Several candidates are still being vetted for Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential pick, but it looks like Virginia Senator Tim Kaine has moved to the front of the class. Coming from a swing state which will be heavily blanketed by both campaigns, Kaine would bring some balance to the Democratic ticket and influence in a state which Hillary Clinton needs to win.
Report from Politico:
Kaine currently towers over other top-tier candidates still in consideration like New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Labor Secretary Tom Perez, California Rep. Xavier Becerra and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown.
“Tim Kaine was a finalist eight years ago because of his executive experience, solidity, values, standing in a critical state and overall profile as someone who would be a good governing partner to Obama,” said former Obama senior strategist David Axelrod, who was involved in the selection process eight years ago. “He was very much in contention and highly regarded.”
The selection process, however, is colored by new uncertainty among Democratic donors and Clinton allies who are no longer convinced that Donald Trump is sure to be the GOP nominee. A big advantage of holding their convention second, Democrats said, was being able to make a final pick with full knowledge of the GOP ticket. [Emphasis added]
The Democratic ticket could be altered to compete better against the Republican ticket, which will be announced first. If Trump were to pick someone with a Latino background, Hillary may feel the need to do the same. I would venture to guess that preparations will be made for a slew of vice presidential options, each meeting a certain niche within the electorate that the Clinton team thinks they would need to hit as a counter to whomever Donald Trump chooses.
Kaine, a former Virginia governor, has basically been a “quiet” Senator, rarely making big news, but he won his Senate race in 2012 handily against Republican George Allen, another former Virginia governor.