Is Kaine Able?

While the Democrats dully and duly applaud Hillary’s choice of Tim Kaine for Veep, many on our side and theirs have a different view of the senator from Virginia.

Some say she chose him because he will help her carry Virginia. Well, that’s an obvious explanation, but not necessarily true. Veep picks don’t assure a victory in their home state. Think Paul Ryan and Al Gore.

Other explanations include that if he wins, it would free current Governor Terry McAuliffe, who is term limited, to run for Kaine’s spot in the Senate. McAuliffe, a Clinton devotee, may be owed something, or else, having been DNC chair, has ties to money bags.

Kaine was also a DNC chair, but otherwise it’s a pretty dull, unexciting, slap in the face to minorities pick. Others in the running like New Jersey Senator Corey Booker and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, could have injected some enthusiasm in the race via their ethnicity. But since when do Democrats ever practice what they preach? Elizabeth Warren might have too, but why would she take second banana spot when she has her eye on the bigger prize?

Kaine is fluent in Spanish, so there’s that. He’s 58 and a graduate of Harvard Law, as is his wife, who was the daughter of Virginia governor A. Linwood Holton. Looks like he was quick to find an opportunistic thrust up the political ladder through marriage, doesn’t it?
After Kaine became mayor of Richmond, Mother Jones says “Kaine wasn’t supposed to run for statewide office in 2001, but front-runner Emily Couric—a state senator and sister of television broadcaster Katie Couric—abruptly dropped out of the lieutenant governor’s race, announced that she had pancreatic cancer, and died a few weeks before the election. Kaine, who had been endorsed by Emily Couric, won the Democratic primary and then, by a narrow margin, the general election, running a campaign mostly focused on tying himself to the party’s gubernatorial nominee, Mark Warner. He was widely considered the more liberal member of the ticket and ran on his gun control record as Richmond’s mayor while Warner sought the National Rifle Association’s endorsement.
“He saw that the increasingly liberal cities in the state and the diverse, college-educated suburbs in Northern Virginia offered a path for Democrats to win statewide elections without shying away from progressive views. He built a new Democratic coalition of women and minorities that didn’t need the voters from the conservative rural areas, a strategy that Barack Obama would replicate to win the state in 2008 and 2012. Running explicitly against President George W. Bush’s record, Kaine won the governor’s race a year after Bush had carried Virginia by eight points and Democrats were at a low point nationwide.

“The victory instantly made Kaine a Democratic rising star, and he was tapped to deliver the Democratic response to Bush’s 2006 State of the Union speech less than a month after moving into the governor’s office. His address was widely panned as lackluster — remembered mostly for Kaine’s penchant for frequently raising his left eyebrow. His tenure as governor, too, had few defining achievements, beyond a smoking-ban law and a recession-era budget compromise that required him to cut spending across the board when the Republican-led state legislature rejected his calls for tax increases. It was a thin record, but enough to propel him into the presidential campaign conversation.”

After the governorship Kaine became head of the DNC. He outraised Republicans, but lost seats in the Tea Party wave. When Senator Jim Webb decided he wouldn’t run for another term, Kaine pounced and won that spot.

Kaine is clearly an insider and has problems with the Democrat Left. Many of the Sanders people feel Hillary turned her back on them by choosing Kaine, after she managed to wrangle an endorsement out of Sanders.

Kaine has some ties to, shall we say, “suspicious” money accumulation. After Hillary’s announcement, Trump tweeted: “Is it the same Kaine that took hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts while Governor of Virginia and didn’t get indicted while Bob M did?”

You can see our side will not hesitate to bring this up.

Or, the fact that Kaine’s first speech on the Senate floor was entirely in Spanish. He has never found an unvetted refugee he didn’t welcome with open arms, garnering him a F- grade on immigration from NumbersUSA.

A comment on another site said: “I’m having a hard time seeing what Tim Kaine really brings to the Hillary ticket. Is she trying to balance her own ‘sort of boring and thoroughly corrupt’ with someone who’s ‘sort of corrupt and thoroughly boring’? Is she signalling to white males that, ‘no, I don’t hate ALL of you; just like 98% of you’? There’s no way getting Bernie supporters to turn out and vote for her in November could’ve been part of that thought process; this is the Dem establishment doubling down and gloating at Bernie supporters, not trying to ‘heal the party’.”

Further alienating the Sanders group, Lifezette reports: “In 2013, Kaine introduced legislation to lift the federal ban on offshore oil-drilling in the Virginia coast. Kaine is also supportive of the coal industry, as well as the use of nuclear power.

“As governor of Virginia, Kaine repealed the estate tax. He also supported the Iraq War, and favors some restrictions on abortion. But perhaps most significantly, Kaine is an ardent supporter of free trade deals. He has praised NAFTA, referred to opponents of free trade as ‘losers,’ and voted for both fast-track authority and the TPP.”

Wonder if interviewers like 60 Minutes’ Leslie Stahl will ask divisive questions of him about Hillary as they did Pence about Trump?

Nevermind.

For Kaine’s sake, I hope he’s good at ducking. From recent books, it appears Hillary likes to throw things when she’s mad.

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