Hillary Clinton names Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate

Other News Materials 23 July 2016 04:34 (UTC +04:00)

Hillary Clinton has named Tim Kaine, a US senator from Virginia, as her vice-presidential running mate, turning to a seasoned voice on foreign affairs and a representative of a key battleground state to complete the Democratic ticket, the Guardian reported.

The announcement, which concluded a highly secretive vetting process that took more than two months, was made ahead of the Democratic national convention in Philadelphia, where Clinton will formally accept her party’s nomination for president next week. Clinton’s supporters were alerted of her decision via a text message on Friday, with a joint campaign rally to follow with Kaine in Miami on Saturday.

Clinton chose Kaine from four top candidates following an extensive vetting process. The shortlist also included agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack, labor secretary Tom Perez and US Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

The decision reflects Clinton’s efforts to draw a sharp contrast with Republican nominee Donald Trump, a candidate she has declared unfit and unprepared for the presidency. Clinton has sought to define her candidacy as one of experience and competence; in Kaine she has turned to a partner who, like her, has served in public office for decades.

The senator has been lieutenant governor and governor of Virginia. Since his arrival in the Senate in 2013, he has developed his résumé in foreign policy, sitting on the foreign relations and armed services committees, and repeatedly called for a formal war authorization against Isis.

Trump chose as his running mate Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana and a popular figure among social conservatives. Democrats pounced on Pence as the most conservative vice-presidential pick in modern history, citing in particular his hardline stance against abortion and approval of a controversial religious freedom law last year that protected businesses from denying services to LGBT individuals.

Clinton’s search focused primarily on who would be a steady governing partner and qualified to step in as president, according to aides familiar with the process. Her decision was made public after Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination at the GOP convention in Cleveland, an event overshadowed by a continued lack of party unity.

Kaine, who in 2008 was a final contender to join Barack Obama’s ticket, is seen as a moderate Democrat well-liked on both sides of the aisle. As a Catholic, his appeal also extends to an influential voting bloc.

Although Democrats have broadly rallied behind Clinton, the selection of Kaine could reopen fissures following a contentious primary between Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Kaine does little to ease the concerns of liberal voters who remain skeptical about Clinton and had hoped she might choose senator and progressive darling Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Booker would have been the first African American vice-presidential nominee, and Perez would have been the first Hispanic on a presidential ticket had he been chosen.