WASHINGTON: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has picked Tim Kaine, a seasoned politician and a Senator from the battleground-state of Virginia, to be her vice presidential running mate as she gears up for an epic clash with Republican Donald Trump in the November polls.
“I’m thrilled to announce my running mate, Tim Kaine, a man who’s devoted his life to fighting for others,” Clinton announced on Twitter last night, days ahead of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
“Tim Kaine is a relentless optimist who believes no problem is unsolvable if you put in the work to solve it,” she said.
Kaine, 58, is a former Governor of Virginia. He was elected to the US Senate on 2013. He is a member of the Senate India Caucus. He had visited India as part of a Congressional delegation in October 2014.
In an email to her supporters, Clinton said Kaine is a lifelong fighter for progressive causes and one of the most qualified vice presidential candidates in the nation’s history.
“He is a genuinely nice person, but Tim is no one’s punching bag. He will fight tooth and nail for American families, and he’ll be a dogged fighter in our campaign against Donald Trump and Mike Pence,” the 68-year-old former secretary of state said.
Ending days of speculation, Clinton finally settled for the battleground-state politician with working-class roots and a fluency in Spanish, traits that she believes can bolster her chances to defeat Trump in November.
Clinton’s choice came after her advisers spent months poring over potential vice-presidential candidates who could lift the Democratic ticket in an unpredictable race against the 70-year-old business tycoon.
“I’ve had the privilege of seeing two presidents and two vice presidents up close. I want a vice president who can be my partner in bringing this country together. I want someone who will be able to give me their best advice, look me in the eye, and tell me they disagree with me when they do,” Clinton said.
“But what matters most is a simple test that’s not so simple to meet: whether the person could step in at a moment’s notice and serve as president. I have no doubt that Tim can do that job,” she said.
Kaine, she argued, is a man of relentless optimism who believes no problem is unsolvable if one is willing to put in the work.
“That commitment to delivering results has stayed with him throughout his decades-long career as a public servant. So I could give you a laundry list of things he went on to accomplish — as mayor of Richmond, governor of Virginia, and in the United States Senate,” she said.
In addition to being a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kaine is also a ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Budget Committee among others.