On Friday, Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton named Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia her running mate for the 2016 election. This pick did not come as a surprise to political pundits, as the Senator was widely viewed a safe pick for the scandal-plagued candidate. Many people across the country may not know much about the Senator, however, because he is so safe. Over the coming months there will no doubt be many articles, op-eds, and the like telling us how great or how horrible he is, depending on the source. We already know quite a bit about Sen. Kaine, however, all it takes is a bit of research looking at his previous votes, quotes, and stances. Upon research, it looks like this pick could truly backfire for the Presidential hopeful.
First off, for the modern Democratic party Sen. Kaine is rather conservative, or at the very least not very liberal. He is pro life, and has supported bans on partial birth abortion multiple times. This is completely against how a majority of the party feels. He has also been previously quoted as calling opponents of free trade “losers”. Sen. Kaine supported the War in Iraq, and he is also an avid supporter of clean coal and offshore drilling. None of these positions are ones that typically come to mind when thinking of the left. Kaine has also been a consistent supporter of big banks which will infuriate the far left of the party, the very ones that Hillary needed to unite. In fact, even The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) thinks his Wall Street record is unacceptable. Maybe this will end up being a good ole Hulk Smash to Hillary’s chances of becoming our next President.
The other big problem is the opportunity that was missed with this selection. Politics is a ground game and it is all about grassroots and ultimately voter turnout. Well the DNC is faced with a pretty big problem right now, there is a loud group of devoted Bernie Sanders supporters that want their voice heard. They have made themselves heard this week at the DNC National Convention, continually booing as people tell them to fall in line behind Hillary. The selection of Sen. Kaine was a symbolic middle finger to the far left wing of the party. Instead of a Vice President they could get behind, they are stuck with a bank friendly pro life free trade nominee.
If Hillary had selected someone like Senator Elizabeth Warren or even Senator Sanders himself, a peace deal could have been brokered between the two warring factions. Instead, we have a ticket the left won’t be excited about. This creates a real issue when you consider what awaits them on the other side. Donald Trump is responsible for the largest primary and caucus turnouts in RNC history. That does not bode well for the bland ticket on the other side of the aisle. Like I said, elections are all about turnout, and there needs to be an excited base to boost that turnout. Sen. Kaine does not bring the needed excitement to the ticket.
Overall, Sen. Kaine ends up being a scoop of vanilla ice cream added to a bowl full of chocolate, it’s just not that exciting. On the other side of the aisle, however, you have a bowl of cookie dough and cookies and cream. They just don’t compare, and I suspect the election results will show that – but I wish boring and bland good luck against different and exciting.