Who Is Tim Kaine? Hillary Clinton's Vice Presidential Short List Stars The Virginia Senator
According to Democratic colleagues of the presumptive Democratic nominee, who were quoted in an Associated Press report, Hillary Clinton's vice presidential shortlist includes Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia. With a long history in politics under his belt, the middle-of-the-road liberal has the ability to attract moderates and independents alike. The sources shared the list's details with the AP under anonymity and campaign spokesman Brian Fallon has declined to comment.
Kaine was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and worked in his father's ironworking shop, before going on to attend the University of Missouri and Harvard Law School. During the early stages of his career, he practiced law for 17 years and represented people who had been wrongfully denied housing because of their race or physical state. His dedication to these individuals, who were oftentimes minorities, indicates a concern for social rights — a huge platform in the Democratic Party. The attorney was also fluent in Spanish, which likely helped him better understand Latinos, who represent a significant portion of the party's voting population.
"Low-income people, minorities, elderly, people that usually get the short of end of the stick would consider Tim Kaine a friend," said Richmond, Virginia, Rep. Bobby Scott.
He began his political career in 1994 when he was elected as a city councilman in Richmond, Virginia before going on to become mayor of the city in 1998. He was elected as Lieutenant Governor in 2001, and in 2006, became the 70th Governor of Virginia. Moving on from local politics onto the national stage, Kaine stepped his game up from there.
Before Debbie Wasserman Schultz represented the Democratic National Committee, there was Kaine. President Obama appointed him to chair of the DNC, a position he held for over two years before taking office as Senator in 2013. Aside from being familiar with the behind-the-scenes side of both local and national politics, Kaine is no stranger to media attention and public speaking, making him a reliable bet for Clinton's high-profile campaign.
Adding cushion to his political resumé among fellow Democrats, this isn't the first time Kaine has been considered on a vice presidential shortlist. In 2008, he was second in line next to Joe Biden on Barack Obama's list of possible picks. Though he certainly has appeal among both minorities and moderates, as well as experience connecting with politicians and organizing fundraising efforts, some colleagues are unsure of whether Kaine has enough aggression to battle Donald Trump. One top official, who worked with him when he was chair of the DNC, told POLITICO he might have to work on developing a few traits if he is to become vice president.
What he's not is an attack dog. He never enjoyed that part of the gig as chair of the party. It's not his natural disposition. He's a thoughtful guy who likes to play in the world of facts and policy. He doesn't shoot from the hip, and he's not a sound-bite master.
In addition to Kaine, other potential picks include Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Texas Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro. Kaine was the first to publicly endorse Clinton back in 2014, making him a strong candidate for the spot.