Clinton-Kaine: This works … for us

On Friday night, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton announced her selection of Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia as her vice presidential running mate.

The initial reaction from many on the left was disappointment (we each had our favorites!), then grudging acceptance (okay, fine, it’s her choice, it doesn’t change our committment) … then this happened: on Saturday afternoon, Hillary introduced us to Tim Kaine – and he won us over:

“Hi, I’m Tim”

Thank you so much for the warm welcome to the team, Jan!

I could not be more honored to fight alongside you — I know that together, we’re going to win in November.

I wanted to take a moment to tell you a little bit more about myself — and bear with me, Jan, since I know you might not have even heard of me before yesterday!

Growing up in Kansas, vice president was never a job I aspired to.

My dad ran an iron-working shop and my entire family pitched in to help.

My parents taught me the lessons that have guided my entire life — my mom once told me: “Tim, you have to decide if you want to be right or do right. If you want to be right, be a pessimist. If you want to do right, be an optimist.”

Jan, I’ve been an optimist ever since. And since my time at a Jesuit boys school, I’ve been a man of faith.

After racing through college and starting at Harvard Law, I took a year off to volunteer with missionaries in Honduras. I got a firsthand look at a system in which the few folks at the top had all the power and everyone else got left behind.

That experience convinced me: We’ve got to expand opportunity and equality for everyone, no matter where they come from, how much money they have, what they look like, or who they love.

I’m lucky to have married a woman who felt the same: Anne is the daughter of Virginia Governor Linwood Holton, who integrated Virginia’s public schools and modeled how important it was by sending his kids in to lead the way.

Anne and I settled in Richmond, started a family, joined a church, and made our home together. I took on work as a civil rights lawyer, representing people who were denied housing because of their race or disability.

I found myself at a lot of City Council meetings to raise the issues I was dealing with on behalf of my clients. But the infighting was horrible! So in 1994, I decided to run for office. I knocked on every door in my district, and I won by 94 votes. (I know the value of the kind of organizing this team is doing!)

If I’m good at anything in public life, it’s because I started on the local level, listening to people, learning about their lives, and trying to find consensus.

In the years that followed, I became mayor of Richmond, lieutenant governor of Virginia, and in 2006, I served as governor.

I had to make tough calls during the recession. But I’m proud of what we accomplished in Virginia: the best managed state, the best state for business, and my personal favorite accolade, the best state to raise a child.

I’ve kept it up as Virginia’s senator. And I won’t stop when Hillary and I are in the White House. We’ll do what we know best: Deliver results for people.

That’s what drives us both. Hillary and I have different faiths but we share a common creed: Do all the good you can in all the ways you can.

We don’t back away from tough fights. We’re energized by them. Hillary and I have a strong progressive agenda and we’re not going to get distracted from it.

We’ll make our economy work for everyone. We’ll make college debt-free. We’ll take on the NRA, we’ll work toward comprehensive immigration reform — we’ll fight for paid family leave, and equality for women, and making sure every kid has a chance to live up to their potential.

These are tough times — but we’re tough people. We can do it.

Let’s go, Jan. I’m excited to work with you to make history:

Thanks again for the warm welcome.

Tim

Based on Tim Kaine’s biography, his purple state electoral bona fides, his simple decency, his enthusiasm(!) – I am convinced that this is a person who will be an asset to Candidate Hillary Clinton and President Hillary Clinton.

What they are saying …

Hillary Clinton: Why I chose Tim Kaine

I’m thrilled to share this news: I’ve chosen Senator Tim Kaine as my running mate.

Tim is a lifelong fighter for progressive causes and one of the most qualified vice presidential candidates in our nation’s history.

But his credentials alone aren’t why I asked him to run alongside me.

Like me, Tim grew up in the Midwest. During law school, he too took an unconventional path — he took time off and went to Honduras to work with missionaries, practicing both his faith and his Spanish.

When he returned to the states and graduated from Harvard Law, he could have done anything. But instead of going to some big corporate firm, he chose to fight housing discrimination as a civil rights lawyer in Richmond. He and his wife joined a church, built a home centered around their faith, and raised three beautiful children. Then, after 17 years of practicing law, Tim ran for city council — and won.

Tim says his experience on city council taught him everything he knows about politics. To the people in Richmond, an underfunded school wasn’t a Democratic or Republican problem. It was simply a problem that needed fixing, and his constituents were counting on him to solve it. So Tim would do it. He’d roll up his sleeves and get the job done, no matter what.

