Six Reasons Hillary Clinton Chose Senator Tim Kaine as Her Running Mate

July 22nd 2016

Kyle Jaeger

Ending weeks of speculation, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton announced her running mate on Friday: Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.)

Tim Kaine

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. Kaine might not have the liberal appeal of progressive icons like Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) or Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), but he's considered a sensible choice who complements Clinton's platform.

Here are six reasons that Hillary Clinton chose Tim Kaine.


1. Kaine is an experienced choice who's earned the favor of voters in a key battleground state.

As a former mayor and governor in Virginia, Kaine was able to reach voters in the state's urban and rural pockets alike, The New York Times reports. He's built a reputation as "a thoroughly decent and honest person," Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor, told the Times. And what's more, he's maintained his popularity in the Senate, where he's considered a pragmatic lawmaker. All of this could help Clinton's chances of winning Virginia in the general election.

2. Kaine's foreign policy experience is an asset.

Kaine serves as a member of the Armed Services Committee, the Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, and the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development. With Kaine on the ticket, the combined foreign policy experience could give the pair a demonstrable advantage.

3. Kaine could bolster Clinton's support among Hispanic voters.

A fluent Spanish speaker, Kaine could help promote Clinton's platform to Hispanic voters and broaden her already sizeable lead over Trump. As it stands, 66 percent of Hispanic voters back Clinton to Trump's 24 percent, according to the Pew Research Center. Though he's not Hispanic himself, Kaine made history when in 2013 he became the first Senator to make a floor speech in Spanish while boosting immigration reform. 

4. At the same time, Kaine stands to help Clinton win over white and Independent voters.

Though some liberals take issue with Kaine's views on global trade and Wall Street regulation, his reputation as a moderate could enable Clinton to steal voters away from Trump's key base: white males. "Those voters may prove more critical to her chances in November than the young liberal voters who backed [Sen. Bernie] Sanders in the primaries," The Times reports.

Donald Trump speaks to crowd in Las Vegas

5. Kaine could serve as an effective fundraiser for the campaign.

After losing out to Joe Biden as President Barack Obama's VP pick in 2008, the president invited Kaine to serve as a chairman of the Democratic National Committee. "The experience connected him with a national network of donors as well as rank-and-file Democrats throughout the country." The Los Angeles Times reports. A former aide to Kaine told The Los Angeles Times that he makes a point to call up to a dozen volunteer organizers each week.

6. The vacated Senate seat in Virginia would be filled by a Democrat.

It will fall to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe — a Democrat — to appoint a replacement to fill Kaine's seat once he takes the oath of office. Had Clinton selected Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), for example,  Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) could have chosen a Republican to fill that role on an interim basis until an election could be held. 

RELATED: The Most Important Word in Donald Trump's RNC Speech