Kaine is the first Virginian on a major-party ticket since 1840
♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor
Kaine was unveiled as Clinton’s choice at a rally at Florida International University in Miami July 23, where he pointedly noted that he has never lost an election in a political career that began back in 1994.
“I’m 8-0, and I promise you, I’m not about to let that change, especially when Donald Trump stands in the way of progress on every single one of these issues that Hillary has laid out as part of her campaign,” he said.
Kaine, 58, is serving his first term in the Senate. He served as governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010, lieutenant governor from 2002 to 2006 and as mayor of Richmond from 1998 to 2001.
He was also picked by President Barack Obama to head the Democratic National Committee in 2009, a position he held for two years.
A Roman Catholic, Kaine served as a Jesuit missionary in Honduras and speaks fluent Spanish. He and his wife, Anne, have three children.
Kaine’s selection as Clinton’s running mate ends a long drought for the Old Dominion in presidential politics. The last time a major party nominated a Virginian to a presidential ticket was in 1840, when John Tyler was nominated by the Whigs.
President Woodrow Wilson was a native Virginian, although he had moved to New Jersey by the time of his election in 1912.
Clinton told the Miami audience that Kaine “is everything that Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not.”
“He is qualified to step into this job and lead on day one, and he is a progressive who likes to get things done,” she said.
In his remarks, Kaine made a full-throated call for immigration reform, saying that immigrants make the country stronger, not weaker.
“Anybody who loves America this much deserves to be here,” he said, repeating the remark in both English and Spanish.
Kaine also enthusiastically embraced the traditional VP role as an attack dog, going after Trump, the GOP nominee.
“Donald Trump trash talks folks with disabilities, trash talks Mexican-Americans and Latinos, whether they’re new immigrants or governors or federal judges, trash talks women, trash talks our allies,” he said.
Kaine also said “from Atlantic City to his so-called university, (Trump) leaves a trail of broken promises and wrecked lives wherever he goes.”