Rolling out the Clinton-Kaine ticket

This article is part of a series on the Democratic National Convention.

PHILADELPHIA – As the Democratic Party National Convention opens here today, many delegates are eager to meet with, and get to know, Sen. Tim Kaine, D.–Va., Hillary Clinton’s pick for her running mate.

He’s a great choice. Kaine pushed the political envelope of Virginia, an erstwhile red southern state, in a progressive direction – and won! He was elected mayor of Richmond, then governor of the state, and then Senator.

Everyone agrees: he’s a sincere, nice guy.

Sen. Jeff Flake R.-Ariz. said on Twitter that he had been “trying to count the ways I hate Tim Kaine. Drawing a blank. Congrats to a good man and a good friend.”

In Florida two days ago, at their first appearance together, Clinton said, “Senator Tim Kaine is everything that Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not. He is a progressive who likes to get things done.

“As you get to know [him],” Clinton said, “you will see that his lifelong commitment to social justice is a shining example of his faith in action.

Kaine, a devout Catholic, worked for many years as a civil rights and fair housing attorney in Richmond. He speaks fluent Spanish and took a year off from Harvard law school to work as a missionary in Honduras.

He says he saw grinding poverty first hand and concluded that more than spiritual aid was needed. The Hondurans with whom he worked needed economic help.

Kaine, who grew up in Missouri, repeatedly stresses his working class background. His father was a member of the Ironworkers union.

At the Florida rally with Clinton, Kaine spoke in both English and Spanish, stressing his belief that far from banning immigrants, which is part of the Trump platform, he wants to welcome more into the nation.

He described being at a ceremony in which immigrants became U.S. citizens and said in Spanish that we are all Americans, no matter where we came from originally.

Representing Virginia, Kaine has taken some positions in the past that that are not in accordance with the current Democratic Party platform.

However, Larry Cohen, an adviser to the Sanders campaign and a former president of the Communications Workers of America, said of Mr. Kaine, “People are minimizing the range of this man by putting him in some box I would argue he doesn’t belong.”

Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP


Larry Rubin
Larry Rubin

Larry Rubin has been a union organizer, a speechwriter and an editor of union publications. He was a civil rights organizer in the Deep South and is often invited to speak on applying Movement lessons to today's challenges. He has produced several folk music shows.