Clinton-Kaine

A report in the New York Times notes that Hillary Clinton has chosen Senator Tim Kaine as her vice presidential choice, “Hillary Clinton named Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia to be her running mate Friday, selecting a battleground-state politician with working-class roots and a fluency in Spanish, traits that she believes can bolster her chances to defeat Donald J. Trump in November. Mrs. Clinton’s choice, which she announced via text message to supporters, came after her advisers spent months poring over potential vice-presidential candidates who could lift the Democratic ticket in an unpredictable race against Mr. Trump. In the end, Mrs. Clinton decided that Mr. Kaine, 58, a former governor of Virginia who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had the qualifications and background, and the personal chemistry with her, to make the ticket a success”.

It reports that “Clinton had entertained more daring choices. She considered Thomas E. Perez, the secretary of labor, who would have been the first Hispanic on a major party ticket; Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who would have been the first African-American to seek the vice presidency; and James G. Stavridis, a retired four-star Navy admiral who served as the supreme allied commander at NATO but had never held elected office. Ultimately, Mrs. Clinton, who told PBS that she was “afflicted with the responsibility gene,” avoided taking a chance with a less experienced vice-presidential candidate and declined to push the historic nature of her candidacy by adding another woman or a minority to the ticket. Instead, the campaign, which had become concerned about its deficit with white men, focused on Mr. Kaine and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and looked more closely at Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado”.
The article notes that “At a campaign stop with Mrs. Clinton in Annandale, Va., last week, Mr. Kaine tried out for the role. “Do you want a ‘You’re fired’ president or a ‘You’re hired’ president?” he asked the crowd. “Do you want a trash-talker president or a bridge-builder president?” He compared Mrs. Clinton’s record of public service to that of his wife, Anne Holton, Virginia’s secretary of education. In recent days, former President Bill Clinton and the White House had expressed support for Mr. Kaine. Mrs. Clinton will formally introduce Mr. Kaine as her running mate at a campaign stop on Saturday at Florida International University in Miami, which has a large number of Hispanic students. The announcement came after a day of campaign events in Orlando and Tampa in which Mrs. Clinton tried to offer a rebuke, both in actions and in words, to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. In Orlando, she laid flowers on a makeshift memorial outside the Pulse nightclub, where a gunman who expressed sympathy with the Islamic State killed 49 people last month. At an earlier round-table discussion with emergency medical workers and elected officials, Mrs. Clinton nodded solemnly and hardly spoke, an implicit contrast with Mr. Trump’s 75-minute speech on Thursday night”.

The piece goes on to note how “At a rally in Tampa on Friday evening, Mrs. Clinton blasted the bleak vision of America presented by her Republican rival. “The last thing that we need is somebody who is running for president who talks trash about America,” Mrs. Clinton said. She showed solidarity with Mr. Trump’s top primary rival, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. “I mean, I never thought I’d say these words, but Ted Cruz was right,” she said, and then quoted Mr. Cruz’s despondent Wednesday night speech. “Vote your conscience.” Now some of the job of discrediting Mr. Trump will fall to Mr. Kaine, who wrote on Twitter that he was eager to hit the campaign trail. “Just got off the phone with Hillary,” he said. “I’m honored to be her running mate.” Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Kaine have similar positions on many issues, and they are said to share an easy rapport and an interest in policy details. “I do have a fondness for wonks,” Mrs. Clinton said in the PBS interview. Asked whether Mr. Kaine was boring, Mrs. Clinton said, “I love that about him.” She added, “He’s never lost an election.” Republicans seized on the selection and tried to sow discord among Democrats, arguing that the pick was evidence that Mrs. Clinton had been dishonest with her party’s liberal base. “Hillary Clinton’s choice of Tim Kaine does nothing to unify a fractured Democrat base which is repelled by her dishonesty and cronyism,” Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in a statement. “After spending last week pandering to grass-roots Democrats with Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton has chosen someone who holds positions that she’s spent the entire primary trying to get to the left of.” The Trump campaign quickly labeled Mrs. Clinton’s new running mate “Corrupt Kaine,” pointing to lavish gifts he had received during his years as governor and lieutenant governor of Virginia”.

Worryingly it points out that “some in the party’s liberal wing expressed dismay, claiming that Mr. Kaine was out of step with it on some of its core issues, like trade. “As we saw in Donald Trump’s speech last night, Republicans will run hard against Democrats on trade this year,” said Stephanie Taylor, a co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “Unfortunately, since Tim Kaine voted to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Republicans now have a new opening to attack Democrats on this economic populist issue.” She added, “The mood of the country is a populist one.” The son of a welder who owned a small metalworking shop, Mr. Kaine, a Roman Catholic, grew up around Kansas City, Mo. He attended a Jesuit school and took a break from law school at Harvard to spend time as a Catholic missionary in Honduras, an experience that his family has said shaped him and helped him become fluent in Spanish. Early in his career, Mr. Kaine worked on fair housing and civil rights issues as a lawyer. He was elected to the City Council in Richmond, Va., in 1994, and proceeded to climb the ranks of elected office in the state. He became the city’s mayor in 1998, the state’s lieutenant governor in 2002 and the governor in 2006. He also served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. As governor, Mr. Kaine drew some support from rural parts of the state as well as strong backing in the state’s Democratic-leaning suburban areas. He led the state through one of its darkest times, the shooting at Virginia Tech that killed 32 people in 2007. In 2013, Mr. Kaine implored the United States Senate to find a “small measure of courage” to fight the gun lobby and impose tougher background checks on gun ownership”.

It goes on to mention “Mr. Kaine was an early endorser of Senator Barack Obama’s presidential bid in the 2008 nominating fight against Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Kaine was also considered on Mr. Obama’s shortlist of vice-presidential candidates before Mr. Obama selected Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware. In 2012, Mr. Kaine defeated George Allen, a Republican, to take the Senate seat being vacated by the Democrat Jim Webb. Mrs. Clinton’s choice of Mr. Kaine underscores the rising political importance of Virginia, a state with a significant suburban and minority population. Mr. Obama defeated John McCain in the state by more than six percentage points, the first time since Lyndon B. Johnson’s victory in 1964 that the state had voted for a Democratic presidential nominee. An NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll from July 15 shows Mrs. Clinton ahead of Mr. Trump for the state’s 13 electoral votes by nine percentage points. The search for a running mate began in April, after Mrs. Clinton had decisively won the New York primary, with a number of candidates. Mrs. Clinton came to the process with a unique vantage point, having been closely involved in her husband’s selection of Senator Al Gore of Tennessee in 1992, a choice that brought youth and Southern charm to a ticket already overflowing with it. With just days remaining before her announcement of a running mate, Mrs. Clinton had not yet made up her mind as her advisers debated what attributes voters might want in a vice president”.

It ends, “As the search narrowed, Mrs. Clinton wanted to test her chemistry on the campaign trail with Mr. Kaine. After their Virginia rally last week, she invited him to her home in Washington for a meeting that lasted until 10:30 p.m. Last Saturday, the day after meeting with other candidates in Washington, she invited Mr. Kaine and his wife to lunch at her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., with her family. At 7:30 p.m. Friday, just after her fiery speech in Tampa, Mrs. Clinton called Mr. Kaine to give him the news, before calling President Obama to let him know that she had chosen his friend”.

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