• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Democrat Clinton picks Kaine as running mate, bypassing liberals

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Hillary Clinton named U.S. Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate on Friday, opting for an experienced governing partner. Kaine is expected to help her present the Democratic ticket as a steady alternative to the unpredictable campaign of Republican presidential rival, Donald Trump. The selection of Kaine, a self-described “boring” Virginian with a reputation for low-key competence, could appeal to independents and moderates. His choice, however, quickly angered liberal groups that objected to his advocacy for an Asian free-trade pact.

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine

Kaine and Richmond mayor fit Clinton’s long-stated criteria that the vice-presidential choice should be a capable and reliable partner who is ready to take over the presidency if necessary. Clinton made the announcement via Twitter and a text message to supporters after the first day of a two-day campaign swing in Florida. She called Kaine to tell him about 40 minutes before the announcement and called President Barack Obama shortly after Kaine. “I’m thrilled to tell you this first: I’ve chosen Sen. Tim Kaine as my running mate. Welcome him to my team,” she said in her text message. Kaine, 58, edged out two other finalists, Cory Booker, a U.S. senator from New Jersey, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, according to a Democratic source familiar with the discussions. Clinton also bypassed candidates who would have generated more excitement among liberal and Hispanic activists, including progressive favourite U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and two Hispanic members of Obama’s Cabinet, Julian Castro and Thomas Perez. The former secretary of state will be formally nominated as the party’s presidential candidate for the Nov. 8, 2016 election at next week’s Democratic convention in Philadelphia. She leads Trump in many opinion polls. Clinton’s choice of a running mate could give her campaign momentum heading into the convention, as the fight for the White House begins a more than three-month push to the finish. Clinton, 68, acknowledged in an interview earlier this week that even though Kaine admitted he was boring, she did not mind. “I love that about him. He’s never lost an election. He was a world-class mayor, governor and senator and is one of the most highly respected senators I know,” she said.