By Ruth Ferguson, NDG Editor
Seeing a couple of posts suggesting Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as Hillary Clinton’s veep choice posts on a Friday night felt like just speculation. Then the emails from Hillary and President Barack Obama arrived confirming the rumors.
So this really is her choice. Most have nothing against Sen. Kaine, but progressives were really holding out hope for someone with a little more populist spirit than Hillary. In 2008, even Obama picked someone with a different persona than himself, who understood Washington but could be the bulldog on the campaign trail when necessary. Someone who would hopefully be the bulldog behind the scenes in the halls of Congress. But no one anticipated the GOP rock solid vow to be uncooperative.
A safe choice
Kaine feels like a safe choice, especially in our #BlackLivesMatter vs. #AllLivesMatter environment. A Clinton Kaine ticket quietly reassures centralist GOP voters desperately looking for a way back to the America they feel like they know. They may not like absolutely agree with her positions, but they cannot bear the idea of voting for Donald Trump and unleashing him as the leader of the free world on their conscience.
Sure it was too much to hope for Elizabeth Warren to be selected, but yes a Corey Booker would have been more interesting. This ticket is already history-making, but given Trump’s hostility to Hispanics choosing one of the Castro brothers from Texas would have added charisma, progressive street cred — and oh, by the way, ignited the Hispanic voters across the country. Touting the fact Kaine fluently speaks Spanish is a bit disingenuous. Wearing Jordans, braids and knowing every Dr. Dre, Tupac, NWA or Snoop Dog lyric does not mean you truly understand the African American experience.
Instead, Hillary chose to play it safe and went with a likeable, solid white man from a Southern state. She should win Virginia but it is not a slam dunk. Certainly, Kaine was helpful for Obama in the two previous elections. He reportedly was even considered for the number two spot then. So Kaine has earned his opportunity as far as the party is concerned. Perhaps if things go well, eight years from now Kaine will be at the top of the ticket. Why does it feel like the same song, different verse?
Announcement did not reflect confidence
Also did it not feel like the announcement was handled oddly? Obama’s team has mastered the art of quietly dumping news on Fridays hoping people were not really paying a lot of attention. Their efforts at somewhat controlling the new cycle. However, with an announcement as important as the possible next Vice President, a Friday night appears odd.
Perhaps the Clinton camp wanted to steal thunder from the GOP Convention. But not many really think Trump did a great deal to help himself with his “we are family” lovefest that seems to spotlight the Trump clan as much has him. The GOP Convention felt a lot like it’s my party, and you are just humble guests allowed to attend in order to adore me and my wonderful family. Ending with one of the least “hope” filled acceptance speeches in recent history, Trump’s
Maybe they want to build up steam for the Sunday morning talk shows. But Sen. John McCain’s announcement on a Saturday morning certainly did that in 2008.
Does this mean Bill Clinton is really going to be the Vice President, if so can someone send a secret Bat signal so progressives will feel little better? Otherwise, this is one of the clumsiest VP announcements in recent history. Does not mean it is a bad choice, just uninspiring.