Sen. Tim Kaine is suddenly getting more attention. Typically, the vice presidential candidates labor in the background of the campaign and don’t garner a lot of attention from the press or public. However, with the increased scrutiny being given to Hillary Clinton’s health following her widely reported stumbling episode after attending a 9/11 memorial, people are taking another look at Clinton’s vice presidential running mate, Tim Kaine.
Heartbeat away from the presidency
The Vice President of the United States has two primary duties: to accede to the presidency in the event of the death or removal of the President, and to serve as President of the United States Senate.
Tim Kaine is a former governor of Virginia and a respected member of the U.S. Senate. Mrs. Clinton said she chose Sen. Kaine because she was “afflicted with the responsibility gene,” and wanted someone who had the experience and background to lead the nation if needed.
Kaine is respected by fellow Senators
Sen. Kaine is well liked by his Democratic colleagues in the Senate and has developed good relationships with GOP senators.
I don’t know anybody on the Republican side who has a bad thing to say about him. He doesn’t go out of his way to go after people politically and he’s all about policy.
— Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
If Hillary Clinton is elected president, she will have to rebuild a relationship with Congress that has turned toxic under President Obama. Tim Kaine could certainly help her achieve her legislative goals.
Kaine is a moderate Democrat
In picking Sen. Kaine Hillary Clinton chose someone who shares her more moderate view of the Democratic Party. Some observers felt that Tim Kaine was a safe choice and reflected Clinton’s confidence that her campaign did not need to reach out to minority or progressive supporters by choosing a more controversial candidate.
What most people look for in the vice president is their ability to take over in case the president is unable to continue in office. The position is often described as being a “heartbeat away” from the presidency.
I am Vice President. In this I am nothing, but I may be everything.
— John Adams, the nation’s first vice president
There’s no reason to doubt that Tim Kaine would be ready to “be everything” if called upon.