all,” Mr. Kaine said. “Virginia is a microcosm. It means that if anybody wants to achieve high office, they have to come and speak directly to Virginians.”