If resume is destiny, Kaine was inevitable. He is a former city council member, mayor, lieutenant governor and governor who has become a student of war and foreign policy in the Senate. As governor he even had to prove himself in the tragic role presidents must play all too often, as consoler in chief after a mass shooting (the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre that left 32 people dead).
Kaine’s political credentials are also unmatched. A former national party chairman and a former Catholic missionary to Honduras, he has never lost an election and has a solid approval rating in his state. He may not be Hispanic, but he speaks fluent Spanish. tHe comes from an important swing state with 13 electoral votes – more than twice as many as Iowa (home of another finalist, Agriculture secretary and former governor Tom Vilsack). And, key to Democratic dreams of a Senate majority, Kaine’s successor will be named by a Democrat -- Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
Low-maintenance and low-key, a Southern politician married to the daughter of a former Republican governor, Kaine always seemed a mismatch for the job his friend Barack Obama gave him in 2009 as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He isn’t a partisan pit bull on the order of, say, Dick Cheney. But Clinton will have plenty of willing and ferocious attackers, from Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to a highly articulate and enraged cadre of #NeverTrump conservatives.
Okay, all of that sounds pretty good.
There are a few stumbling blocks for progressives however, including Kaine's wishy washy stance on abortion (He's a Catholic.), his support for TPP, and of course the worst one, he's not Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren,
However there is this.
And that's very good.Various progressive groups give hi ratings to #TimKaine— NaphiSoc (@NaphiSoc) July 23, 2016
Brady Campaign 100%
Human Rights Campaign 100%
Planned P 100%
AFL CIO 96%
And there is also the fact that he is almost universally well liked (Much like Joe Biden.) and considered to be extremely ethical and trustworthy.
Well aside from this that is:
Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine took advantage of the state’s lax gift laws to receive an $18,000 Caribbean vacation, $5,500 in clothes and a trip to watch George Mason University play in the NCAA basketball Final Four during his years as lieutenant governor and governor, according to disclosures he filed.
While legal under Virginia’s unusually permissive ethics rules, the gifts could become attack-ad fodder after similar presents led to corruption charges for Gov. Bob McDonnell, whose conviction the Supreme Court overturned Monday. Republicans could also use the records to portray Kaine as part of the self-dealing establishment in a cycle animated by hostility toward the political class.
It's not much, but it gives Trump and the Republicans at least a little something to work with.
And Trump has wasted little time in going on the attack:
The Bernie Sanders supporters are furious with the choice of Tim Kaine, who represents the opposite of what Bernie stands for. Philly fight?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2016
Tim Kaine is, and always has been, owned by the banks. Bernie supporters are outraged, was their last choice. Bernie fought for nothing!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2016
Damn it looks like Tim Kaine scares Trump almost as much as Elizabeth "Pocahontas" Warren did.Tim Kaine has been praising the Trans Pacific Partnership and has been pushing hard to get it approved. Job killer!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2016
You know when Hillary announced that Kaine was her choice I have to admit that I was disappointed, but that had nothing to do with any negative feelings I had about Tim Kaine, but rather my own desire to have somebody on the ticket who I found exciting or inspirational.
To be honest I am not really that big of a Hillary supporter.
I like her just fine, but she really does not get me fired up.
And sadly neither does Tim Kaine.
So yes this ticket is made up of two very strong and capable politicians, who are infinitely better than their Republican counterparts.
But damn, I just wish as a political blogger I had more opportunity to write excitedly about the Democratic ticket, and did not have to instead focus on the lunacy from the other side of the aisle.