Clinton picks Virginia Senator Time Kaine as her vice presidential running mate
By Bonnie K. Goodman
Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is predictable. Clinton announced her predictable choice for vice presidential running mate Virginia Senator Time Kaine on Friday evening, July 22, 2016, via Twitter and text message to supporters. For over a month Kaine was considered the front-runner for Clinton’s running mate, despite other candidate’s names being put in the mix. Clinton attends to have her first rally with Kaine on Saturday, July 23, 2016, in Miami, Florida.
Like her GOP rival nominee Donald Trump, Clinton took to Twitter to announce her running mate. Clinton wrote, “I’m thrilled to announce my running mate, @timkaine, a man who’s devoted his life to fighting for others. -H.”
Clinton also sent out an email to supporters, calling Kaine “a lifelong fighter for progressive causes and one of the most qualified vice presidential candidates in our nation’s history.” Continuing, the presumptive nominee said, “I have no doubt that Tim can do the job. I want him by my side on the trail and in the White House.”
Afterward, Kaine tweeted back that he was honored, saying, “Just got off the phone with Hillary. I’m honored to be her running mate. Can’t wait to hit the trail tomorrow in Miami!” Kaine, 58, is a lawyer, who was the former Mayor of Virginia, Lieutenant Governor and the Governor of Virginia and chairman of the Democratic National Committee before running for the Senate in 2012. Kaine has never lost any election he competed.
Clinton called Kaine at 7:30 p.m. on Friday evening to notify him. The Democratic nominee then told President Barack Obama about her decision. Clinton’s quest to find a running began in April with John Podesta running the vice presidential search and 24 potential candidates. Clinton met twice with Kaine last week including a joint rally in Virginia and a meeting at Clinton’s Washington home. Last Saturday Clinton had a meeting with Kaine’s family that included Clinton’s “husband former President Bill Clinton, daughter, Chelsea and her son-in-law Mark Mezvinsky,
Trump was quick to criticize his rival and her timing, writing on Twitter, “Hillary’s trying to pick her vice president as fast as possible because she wants to take away a little of the success that we had at this convention.”
The Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also issued a statement criticizing Clinton’s VP choice. Priebus wrote, “After spending last week pandering to grassroots 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.”
Continuing, the chairman said, “Ultimately this is a ticket that represents one thing: four more years like the last eight, just with more corruption and scandal. A Clinton-Kaine administration will push our country further down the path President Obama has led us on and that has made us less safe, less prosperous, and less free.”
Clinton will formally introduce Kaine as her running mate at a rally at Florida International University in Miami on Saturday. Kaine is a fluent Spanish speaker, and the university’s population is 60 percent Hispanic. Clinton hopes to bolster her already substantial support from Latino voters.
Kaine received the White House’s approval. White House press secretary Josh Earnest appeared with radio host Bill Press’s show and discussed the members of the administration in the running for VP. When Earnest asked, “You didn’t ask me about Sen. Kaine,” Press responded that Kaine “is not a member of the administration.”
Earnest praised Kaine, saying, “That is true, but he is somebody who is the subject of some rather intense public speculation about serving. Sen. Kaine is somebody that the president deeply respects, and, I think, it’s been publicly reported was even considered himself as a running mate back in 2008.”
President Obama also praised Kaine in a Democratic Party fundraising email saying, “Like Hillary, Tim is an optimist. But like Hillary, he is also a progressive fighter… you just can’t find anyone with a bad thing to say about him.”
Clinton’s primary opponent, Bernie Sanders’ supporters were not satisfied with Clinton’s pick. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) issued a statement, which read, “It’s now more important than ever that Hillary Clinton run an aggressive campaign on core economic ideas like expanding Social Security, debt-free college, Wall Street reform, and yes, stopping the TPP. It’s the best way to unite the Democratic Party, and stop Republicans from winning over swing voters on bread-and-butter issues.”
Also under consider for the vice presidential slot were Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, but also Julian Castro, the Housing and Urban Development secretary, and Tom Perez, the Labor secretary. Also, Clinton flirted with taking liberal favorite and progressive Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as her running mate, which would have created the first all female presidential ticket in history.
Clinton and Kaine will be formally nominated as the presidential and vice presidential nominees at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this upcoming week, July 25 to 28.