Your Tim Kaine VP Primer: 7 Things You Should Know About Hillary Clinton’s Running Mate

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Friday announced Tim Kaine as her vice presidential running mate. Kaine is a more traditional (read: less progressive) politician than some of the other top picks, but also significantly less controversial. Here are some things you need to know about him:


1. Kaine is currently the junior senator from Virginia, having been elected in 2012 after Jim Webb retired. Before that he served as the governor, lieutenant governor, and mayor of Richmond.

2. He’s Catholic, but interestingly, still pro-choice. While he has previously admitted to having “a faith-based opposition to abortion” he also says, “Roe vs. Wade is ultimately about saying that there is a realm of personal liberty for people to make this decision” and “I don’t think ultimately we ought to be criminalizing abortion.”

3. One of the things that put Kaine over the edge in terms of a strong VP pick is the fact that he’s from Minnesota, but has served Virginia, which should help strengthen Clinton’s position in battleground states in both the South and Midwest.

4. He speaks fluent Spanish — he has delivered speeches on the Senate floor in Spanish.

5. Kaine supports strong action on climate change, decrying both climate change deniers and what he has termed “leadership deniers,” politicians who believe in climate change but don’t believe the U.S. should take a leadership role in reducing the world’s carbon footprint. “They say look, even if we reduce U.S. emission to zero, it wouldn’t offset world emissions unless China or India did something, and so let’s just not do anything,” Kaine said. “That is just not the American way, folks, for us not to lead on something important like that.”

6.  He’s been married to his wife, Anne Bright Holton, since 1984. They met while at Harvard Law and she is currently serving as the Secretary of Education in Virginia. The couple has three children together.

7. Kaine is a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, and opposed the Obama administration’s efforts to use the existing Authorization for Use of Military Force to expand action against ISIS in Iraq. At the time, he wrote in the Washington Post, “Ultimately, the allocation of war powers is based on a value. The nation should not send U.S. service members into harm’s way unless there is a consensus among the civilian leadership — executive and legislative — that the mission is worth it. Ordering people to risk their lives without Washington doing the work necessary to reach a political consensus is immoral.”

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