The Washington Times - September 1, 2008, 11:18AM

Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell appeared a bit relieved Sunday that the speculation surrounding Sen. Barack Obama’s search for a running mate is now over. Rumors that Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat and good friend of the Illinois senator, might be named the potential VP spurred rumors about the potential impact of such a choice on next year’s gubernatorial election in the state. If Mr. Kaine had been selected and resigned for the campaign trail, Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling would have assumed the post for the remainder of the term. There was a problem though: Mr. Bolling had previously backed off his intentions to seek the governor’s seat in the 2009 election, instead opting to run for re-election and back Mr. McDonnell’s gubernatorial bid. That scenario sparked further speculation that Republicans would be better off simply backing Mr. Bolling as an incumbent in next year’s race if Mr. Kaine was named, while Democrats suggested Mr. Kaine’s selection and the line of succession would cause division within the ranks of their GOP rivals. Mr. McDonnell had been reluctant to discuss what he would hypothetically do if Mr. Kaine had been named. But when asked Sunday night at a welcome party for the Virginia delegation attending the Republican National Convention, the attorney general’s relief was apparent that Mr. Obama instead tagged Delaware Sen. Joe Biden. “It’s certainly likely that we would have had a different lineup with the lieutenant governor had Kaine been named — and won,” he said. The attorney general also previously emphasized the unity apparent in the McDonnell-Bolling ticket, while Democrats must decide between two candidates seeking the governor’s mansion: Delegate Brian Moran and state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds. “We’re very confident that we’re going to run a positive, issue-oriented campaign,” Mr. McDonnell said.