Ahead of the Democratic National Convention next week presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has been expected to finalize the veepstakes race, and today it’s official: Tim Kaine, the junior Senator from Virginia, is her vice presidential running mate on the Democratic ticket. Clinton made the announcement via Twitter:
Kaine has also confirmed the news in his own tweet:
For months the 58 year-old Democratic Senator from the swing-state of Virginia, dodged rumors of being vetted; in April Senator John McCain jokingly referred to him ‘Vice President Kaine.’
Kaine has significant political experience and widespread demographic appeal. He was a leading choice for then-Senator Barack Obama’s vice presidential running mate in 2008, and was the first Senator to endorse Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nominee in 2014.
Here’s what you need to know about Tim Kaine, junior Democratic Senator from Virginia and vice presidential candidate.
1. He Has More Than 20 Years of Political Experience
Kaine has spent more than one-third of his life in state and national politics. He served as a Richmond city council member from 1994 until 1998 and mayor of Richmond from 1998 until 2001. From 2002 until 2005 he was lieutenant governor and then governor of Virginia from 2006 until 2010. In 2009 he was elected chair of the Democratic National Committee, serving until he was elected Senator from Virginia in 2012. Kaine currently serves on the Foreign Relations and Senate Armed Services committees.
2. Kaine Appeals to a Broad Donor & Voter Base
Kaine is popular with a wide base of donors and voters, evidenced by the fact that he has never lost an election. He has the ability to excite the Democratic base and may appeal to Independents and moderate Republicans, particularly in light of his less left-leaning stances on abortion and trade, his strong Catholic faith, and his endorsement by former Republican governor of Virginia Lindwood Holton (who also happens to be his father-in-law).
Kaine’s personal background also makes him attractive to both minority and white voters. Before becoming a politician he practiced as a civil rights attorney for 17 years. He is a member of and regular attendee at a predominantly black church, and he speaks Spanish fluently as a result of running a vocation school for teenage boys while a missionary in Honduras.
3. He Met His Wife While They Were Both Studying at Harvard Law School
Kaine earned his B.A. in economics from the University of Missouri, before attending Harvard Law School, where he met his wife Anne Holton in a study group. The couple were married in 1984, a year after Kaine graduated from Harvard with a Juris Doctor and was admitted to the Virginia bar. Kaine and Holton have three grown children: Annella, Woody, and Nat.
Holton has extensive experience in the Virginia legal and education systems. She served as a legal aid lawyer for low-income families and is also a former Richmond Juvenile Court Judge. Holton has won numerous awards for her fight to reform the foster care system. She is now the secretary of education in Virginia.
For more than 30 years Kaine and Holton have lived in the same Richmond neighborhood and sent their children to public school. According to Roll Call, Kaine’s total wealth is valued at approximately $710,000, making him the 228th wealthiest of 541 members of Congress, below the Senate average and well below fellow Virginia Senator Mark Warner.
4. He Differs With Clinton on Issues of Abortion and Trade
While Clinton and Kaine have similar views on most issues, including tax reform, same-sex marriage, and Obamacare, they differ on the issues of abortion and trade, specifically the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Kaine opposes abortion on religious grounds, but does not believe in overturning Roe vs. Wade or restricting public abortion funding. He does, however, believe in restricting partial-birth abortions, parental consent, and informed consent. He also favors the promotion of abstinence-based education. These are center of Clinton‘s more liberal pro-choice views, however Kaine has recently exhibited more pro-choice views that would better align with Clinton.
Another difference that has emerged between Kaine and Clinton has been their support of the TPP. While Clinton initially supported the agreement, in an interview with PBS she then said that she does not support it. Kaine, however, just recently praised the agreement, although he did not confirm whether he would ultimately vote for it.
5. He Has Insisted That He Is ‘Happy With His Job’ & ‘Isn’t Looking For a New One’
When pressed for “veep talk” by Mika Brzezinksi on MSNBC‘s Morning Joe, Kaine deflected discussion about his potential as Clinton’s running-mate, stating:
“I love my job and I’m not looking for another one, so… As you guys know we’ve got a lot to do up here and a lot of challenges and I’m pretty happy doing it […] I hope to be here for a while”