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Tim Kaine

I must admit that I wasn’t paying too much attention to the VP selection contest, and so when Clinton announced Tim Kaine as her VP pick, I didn’t know much about him. I know that people say he’s boring, or that he is too moderate. So I took some time today to investigate.

I might get some flak for this, but I have to say I like him and I think he is a very good choice. He is strongly principled without being an ideologue. He’s certainly an extremely likable person and wins the contest of the candidate with whom you would most like to have a beer, or even stretch it out to a long interesting dinner. He’s much more comfortable with himself while speaking than Clinton, which is good. He has humor and humility. I just feel like I can trust him, which is more than I can say for most politicians.

Tommy Vietor, a former Obama foreign-policy aide was also pleasantly surprised, tweeting:

I had no idea Kaine was this good. His bio is relatable but impressive, and he can deliver a tough hit on Trump while still being endearing.

And Michael Tomasky’s article about Kaine’s first campaign speech today starts with “Holy crap. He killed it.” and ends with:

Lots of people are going to like this guy. He’s a happy warrior who is clearly genuine about being of service to others and to community and country. He embodies what we all think is best about this country and what we hope still exists. It exists in Tim Kaine.

But don’t take it from me, watch his speech for yourself.

UPDATE: In the comments, a reader pointed out Jim Wright’s excellent article in Stonekettle Station about Clinton’s choice of Tim Kaine. He talks about Kaine’s achievements as mayor of Richmond:

Kaine turned Richmond around, he renovated schools in poor neighborhoods and built new ones, he gave tax breaks to projects that directly benefited the city and opposed tax increases that didn’t, he brought back business and jobs, and his policies reduced gun crimes by more than 55%. Under Kaine, Richmond went from poverty and crime to being named one of the 10 Best Cities in America to do Business by Forbes – and the key to all of that was Kaine’s commitment to and leadership on racial reconciliation.

Wright gives similar examples about Kaine as governor of and senator for Virginia. Go read it.

UPDATE 2: Electoral Vote has some things to say about Tim Kaine. Not all of them positive, but their usual unflinching hard look, both pro and con.

Also published on Medium.



  1. Trip Ericson wrote:

    As a Virginian, let me just say that Tim Kaine was an outstanding governor, and that was before northern Virginia made the state so swingy. Lots of people are surprised by him, but I don’t think most Virginians are–we’re ecstatic.

    Also, I greatly enjoyed this article about him:

    Sunday, July 24, 2016 at 2:58 am | Permalink
  2. ebdoug wrote:

    From what I read on Wikipedia, he appeals to all groups. He is a “Judge not less yea be judged” person. I never felt comfortable with Biden as the back up President. I do feel comfortable with Kaine.

    Sunday, July 24, 2016 at 5:17 am | Permalink
  3. Wildwood wrote:

    I like him but I don’t love him. I’m sorely disappointed that she didn’t pick someone more progressive. I think there is a good likelihood that she will lose even more Sanders voters. She picked him, I guess to help with her white male demos, but if she’s losing the white male and female progressive votes I don’t see a net gain, but very possibly a net loss. Add to that the DWS email leaks and she seems to be going out of her way to very very bigly disgruntle a big block of possible supporters. That old woo them through the nomination process then dump them might just backfire this time.

    Sunday, July 24, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink
  4. Jonah wrote:

    Kaine seems like an ok choice. There does seem to be some protest from some parts of the democratic camp but there really shouldnt be since Kaine seems like a pragmatic politician. What those who oppose Kaine should realize is that whoever the VP or even the president is nothing will get done unless the president and the VP get along with the senate and the house which both lean republican.

    Kaine’s selection may help with independents and moderate republicans. Some prominent moderate republicans have already voiced their support for HRC. Democrats disgruntled with Kaine may think about voting for Johnson or Stein but they have no chance of winning. So if neither hillary nor trump have an electoral college majority, which could happen if progressives stay petulant, the house will chose the next president, which more than likely will be Trump and the senate will choose the next VP.

    Sunday, July 24, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

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