Who Is Tim Kaine? Hillary Clinton Just Revealed Her Choice For Vice President
America had bit its figurative fingernails down to the quick waiting for Hillary Clinton to announce her pick for vice president. Speculative guesses were all over the map, ranging from well-known political celebrities like New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to lesser-known government officials like Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Now, Clinton has officially nominated her running mate: Virginia Senator Tim Kaine.
Many from the Democratic base have been rooting for Senator Kaine for a few strategic reasons. Most notably, he's well-respected in his traditionally red state. It's important because that likely indicates a reliable pull where, according to a Roanoke College poll, Clinton is tied with Republican contender Donald Trump; Moreover, it's one of the states that is expected to decide the election. Not only does Kaine have some traction in the South, but his origin story is expected to resonate with Midwestern and Rust Belt voters alike. Originally from Missouri, the VP candidate's father made his living as a welder and metalworking shop owner in Kansas City, Kansas.
In the same vein, Kaine is also expected to help Clinton boost her numbers among white, male voters. According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll that is Clinton's weakest polling link against Trump (specifically white men without college degrees). His reach goes beyond geographical regions — Clinton's camp is hoping the fact that her numero dos (sorry, had to) speaks Spanish fluently will resonate with the coveted Latino voter and secure the demo.
Kaine has also proven an attractive running mate since he has extensive governing experience — a trait President Obama was said to have lacked and for which he suffered electorally. Although it's been exclusive to Virginia, Kaine's official government positions have spanned from executive titles to legislative titles as he's not only served as a senator but also a former governor and lieutenant governor, and at one time was the mayor of Richmond.
Kaine has a seemingly sparkling, golden-boy reputation. According to his popular colleague from the Senate, Cory Booker: “Tim Kaine is one of the most honorable people I’ve met in all of politics.” The most scandalous thing about the U.S. Senator from Virginia is that he's "boring," according to his own proclamation during a Meet The Press interview — something that may be welcome on the ticket after Clinton's political ups and downs this election season.
So what's the catch? Some were afraid Sen. Bernie Sanders' base wouldn't get on board if Clinton chose Kaine — a major reason being because of the candidate's support of the TPP and being considered a "Wall Street Democrat." But either way, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight is guessing the Kaine addition ultimately won't sway Clinton's prospects either way.
The Clinton-Kaine ticket is scheduled to make its first public appearance at the DNC convention in Philly next week, Monday, July 25 to Thursday, July 28.