Wall Street Journal
By Peter Nicholas
July 23, 2016
Hillary Clinton on Saturday made her debut with her newly minted running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, who quickly opened an attack on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, questioning his temperament and skewering his business record.
Mr. Kaine took the stage with the presumptive Democratic nominee at a rally in Miami and made clear one of his main roles will be to aggressively target Mr. Trump. Acknowledging most Americans don’t know who he is, Mr. Kaine also laid out his past, describing his volunteer work in Honduras in his early 20s and his record as a Virginia mayor, governor and senator.
He mentioned that he hasn't lost an election. “I’m 8-0 and I promise you I’m not about to let that change,” he said on the campus of Florida International University.
Some voices in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party have criticized the selection, saying Mr. Kaine is a centrist who has taken positions out of step with the party’s anti-trade, populist mood.
And on Saturday, Mr. Kaine seemed to push back against that characterization. He described himself as a progressive and said his work in Honduras in the early 1980s showed him the dangers of a corrupt political system that favors elites.
In that country, “a few folks at the top had all the power and everyone else got left behind,” Mr. Kaine said. “And it convinced me we’ve got to advance opportunity and equality for everybody.”
He said he and Mrs. Clinton would promote “a strong progressive agenda.”
In a line that could have come from Vt. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a hero of the left who lost the Democratic primary challenge to Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Kaine said: “We’re going to make the American economy work for everybody. Not just those at the top.”
A chunk of Mr. Kaine’s 40-minute address was devoted to Mr. Trump. Following a long tradition of vice-presidential candidates playing a combative campaign role, he invoked the controversy surrounding Trump University and Mr. Trump’s history as a casino owner in Atlantic City, N.J., saying: “He leaves a trail of broken promises and wrecked lives wherever he goes.”
When someone in the crowd shouted “Trump is crazy,” Mr. Kaine quipped: “I’m hiring for my speechwriting team.”
‘He is qualified to step into this job and lead on Day One. ’
—Hillary Clinton talking about Tim Kaine, her choice as running mate in this year’s presidential election
Sitting behind the stage was Mr. Kaine’s wife, Anne Holton, who serves as Virginia’s state education secretary.
Mr. Kaine is a fluent Spanish speaker, and the campaign believes he could help to mobilize Latino voters. During his address he alternated between English and Spanish, as he talked about immigration, gun violence and other issues.
Mrs. Clinton introduced her new running mate, describing him as someone qualified to step in right away and become president. “Sen. Tim Kaine is everything Donald Trump and (GOP vice presidential nominee) Mike Pence are not,” Mrs. Clinton said.
She added: “He is qualified to step into this job and lead on Day One. And he is a progressive who likes to get things done. That’s just my kind of guy.”
Citing his call for tougher gun control measures, she said: “Behind that smile, Tim has a backbone of steel. Just ask the NRA.”
The rally marked the pair’s first joint campaign appearance.
At the end, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Kaine clasped hands and raised their arms triumphantly. Ms. Holton joined them on stage and the trio waved to the crowd.
Above the bleachers hung dark blue “Clinton-Kaine” banners. In the audience, supporters waved miniature versions of the signs.
Mrs. Clinton had considered at least two dozen potential running mates before settling on the Virginia senator. She made her vice-presidential selection on Friday and telephoned Mr. Kaine to tell him about 7:30 p.m., after speaking at a rally in Tampa, her campaign said.
Campaign aides offered more details about the matchmaking moment. On Friday, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and two other aides left the Brooklyn, N.Y. headquarters and flew to Rhode Island, where Mr. Kaine was attending a fundraising event.
When Mrs. Clinton spoke to him, she told him that Mr. Podesta was close by and would like to brief him. Mr. Kaine left the event in Newport and drove to a hotel, where he met Mr. Podesta and other Clinton aides. They had dinner together, and Mr. Kaine took a congratulatory phone call from President Barack Obama.
About 11:30 p.m., Mr. Kaine flew to Miami. On the plane and later at his hotel he worked on his speech for Saturday, the first of many he will deliver as Mrs. Clinton’s running mate.
Asked what Mr. Kaine told Mrs. Clinton in accepting the job, a campaign aide said, “It’s the beginning of a beautiful relationship,” a loose reference to the famous line spoken by actor Humphrey Bogart in the film “Casablanca.”
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com