Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has chosen Virginia Senator Tim Kaine to be her running mate. Kaine's possible election as vice president wouldn't turn his Senate seat over to a Republican; Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe would make that appointment.
"Tim is a lifelong fighter for progressive causes and one of the most qualified vice presidential candidates in our nation's history", Clinton said in a press release Friday. "Can't wait to hit the trail tomorrow in Miami", Kaine said on Twitter.
Clinton will hold a campaign rally Saturday in Miami, Florida, where she will formally introduce the centrist senator in their first public appearance.
Kaine, a former mayor, lieutenant governor and governor, was a finalist to be President Obama's running mate in 2008 and was long rumored to be on Clinton's shortlist. Bernie Sanders and his unexpectedly strong challenge to Clinton in the Democratic primaries had urged her to chose a running mate that would reassure the left on issues such as trade deals and Wall Street regulation.
While some may wonder why the former secretary of state didn't choose a more exciting candidate, Clinton told PBS she is "afflicted with the responsibility gene", and felt no pressure to double down on the historic nature of her campaign by choosing a female or minority running mate.
Tim Kaine, D-Va., participate in a rally at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va., Thursday, July 14, 2016.
The conventional wisdom on Capitol Hill argues that as Clinton heads into the general election, having an experienced, well-liked VP pick from a swing state could offer an image of stability that contrasts starkly with her opponent Donald Trump.
"Senator Kaine served as the chair of the DNC during President Obama's first year in office, and Senator Kaine is somebody that the president deeply respects".
Kaine supported legislation in the Senate that was key to advancing a 12-nation trade agreement that has been a priority of the Obama administration, but which both Sanders and Clinton have said they opposed.
Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees, has been a leading voice calling for a formal authorization of war against the Islamic State militant group. He is generally considered a safe, moderate, pick for Clinton, and is a seasoned politician with few negatives. His father-in-law is also a former Virginia governor. Kaine and Holton married and settled in Richmond where both practiced law and sewed the seeds of Kaine's political future. But, as other observers have noted, the Minnesota native, who was raised in Kansas City, Mo., could help Clinton appeal to one of her weakest demographic areas - white, working-class men in the Rust Belt, a group where Trump has an advantage.
Clinton delegate Roger Salazar of California said he was rooting for Clinton to select Rep. Xavier Becerra, a Hispanic and one of the most powerful Democrats in the House. A Roman Catholic and fluent Spanish speaker, he provides a voice that may resonate with the Latino vote.