Hillary Clinton on Friday tapped Tim Kaine, a popular Spanish-speaking senator from the swing state of Virginia, to be her running mate in the White House showdown against Donald Trump.
“I’m thrilled to announce my running mate, @timkaine, a man who’s devoted his life to fighting for others. -H,” the presumptive Democratic nominee tweeted.
The 58-year-old senator swiftly tweeted his response, saying: “Just got off the phone with Hillary. I’m honored to be her running mate. Can’t wait to hit the trail tomorrow in Miami!”
Kaine, an experienced foreign policy hand who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees, could help Clinton bring in two key voting blocs: Hispanics and the battleground state of Virginia.
Politically a middle-of-the-road Democrat, he is also seen as helping the former secretary of state win over votes from reluctant independent male voters.
Widely seen as a safe choice for Clinton in a brutal election race, Kaine emerged as a frontrunner in the veepstakes because he ticks so many boxes.
Clinton put out a series of tweets heaping praise on the senator, known for his affable manner as well as his expertise on matters of defense and foreign policy.
“@timkaine is a relentless optimist who believes no problem is unsolvable if you put in the work to solve it,” Clinton wrote. “@timkaine’s guiding principle: the belief that you can make a difference through public service.”
One of the tweets included a five-point graphic highlighting the senator’s youthful spell on a Jesuit mission in Honduras as well as his track record in fighting homelessness, discrimination and gun violence, in expanding early childhood education and in fostering a positive business environment in Virginia.
The pick comes just days before the start of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where Clinton — and now Kaine — next week are to be elevated as the nominees to the party’s presidential ticket.