He’s a man of relentless optimism who believes no problem is unsolvable if you’re willing to put in the work. That commitment to delivering results has stayed with him throughout his decades-long career as a public servant. So I could give you a laundry list of things he went on to accomplish — as mayor of Richmond, governor of Virginia, and in the United States Senate.

But this is what’s important: Tim has never taken a job for the glory or the title. He’s the same person whether the cameras are on or off. He’s sincerely motivated by the belief that you can make a difference in people’s lives through public service.

That quality comes through in every interaction. To know Tim is to love him. When I was talking to people about this decision, I couldn’t find anyone — Democrat or Republican — who had a bad thing to say about him. From his staff over the last 20 years to his colleagues in the Senate, Tim’s beloved.

He is a genuinely nice person, but Tim is no one’s punching bag. He will fight tooth and nail for American families, and he’ll be a dogged fighter in our campaign against Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

I want you to know that I didn’t make this decision lightly.

I’ve had the privilege of seeing two presidents and two vice presidents up close. I want a vice president who can be my partner in bringing this country together. I want someone who will be able to give me their best advice, look me in the eye, and tell me they disagree with me when they do.

But what matters most is a simple test that’s not so simple to meet: whether the person could step in at a moment’s notice and serve as president.

I have no doubt that Tim can do the job. I want him by my side on the trail and in the White House.

President Barack Obama:

Jan —

I wanted to take a moment to tell you why I’m so proud that Hillary has chosen Senator Tim Kaine to join her on the Democratic ticket this fall.

Nothing can really prepare you for this job. You come to learn that it’s about having a firm grasp of the issues, sound judgment, and the tenacity never to stop fighting to make people’s lives better.

The thing about Hillary is, she already understands all that. She does her homework, she masters the issues, and she never gives up. She gets the job done. And more than almost anyone I’ve worked with in Washington, Hillary’s the kind of person who sees a problem and says, “How can I fix this? What can I do to help?”

But this job is also about surrounding yourself with the best possible people. And there’s no more important decision you’ll make as a presidential candidate than choosing a vice president. There are basically two paths you can take. You can pick someone for purely political reasons — or you can pick someone who will be your partner in government. Someone who shares your values. Someone who will make you a better president.

That’s why I picked Joe Biden — and it’s a testament to Hillary’s character and integrity that she chose a man like Tim Kaine.

Like Hillary, Tim is an optimist. But like Hillary, he is also a progressive fighter. He’s the son of a teacher and an iron worker who’s always got working families on his mind. For nearly two decades, he specialized in representing people who had been denied fair access to housing just because of what they looked like, or because they had a disability. And when a gunman killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech, Tim knew he had a responsibility as governor to offer more than thoughts and prayers to the community he mourned with — and as a gun owner, he stood up to the gun lobby on their behalf.

There aren’t a lot of elected officials in Washington whom people like even more when the cameras are off than when the cameras are on. But Tim is that kind of guy. He’s a man who’s risen to the highest levels of government but still lives in the same neighborhood he did as a city councilmember in Richmond. You just can’t find anyone with a bad thing to say about him, from the staff who’ve worked for him to the Republicans who’ve served alongside him.

Simply put: Tim is a good man. He’s a true progressive. And he will make a great vice president.

I could not be prouder to support our Democratic ticket — please join me in welcoming Tim Kaine to this team.

Thanks for everything you’ve done and will do to elect Hillary and Tim.

Barack

Vice President Joe Biden:

Tim is going to be a great vice president

Jan, back in January of 2013, I asked newly-elected senator Tim Kaine of Virginia to raise his right hand and swear to uphold and defend our Constitution as a new member of the United States Senate.

Come January, I hope we can all watch Tim be sworn in as our nation’s vice president.

As you might have guessed, I have a few thoughts about what it takes to do this job. So believe me when I tell you that Tim is going to be a great vice president and an ideal partner in government for Hillary. I’ve known Tim for years, and I know his character — he’s a genuine public servant who prioritizes results over politics. I would be pretty damn proud to see him move into my office in January. Can you chip in $8 right now to help them win?

This ticket is complete, and they’re counting on us, Jan. When you volunteer some of your time or chip in $8, you’re serving your country and investing in our future. I respect and admire that, but more than anything else, I’m thankful for it. With the prospect of a Trump presidency on the horizon, it just means so much to know that you’re standing with Hillary.

So today, chip in $8 and show Hillary you’re with her. Show Tim you’re glad to have him on the ticket, and show the world how proud you are to be part of a campaign that stays true to our country’s founding principle that all people are created equal:

Thank you,

Joe

(I think he wants your money!!)

1+

14 Comments

  1. From the AP:

    Hillary Clinton debuted running mate Sen. Tim Kaine on Saturday as a can-do progressive committed to social justice and equality – “everything Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not” – at a boisterous rally ahead of next week’s Democratic National Convention.

