With only days before the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton chose Tim Kaine as her running mate.
While the Republican party is still glowing from Donald Trump formally accepting their nomination, the Democrats attempted to ruin the jubilation with a grand announcement of their own. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine will be the Democratic pick to round out the ticket.
“I’m thrilled to announce my running mate, @TimKaine, a man who’s devoted his life to fighting for others,” Clinton announced in a Twitter message.
Sen. Kaine is largely unknown to the national political scene, but served on influential posts such as the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on the Budget and the Committee on Foreign Relations. In July 2013, Sen. Kaine was named Chairman of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counter Terrorism.
The pick comes on the heels of a blistering attack at the Republican National Convention on Clinton’s record as former Secretary of State. The decision to make Sen. Kaine potentially the next Vice President may also bolster staunch liberals still on the fence about supporting Clinton.
“Just got off the phone with Hillary. I’m honored to be her running mate,” Sen. Kaine said in Twitter message.
Sen. Kaine has been one of President Obama’s most fervent supporters even siding with him on controversial moves by the administration to open relations with Cuba, supporting the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, backing the White House on the executive action on immigration and opposing capital punishment to name just a few.
The former Governor of Virginia has been a major player behind the scenes starting in January 2009, when he became the Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Now, the challenge will be convincing the country that a traditionally liberal Senator will be a right fit following eight years of President Obama’s policies.
It did not take long before the Trump campaign took their opening shots at the pick citing Sen. Kaine as the recipients of many perks during his tenure as Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor and later as Governor.
“It’s only fitting that Hillary Clinton would select an ethically challenged insider like Tim Kaine who’s personally benefited from the rigged system,” said a spokesperson for the Trump campaign.
For months, speculation surrounded current Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro as a possible pick. During the Texas Democratic Convention, Secretary Castro denied being vetted by the Clinton campaign. Only days later, he admitted to being on the short list of possible picks to complete the ticket.
The DNC begins July 25-28 and it will be their turn to state their case for the American Public. It will, no doubt, include anti-Trump rhetoric on his business record and divisive comments from the campaign trail.