…as a Virginian, and as a Virginian with Hispanic blood (my father was born in Nogales, Mexico and was the first director of the Southwest Council of La Raza – now the National Council of La Raza) who really wanted to see Xavier Becerra or Tom Perez on the ticket, I would like to weigh in on Tim Kaine.
If you did not see the roll-out in Miami, FL then you must find it and stream it. It would be a good idea to have a hanky on hand, because I suspect there might be a time or two where you will be moved to tears.
When I look at this event just as a purely, expedient political event, then I have to tip my cap in admiration.
Tim Kaine spoke of his faith and how that led him to public service, a philosophy that aligns perfectly with our candidate and, make no mistake about it, reaches out to those Republicans of faith who still have deep concerns with the character of Donald Trump.
Along those same lines, Tim Kaine spoke glowingly of his father-in-law, a former Republican governor still seen as a civil rights hero to those of us who know the history of civil rights in Virginia. Linwood Holton could never be elected as a Republican in Virginia in these times and would probably be a Democrat today. Putting aside his obvious admiration for the political courage of Linwood Holton, the politics of his words were clear and can (and I think will) prove to be effective with moderate Republicans.
Bear in mind that Tim Kaine reached out to those moderate Republicans without compromising his progressive credentials – not in the least!
Tim Kaine spoke about his optimism and faith in human character that derived from his mother and stands in direct contrast to the vision of dystopia which was sadly displayed from the RNC stage last week.
Tim Kaine mentioned his son, a Marine who will soon deploy to Europe, as an example of our commitment to America’s alliances with Europe and with NATO. Once again, this stood in stark contrast with the children of Trump (children of privilege), but most especially it stood in contrast with Trump’s risky (and scary) positions regarding our NATO alliances.
In sharing his biography, Tim Kaine spoke of his background as the son of a working-class father from the Midwest, once again offering up an effective contrast to the phony “support” for working-class Americans which Trump will try to use in order to scam his way to victory in the rust belt.
Aside from the political chops displayed by Kaine (and by the Clinton campaign), aside from the effective way in which the roll-out was put to use to serve up comparisons and contrasts with the opposition, aside from the nearly perfect optics of the event, there was an obvious and powerful emotional connection which, for this viewer, resonated.
Tim Kaine has a connection with minorities which came across here in Virginia when he ran for city council and then later for Mayor in Richmond. That came across in his speech as genuine as he talked about his father-in-law, it came across as he talked of his 17 years (!!!) as a civil rights lawyer, it came across as he talked of his faith-based commitment to service. As a Virginian who knows Kaine, this was a moving and convincing presentation of both his character and commitment to civil rights.
Tim Kaine famously worked on a mission in Honduras, a time during which he honed a perfect command of Spanish, and he shared that piece of his biography beautifully and movingly. When he spoke (often!) in Spanish, I was impressed with the politics of it, but more importantly, I was moved as someone with Hispanic blood, someone whose parents spent their lifetimes devoted to civil rights and to Hispanic issues. This was the first, but not the last time, I was moved to tears.
Tim Kaine was Governor during the time of the VA Tech shootings, and again this connects very powerfully with me personally. My son and my daughter-in-law are graduates of VA Tech. A close family member was a professor at VA Tech during the time of the shootings. Tim Kaine movingly spoke about (and took action on) gun safety in the wake of those horrific events. When Tim Kaine shared his own emotional response, it was obvious that the pain and horror of it was still fresh, raw and tender to this day. The politics of it is that Tim Kaine has fought the NRA and won, but the emotion of it was palpable, unforced, moving and genuine.
Tim Kaine has been exceeding expectations his entire political career, winning a council seat running against an incumbent, becoming Mayor in a city where being an African-American is seen as a pre-requisite for success in city politics, winning statewide office and a Senate seat while standing against the NRA. With today’s speech and with this roll-out of the ticket, once again, Tim Kaine exceeded expectations and did so while revealing himself and his character – and while moving this Virginian and person of Hispanic heritage.
My expectations were exceeded, I was moved and my faith in Hillary’s decision-making was reinforced powerfully. I am optimistic heading into this week and into this campaign! Clinton-Kaine, FTW !!!