    “He is qualified to step into this job and lead from Day One. And he is a progressive who likes to get things done,” Clinton declared at Florida International University.

    Kaine, a bilingual former Virginia governor, detailed his life in public service. “I like to fight for right,” he said.

    And, as Clinton smiled broadly at her choice for vice president, Kaine greeted the largely Hispanic audience in Spanish. “We’re going to be ‘compañeros de alma,’ in this great ‘lucha’ ahead,” he said, or “soul mates in this great fight ahead.” […]

    Clinton chose to introduce Kaine as her running mate in the battleground state of Florida, waving to the large crowd of cheering supporters as they bounded on stage with their hands raised in the traditional sign of unity. Clinton sought to present the partnership as one built in optimism, panning the Republican convention, which ended two days earlier, as a display of “fear,” ”anger and resentment.”

    She noted that Kaine had taken a year off from Harvard Law School to do missionary work in Honduras and had worked as a civil rights attorney specializing in equal housing. Clinton said Kaine as governor worked with Republicans and helped his home state navigate the Great Recession without sacrificing funding for education.

    She also pointed to his work on gun control after the deadly Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, praising his efforts to curb gun violence before a nation still reeling from a series of shootings and violence against police.

    “Behind that smile Tim also has a backbone of steel. Just ask the NRA,” Clinton said.

  2. Thanks Jan

    He wasn’t my choice – but I’m not Hillary – and she is a smart politician- After watching the roll out – I’m enthusiastic. Even if I didn’t like it I’d be busting my tush to see them elected.

    • Exactly! I had hoped for someone who reflected the Obama Coalition, the future of our party. But maybe it is too soon to go boldly into the future; in eight years, our bench will be groaning from the weight of all of our young people ready to pass the baton to.

      I was a bit dismayed by those who said they would not vote for Clinton because of Kaine. JHC on a pogo stick!!! Are they going to let Trump become president???!!? I was also encouraged to see people who were less than enthusiastic Friday night saying that they liked the pick.

      I don’t know what he will bring electorally but if Virginia stays blue in 2016, Trump has to win Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. That is NOT going to happen.

  3. Reaction:

    BNR: HOME RUN: Tim Kaine Hits It Out of the Park in His Debut as Hillary’s Veep

    Check out the amazing reaction to Kaine’s first speech as Hillary’s vice presidential pick. Selected Tweets …

    Michael Tomasky: Holy Crap, Tim Kaine Just Killed It In His First Speech With Clinton

    I’m not trying to spin you. I’m sitting here in shock. Shock. Tim Kaine was unbelievable.

    He was natural. He was smart. He was relaxed and funny, and he was serious. He was proud of himself and his wife and family but never arrogant. He was humble without ever being cloying in that way the politically humble can often be. He was genuine. He was unbelievable.

    And part of the way through, this thought struck me: He is the perfect choice for her because he comes across as so at ease and so real. These are two things, as we know, that Hillary Clinton has a lot of trouble with. [The media narrative suggests that] she’s too scripted, she’s a phony, all that stuff. Kaine was just so easy-breezy, so comfortable with himself and in this role, that he has the potential to wash away a decent chunk of that negativity about her.

    Ezra Klein, Vox: “Clinton-Kaine: the safe choice” isn’t a bad message in a race with Donald Trump

    Trump’s only hope of winning the general election is to mobilize a white backlash vote that didn’t manage to manifest even against the first African-American president. It’s not a terribly likely strategy, but perhaps Trump’s more explicit appeal to white resentment gives him a shot.

    What Clinton has in Kaine is a vice-presidential candidate who doesn’t help Trump’s effort to mobilize a white male backlash, and may even help blunt it, but who is also able to appeal to the Democrats’ multicultural coalition: Kaine was the first member of the Senate to deliver a floor speech in Spanish, and while mayor of Richmond, Virginia, he made headlines for officially apologizing for the city’s role in slavery.

    NPR: Why ‘Boring’ Tim Kaine Might Be Exactly What Hillary Clinton Needs

    Kaine might not fire up the progressive left, but he brings a lot to the table. Sure, he isn’t going to draw thousands to rallies by his sheer force of personality, but that’s not really the point of a vice president. A vice president, in fact, shouldn’t overshadow the top of the ticket.

