Obama key figure in Senate race featuring ex-govs
The dominant figure in a Virginia Senate race that could determine the direction of Congress next year is President Barack Obama even though both candidates for the seat are former governors well-known to voters.
Republican George Allen, trying to redeem his political career and win back the Senate seat he lost six years ago in a chaotic, slur-stained campaign against Democrat Jim Webb, has a simple strategy: If Obama falls, Democrat Tim Kaine falls with him.
Kaine, like Allen a former governor, was Obama’s hand-picked chairman of the Democratic National Committee for two years. Their fates in November are linked in a battleground state that both parties consider critical to winning the White House as well as controlling the Senate.