Is Tim Kaine Still A Senator? Hillary Clinton's Running Mate Can Still Make A Difference
Tim Kaine may not have been promoted to vice president on Tuesday, but he's not totally out of a job. Kaine will still serve as a U.S. senator, representing Virginia until at least the midterm elections of 2018. It's a position that his former running mate seems comforted by.
In her official concession speech on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton put to rest any doubts that Kaine would not continue to hold public office. In fact, she framed Kaine's continue public service as a victory in itself, as he'll remain in a position to support the Democratic Party as it works to resist Donald Trump's presidency and Republican majorities in both houses of Congress.
"It gives me great hope and comfort to know that Tim will remain on the front lines of our democracy, representing Virginia in the Senate," Clinton said on Wednesday, the morning after she and Kaine lost the presidential election by electoral votes to Trump and Mike Pence. Clinton also thanked Kaine and his wife, Ann Holton. Holton served as Virginia's secretary of education until resigning in July to focus on her husband's vice presidential campaign. It's unlikely that Holton will return to her old position, as Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe appointed a replacement in her absence.
When Kaine does make his way back to the Senate, he'll have about as much a mandate from the people to be there as Trump has to be in the White House. On Election Day, Clinton and Kaine won Kaine's home commonwealth of Virginia with about 50 percent of the vote, compared to Trump's 45 percent. In fact, Clinton and Kaine actually won Tuesday's popular vote by about 200,000 votes. Despite Trump's electoral victory, Clinton and Kaine clearly maintain widespread support from the American people, whom Kaine will now serve as a senator.
According to The Richmond Times-Dispatch from Virginia, Kaine will likely continue his work in the Senate with a focus on military and veterans' issues. He is currently a member of the Senate's armed services committee and foreign relations committee. According to his Senate website, Kaine promotes a strong and inclusive military that protects members from sexual assault and supports military families.
Kaine himself said this week that he would remain committed to working with legislators from both parties. He'll need that bipartisan spirit for the next two years of his current term, as he'll face a Republican majority. Kaine was elected to the Senate back in 2012, which means that his six-year seat will be up for grabs in 2018's midterm elections. It's unclear if he'll seek reelection at that time, although he has certainly earned a break from thinking about campaigns.