    Ultimately, he is a “safe pick,” and that’s not a bad thing. Remember, the first rule of a running mate is, “Do no harm.” Here are four reasons why the “boring” pick was a “good” pick for Clinton:

    1. He’s a disciplined messenger
    2. Democrats won’t likely have to worry about him on a debate stage
    3. He’s a positive person
    4. He’s a white male

    Kaine has the potential to be a soother, to round some of Clinton’s edges and possibly help the ticket’s image. The difference is Pence was brought on to do this with the base. Kaine, on the other hand, would try to broaden Clinton’s support.

  4. Tim Kaine, going right at Trump:

    Democrat Tim Kaine made his first appearance on the campaign trail as Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential running mate on Saturday, touting an optimistic view of America and leaping to attack Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s record.

    Joining Clinton at a rally in the battleground state of Florida, the bilingual Kaine peppered Spanish-language phrases into a speech focused on introducing himself to voters unfamiliar with the low-key U.S. senator from Virginia.

    Kaine criticized Trump’s recent suggestion he might not honor U.S. security commitments to NATO in Europe, and the real estate mogul’s history of casino bankruptcies and founding the failed Trump University.

    “When Donald Trump says he has your back, you better watch out,” Kaine said, with Clinton sitting at his side nodding. “He leaves a trail of broken promises and wrecked lives wherever he goes. We can’t afford to let him do the same thing to our country.”

    • NPR:

      Clinton said Kaine has “lived” the values of diversity. That, she argued, is in contrast the GOP ticket and last week’s Republican National Convention. “Tim Kaine is everything Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not,” she said. […]

      Kaine mostly used his time to enthustically endorse Clinton and draw sharp contrasts with Donald Trump. Calling her the “opposite” of Trump, he said “Hillary Clinton doesn’t insult people, she listens to them. What a novel concept.”

      Kaine ended with a call-and-response with the audience.

      “Do you want a ‘you’re fired president or a ‘you’re hired’ president?” Kaine asked. “Do you want a ‘me first’ president or a ‘kids and families first’ president?”

  5. I always trusted Hillary to pick the best person for her to work with – and like everybody else who isn’t looking for a reason to diss Hillary, I was wowed by the rollout. Totally wowed – what she said about him, what he said in general, what he said about her, and the way she looked at him while he was talking – agreeing, finally relaxed like now she’s got her partner somebody who’s got her back, proud like I’ve been of my younger brother when he did good stuff. This is going to work better than we ever imagined with out favorite choices. (We should have known – that’s just Hillary.)

    BTW, if you haven’t read today’s Doonesbury go find it. It’s not exactly funny, but it’s very apt.

  6. Late to the party, been setting up the new computer (more on that in daily), but I wanted to add my enthusiastic support for Tim Kaine. I was totally blown away watching the rollout – I had been reading about him,and the more I read, the better I felt, but I was not prepared for how wonderful he would be as a speaker. He’s not a poetry and thunder orator like Obama or Bill Clinton, but he is so at ease, comes across as so genuine, and the fluid switching back and forth between Spanish and English was a joy to see. He’s going to be such an asset to Hillary – and they have real chemistry together, you can see it. Kaine exudes positive energy – hopefulness, cheerfulness, a true ‘Happy Warrior’ – and I could see why nobody has a bad word to say about him, at least those who’ve encountered him. He will be her Biden (without the occasional oopsies we have with Joe) – and the fact that she picked him over more flashy choices like Warren tells me she wanted to make sure she has a working partner in the White House who could indeed step in and govern if something terrible happened. It makes me even more confident about Hillary’s decision making skills. I couldn’t be more enthusastic!

    • There are a lot of excellent qualities that Tim Kaine has the will be good for governing, the ultimate goal of the Hillary Clinton Administration. He may not spawn a meme like Joe Biden in sunglasses and a sports car but he will do a lot of the things Joe is doing now: liaison to Congress, helping to find good people for cabinet positions, a cheerful face when the president has to be serious.

      I like this pick a lot! I was not so sure when I heard it but after listening to him and doing some Googling, I am enthusiastic.

  7. The 60 Minutes interview transcript.

    Tonight, we have the first and only interview with the new Democratic ticket. Last Sunday on 60 Minutes, we heard from Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Now, on the eve of the Democratic convention we will hear from Hillary Clinton and her running mate Tim Kaine.

    She introduced Kaine yesterday at a rally in the critical battleground state of Florida. Kaine has been a city councilman and mayor in Richmond, Virginia, then Virginia’s lieutenant governor, governor, and now U.S. senator. We asked the Democrats about fixing the economy, fighting terrorism and their shared vision of the future.

    The link includes selected clips from the show as well. Here is one on bullying:

    (“There is no room in this house for cowards,” Hillary Clinton recalls her mother saying, a childhood lesson that Clinton says has helped her in politics)

Comments are closed.