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Tim Kaine: What’s His Story?

The primary election season is finally over. Trump has selected Governor Mike Pence as his running mate, while Clinton decided on Senator Tim Kaine. While the pick makes sense for Clinton, it still left many in the Democratic Party confused after several other “bold” options were considered.

Senator Kaine agrees with Clinton on many central policy positions. He is a strong supporter of gun control measures and has similar foreign policy ideas when it comes to the Middle East. He has even mentioned his willingness to take on the NRA, having done so while serving in Virginia. However, it seems that Kaine has differing opinions on trade and criminal justice, but not to a level that he can’t adjust for Clinton’s preferences. It is pretty obvious that Clinton is not looking for help with a general election battle, but with policy discussions in the White House. It is move that shows confidence and reaffirms that Clinton is still seeking to sell experience and trust as a key component of her campaign.

Despite the reasons that the move makes sense, it is still uncertain whether Senator Kaine’s nomination will bring unification to the Democratic Party. Although the factions of the party are more together than the GOP, the controversy over the DNC/Bernie Sanders feud has created some discord. As evidenced by the convention and rhetoric among party leaders, the common threat of Trump has seemingly enabled the progressives and Clinton supporters to reconcile their differences for the time. However, Senator Kaine does not seem to improve Clinton’s support with the far-left progressive wing of the party. The original thought was that Clinton would choose someone that had similar policy ideas to Sanders, but she went with a “safe” option in Senator Kaine. It remains to be seen how he will complement delivering her message as the real fight begins.

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