Hillary Clinton has announced her nomination for her vice president running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. Though many are not familiar with the senator, the Editorial Board thinks Kaine is a solid choice that strikes a stark contrast between Donald Trump’s choice.
When Clinton and Kaine debuted in Miami on Saturday, Clinton said, “I have to say, Senator Tim Kaine is everything Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not.”
Politics aside, Clinton is correct. Trump and Pence are not a unified team that projects a solid agenda. Kaine, though a safe choice for Clinton, is in line with her policies and message. This creates the image of unity and solidarity for Clinton and Kaine.
Although a solid choice, Kaine has a few hang-ups. Kaine is a sitting senator, which means the Democrats will have to re-win that seat in Virginia in order to keep their number of seats in the Senate.
Kaine is also not friendly with American manufacturer workers because of his consistent support for global trade deals. The New York Times reported Kaine voted to “fast track” the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is a divisive issue for this election. Many people criticize the Trans-Pacific Partnership because they believe it will lead to the loss of many American jobs for blue-collar workers and the loss of a good portion of the blue-collar vote for Clinton and Kaine.
He also has recently backed bank deregulations, according to the executive director of Democracy for America, as quoted in the New York Times. This is in line with Clinton’s own policies, but won’t help the campaign win over more liberal voters who are still smarting from Bernie Sanders’ concession. Clinton’s position on banks has been one of her hardest policies for her critics to accept, and Kaine won’t put anyone’s mind at ease.
Sanders, who just endorsed Clinton as the democratic nominee for president, has said nothing about her recent choice of Kaine for vice president.
While Trump is busy telling the media he and Pence don’t agree on many issues, Clinton deflected criticism of Kaine right away by praising Kaine’s handling of gun control after the Virginia Tech shooting that left 32 people dead in 2007. Clinton also mentioned Kaine’s work on fair housing and his opposition of the NRA and said in Florida, “Behind that smile, Tim also has a backbone of steel.”
Clinton also planned her debut of Kaine aptly. Florida is always a battleground state during elections and this one is no different. Kaine’s use of Spanish and English during the rally was also no mistake, as there are many Latino voters in Florida that will be harmed by Trump’s immigration policies.
If anything, Kaine is willing to be Clinton’s No. 1 cheerleader and will stick to the message. Pence is not falling in line with Trump the way Kaine is falling in line with Clinton. Their cohesive message makes Clinton and Kaine a much safer and less terrifying choice for the next four years.
Clinton’s choice is hardly revolutionary, and isn’t likely to convince those still on the fence about Clinton. However, Kaine is solid enough to provide a much needed sense of stability and sanity to this election.