Friday, July 22, 2016
I Like Sen.Tim Kaine and I'm Glad He's With Her
Well, maybe Hillary Clinton's VP pick is sort of a Volvo--he's a bit boxy or "boring", but he's safe. And that's not a knock at all. I think picking a sensible, smart, decent person who can step in and be president if he has to is exactly what Clinton was supposed to do--and that's exactly what she did. I'm seeing some progressive folks rolling their eyes wishing she picked someone who was more their idea of an ideal VP pick--someone exciting, or someone who sent a message to her progressive base, or who turns them on in some way.
I get it. I was kind of turned on by the possibility of a Clinton/Warren ticket as being a kind of feminist rebuke to the idea a man had to be on the ticket at all, with two exceptional progressives who would just flay the shit out of Trump/Pence in debates on the basis of stone cold knowing their business. I also was warm to the idea of Labor Sec. Tom Perez as a great lefty choice. But I'm already trusting Secretary Clinton to be my presidential candidate, so I'm just going to go ahead and think about what her calculations are and what she needs to get the job done.
And that's how I know Sen. Kaine is a solid choice. Because she already is comfortable that she will have a positive working relationship with Kaine. She and he share important values, like the application of faith to their work, the importance of standing with people identified as "the Other" and a vision of success coming in well-fought, strategic increments. I like his record, which is very progressive for the state of Virginia.
In some ways, their differences are complementary--he has a 100% NARAL rating, but has expressed qualms of some aspects of reproductive health care--and yet Clinton represents as strong a belief in the primacy of bodily autonomy as could be hoped for. Clinton retains support for the death penalty, Kaine has long been opposed (although he respected it as the law of the land which Governor of Virginia). He has worked with Republican Senator Jeff Flake on the issue of restricting executive power with respect to war. He is well-rounded and hasn't got much in the way of baggage.
I do not expect, nor have I ever experienced, the sensation that I had found a candidate for any office that I agreed with or was going to agree with 100%. So while I respect the personal opnions of other lefties who have solid criticisms, I still understand why Clinton made the choice she did, and am pretty glad--I like Sen. Kaine. I think they could be a great team.
Also--he's not that boring. He only looks that way in the age of Trump.