In a year of controversial, divisive and unpopular presidential candidates, it seems the best way to pick a vice president is to go for the safest option. So thought Hillary Clinton in picking Tim Kaine, an old, white, boring but his-heart-is-in-the-right-place kind of guy. And even though you’ve never heard of him, Clinton is hoping that he is the ticket to winning the hearts and minds of voters when she introduces him this week in Philadelphia. But is his team-player persona, liberal-centrist stance and governor credentials enough for Clinton to overcome the tremendous odds stacked against her?
Perhaps. People are more likely to vote for the top of the ticket in November rather than getting to know the veeps but in case you were interested, here’s a quick rundown on Kaine: he speaks fluent Spanish (Hispanic vote, tick), comes from Virginia (swing state vote, tick) and has bipartisan respect in Congress (experience, tick). Cons? You had no idea he existed before now, he’s anti-left on some issues (think abortion) and he’s already earned a Trump nickname: Corrupt Kaine (he received LOTS of gifts as governor). It goes well with Crooked Hillary. Unfortunately Clinton is running against a presidential candidate with a loyal and enthusiastic following which has already voted in record numbers this year. Thus Clinton’s pick is seen by some as a missed opportunity to energize her party’s base with flashier alternatives like Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.
Speaking of Bernie Sanders, his quasi-endorsement of Clinton’s VP is sure to bring his own considerable following on board, especially when Sanders’ argument is so damn compelling: vote for Kaine not because he has a great voting record or good liberal policies, but because any Democrat is a bajillion times better than Trump. That’s the kind of reasoning you can expect to hear a lot of during this week’s Democratic Convention. Funnily enough, that’s exactly the kind of reasoning which might be enough to unify the party.
Feel that it’s a fairly easy process to become VP? Not so much. Movie for your mood: The Contender