Hillary Clinton Picks Tim Kaine To Be Vice President

Friday, July 22nd 2016, 8:36 pm
By: News On 6

Hillary Clinton has selected Virginia Senator Tim Kaine to be her running mate.

Top Clinton aides had promised supporters they could be the first to know, and they were.

The campaign had sent an email urging supporters to sign up to get the information before anyone else. "If you sign up for text messages, you will be the first to know when Hillary announces her running mate," read a recent email sent by her campaign. "No accidental tweets or leaks to the press." They failed/succeeded in keeping the news under wraps until their announcement.

CBS News

The secret was very tightly held. Aides said that Clinton would be personally calling some of the contenders who were not picked.

The news was released on a day when Clinton met privately with family members of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting, and as a shooting rampage at a mall in Munich was taking place.

Kaine hails from the perennial swing state of Virginia, where he served as governor and was elected to the Senate in 2012. Many of Clinton's paths to the White House run through Virginia, so sharing the ticket with a relatively popular native of the state could be a big boost.

He also supported Clinton early in the 2016 race, saying as far back as 2014 that the former secretary of state should be the next president. Kaine was involved in the pro-Clinton group Ready for Hillary, giving him credibility with a candidate who prizes loyalty. Since she became a candidate in April 2015, Kaine has repeatedly hit the campaign trail for Clinton--most recently at a rally in Annandale, Va., earlier this month.

Though considered one of her safest picks--Kaine has described himself throughout the vice presidential vetting process as "boring"--his presence on the ticket could help Clinton with one demographic that has been systematically moving away from Democrats: white men. At the same time, he's fluent in Spanish and spent time in his youth volunteering as a missionary in Honduras.

As for Kaine's Senate seat, there's no concern his election as vice president could jeopardize Democrats' hopes of winning back Congress' upper chamber in November: Kaine's replacement would be appointed by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat and longtime ally of the Clintons.

What his addition to the ticket may not do is quiet the progressive wing of the party that backed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primary. Those voters undoubtedly hoped for a pick who would more closely represent Sanders' views, like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Kaine beat out several other serious contenders for the job, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Labor Secretary Tom Perez.