Tim Kaine is the ideal Senate candidate because he's "never lost an election," according to Virginia Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw (D).
Kaine, the Democratic National Committee chairman, is widely considered his party's best prospect for retaining the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.). The former governor, who is reportedly on vacation with his family, is expected to announce next week whether he'll run for Senate.
During an interview with WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi on Friday, Saslaw rattled off Kaine's list of electoral victories, which include becoming mayor of Richmond, Va., lieutenant governor and then governor of Virginia.
"He's shown that he can not only govern but he can win statewide elections," Saslaw said. "He's one of the brightest people I've ever met."
Saslaw admitted that Democrats don't have many other candidates to choose from besides Kaine. "That's not a state secret," he said. "It's a big drop off from Tim to the next guy."
Saslaw said Kaine's association with the Obama administration won't hurt him in a Senate race. He pointed to recent poll numbers that show President Obama leading all of his potential challengers in the state.
"I think [Obama will] be very competitive in Virginia," he said.
Saslaw also said that former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) isn't as strong a candidate as he appears. "The probable Republican nominee, he's not without his own baggage," he said.