As far too many Bernie Sanders supporters remain unable to get their heads out of their asses and grasp the extreme danger that Donald Trump poses to America - and their own role in potentially handing him the White House - Tim Kaine showed his merits in his first speech with Hillary Clinton. While Kaine is well known to many Virginians, many Americans have yet to get to know the man. In my view, if Berniacs would pull their heads out of their butts, they might come to realize that Hillary hit a home run when she selected Kaine as her VP running mate. A piece in The Daily Beast looks at Kaine's first speech in Miami and why it was so successful. Here are highlights:
Holy crap. He killed it.
I’m not trying to spin you. I’m sitting here in shock. Shock. Tim Kaine was unbelievable.
He was natural. He was smart. He was relaxed and funny, and he was serious. He was proud of himself and his wife and family but never arrogant. He was humble without ever being cloying in that way the politically humble can often be. He was genuine. He was unbelievable.
And part of the way through, this thought struck me: He is the perfect choice for her because he comes across as so at ease and so real. These are two things, as we know, that Hillary Clinton has a lot of trouble with. She’s too scripted, she’s a phony, all that stuff. Kaine was just so easy-breezy, so comfortable with himself and in this role, that he has the potential to wash away a decent chunk of that negativity about her.
How can I sum up the speech? Oh, he attacked Donald Trump here and there, including a funny hit on him about his tax returns (“raise your hand if you think those returns are going to show that he paid his fair share”). He made sure to cover his progressive bona fides and was great in the way he relayed his biography—his civil-rights law work, his time in Honduras, his dedication to education and integration.
He did a wonderful job of communicating his values—my creed, he said, was “do all the good you can.” He had a couple powerful serious moments, notably when he talked aboutthe Virginia Tech massacre, which happened while he was governor, telling the story of one professor who’d come to the United States from central Europe many years ago. Can you imagine, he asked; a man “who could survive the Holocaust? Who could survive the Soviet takeover of his country? But who fell victim to the horror of American gun violence because he blocked the door and told his students to go out the window?”
But the most important thing about the speech wasn’t any of these things. It was the vision for the country embedded within it. If Kaine made a convincing case Saturday afternoon that he’s a perfect companion to Clinton, he made an even stronger case that he represents the antidote to savage Trumpism and Uriah Heep-grim Pence-ism. Yes, there are problems in the country and world, obviously. But we don’t confront them by insulting people and pumping fear into people and calling our military a disaster and trying to pass severe discrimination laws. We confront them by heeding the words of Harry Truman: “America was not built on fear. It was built on courage, imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”
And he did it all without an ounce of ego. That maybe was what was most refreshing of all.
Lots of people are going to like this guy. He’s a happy warrior who is clearly genuine about being of service to others and to community and country. He embodies what we all think is best about this country and what we hope still exists. It exists in Tim Kaine.
I know the political science says vice presidents don’t matter. But politics is as much art as science. We just met an artist today.