Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has announced Tim Kaine as her running mate, via a text message to her supporters on Friday (July 22):
“I’m thrilled to tell you this first: I’ve chosen Sen. Tim Kaine as my running mate. Welcome him to our team.”
Tim Kaine is the junior senator from Virginia, a former governor and lieutenant governor of Virginia, a former mayor of Richmond, and a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Media reports predicted the selection as early as mid-July, with Clinton’s shortlist whittled down to four other options: agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack, labor secretary Tom Perez, former naval admiral James Stavridis, and New Jersey senator Cory Booker. It is said Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton, was privately pushing for Kaine.
Of course, it helps that Kaine is likely to deliver Clinton the swing state of Virginia come November, but sources close to the presumptive nominee say identifying “experience” was a key factor in her decision.
Indeed, Kaine comes with no shortage of political experience. There remain concerns, however, that brushes with scandal could further tarnish a ticket already marred in voter suspicion. Likewise, the selection of a left-of-center white male, reportedly friendly with big banks, will do little to soothe the concerns of minority voters and the wing of the party that coalesced around Vermont senator Bernie Sanders during the primaries.
Kaine will deliver his first major speech as Clinton’s running mate at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, next week.