I pride myself on coming up with unusual post titles such as summoning the spirit of Earl Long this morning. But sometimes, you have to make like Bad Company and Run with the Pack. This is one of those times, especially since the *only* thing Donald Trump and I have in common is a love for Citizen Kane. I wrote about that in a post last March entitled Charles Foster Kane Meets Donald Trump. The Insult Comedian take on Kane is as nutty as he is but I’m not writing about my favorite film, I’m writing about Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Senator Tim Kaine of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Kaine was not my first choice in the Veepstakes BUT almost no one ever votes for the Vice Presidential candidate and they rarely make any difference. It’s why I keep writing posts entitled, Veepstakes, Lowstakes. But Kaine was my second choice and he’s an excellent governing partner for HRC. The rap on him that he’s boring is goofy; in some ways it’s a running joke that Kaine himself started years ago. Kaine has a good sense of humor, which may be a negative to the drearier sorts out there but is important to me. His speaking style is conversational in nature, which is reminiscent of a certain former President and future First Gentleman or First Dude. It’s one reason Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were in his corner as the selection process wound down.
In short, Tim Kaine is a solid choice who hit a home run in his first speech as HRC’s running mate:
I know what some of you are thinking: he’s not progressive enough for me. That snap judgment by some on the left is based on two specific votes and not on the totality of his record. For example, Kaine has an outstanding record on gun safety related issues; much better than Senator Sanders. Does that mean that Sanders isn’t progressive enough? Of course not, you have to judge people by totality of their record and, more importantly, by their people skills and track record of getting things done. Tim Kaine is a member of the party that gets shit done. That’s important to me. You can’t help anyone if you love humanity but hate individuals.
I’m also disconcerted by those who think the *only* issues that define who’s a progressive are economic ones. Tim Kaine was a civil rights lawyer for 17 years and has been a racial healer at all three levels of government: local, state, and federal. He and his wife, Anne Holton, sent their kids to integrated public schools in majority African-American Richmond, VA. I was pleased that Kaine told the story of his father-in-law, Linwood Holton, who was the first Virginia Governor to accept integration. Holton paid a heavy political price for doing the right thing. I was under the impression that Civil Rights were important to people on the Left. I’ve had a bellyful of progressives who denounce “identity politics” and think all focus should be on economics and the class struggle. It’s one reason that the Sanders campaign did not connect with minority voters.
Speaking of “identity politics,” Kaine was given an A by Planned Parenthood. There’s some confusion about Kaine’s position on reproductive rights as he’s evolved over the years. Like Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Jimmy Carter, Kaine is *personally* opposed to abortion, but supports a woman’s right to choose. I’d say that puts Senator Kaine in good company.
Tim Kaine’s human qualities are what make him so perfect as a number-two to Hillary Clinton. Kaine is a warm, friendly, and gregarious man who was also willing to fight the NRA as Governor and stand-up to President Obama on the War Powers Act. Kaine was one of a group of Senators who insisted that POTUS comply with the terms of the War Powers Act if there was military action in Syria. Sounds progressive as well as dovish to me.
I am confident that Tim Kaine will wear well with the American people. Remember: it’s the nominee’s views that matter in the end. Kaine does not have as great a distance to travel as, say, Poppy Bush who renounced most of his previous positions. The most humorous switch was on reproductive rights. Bush the elder was so pro-Planned Parenthood that his nickname as a Congressman from Houston was “rubbers.”
One more thing: Tim Kaine is qualified to be President.
That concludes this edition of News on the March.