Who Is Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, Clinton’s VP Pick?
Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton announced Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her Vice Presidential pick on July 22.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 23, 2016
The Virginia Senator has a long and illustrious history as a high ranking member of the Democratic Party. Before he got elected as a Senator in 2012, he was the Democratic National Committee Chair from 2009 to 2011, and was the Governor of Virginia between the years of 2006 and 2010.
In 2008, President Barack Obama vetted Kaine as a potential running mate, and was very high on the list, but was passed up in favor of Joe Biden.
“Tim Kaine has a message of fiscal responsibility and generosity of spirit. That kind of message can sell anywhere,” said Obama to The Washington Times in 2005 when he supported Kaine in his gubernatorial run.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters, unprovoked, that Kaine “is somebody that the president deeply respects.” Bill Clinton also supports the decision, according to reports.
For the Clinton campaign, Kaine represented the safest choice for the vice presidential role. Kaine is considerably more moderate than liberals Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) or Sharrod Brown (D-Oh.), less damaged then Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, and his Senate seat is in less danger of being lost to Republicans than Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey.
That doesn’t mean the former Virginia Governor is uniformly endorsed by members of the Democratic Party, however.
Supporters of Bernie Sanders in the more liberal factions of the Democratic Party have already lined up their criticism of Kaine’s record, including his support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Wall Street deregulation.
Hours before Clinton announced Kaine as her running mate, Kaine gave an interview to The Intercept, and praised TPP as “an improvement of the status quo” but “maintained that he had not yet decided how to vote on final approval of the agreement,” according to reports.
This is a break with Clinton, who supported the trade agreement until the bruising primary battle with Sanders, when she changed her opinion and opposed the agreement.
Only a couple days before the Clinton campaign rolled out their nominee, a Politico article reported that he and other Democratic Senators signed a letter urging regulators to rethink and loosen bank regulation.
Liberals were not happy, and called it “disqualifying.”
“It should be disqualifying for any potential Democratic vice presidential candidate to be part of a lobbyist-driven effort to help banks dodge consumer protection standards and regulations designed to prevent banks from destroying our economy,” Democracy for America executive director Charles Chamberlain said in a statement on Thursday.