POLITICS

Tim Kaine Details Lessons Learned From Coakley Loss, Talks Mid-Term Election Strategy (VIDEO)

04/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show Tuesday to talk about the party's strategy for the midterm elections. He predicted that the party would "do better than people expect."

The former Virginia governor confirmed that the Democratic party will focus on three things as part of their midterm election strategy: good candidate recruitment, the passage of health care reform, and Republican hypocrisy. Kaine also said that the party needs to push for legislation that will help the economy. He told Maddow that it was "critical" that Democrats pass health care reform.

When asked about what the party learned from Martha Coakley's failed bid for Ted Kennedy's former Senate seat, Kaine acknowledged problems with the Coakley campaign and said that there were lessons for the party: Democrats should not treat a campaign's self-assessment as fact:

"When a candidate says, 'Hey, look, this race is going fine. We're in great shape,' we need to check under the hood and we need to make our own assessment ... Candidly ... we should have started earlier.

Kaine went on to say that there were issues about "messaging" and with the way Coakley's campaign communicated.

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