Former Kansas Citian. Future vice president?
Donald Trump and millions of voters will have something to say about that.
But on Wednesday night, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine basked in the warmth of his party’s nomination for back-up president.
“Last week in Cleveland we heard a lot about trust, so, um, let’s talk about trust,” Kaine told the Democratic National Convention. “Let’s talk about trust. I trust Hillary Clinton.
“You know who I don’t trust? Um, I wonder. Donald Trump. Donald Trump.”
The eastern senator displayed his trademark Midwestern nice even as he made the argument that Trump would not make America great — again or otherwise.
Kaine talked with an aw-shucks delivery, toggling into a deep-voiced impression of Donald Trump. The world watched in some amazement. Some on the internet found him just, well, adorable. As one person put it on twitter, he seemed like the kind of uncle who presses a dollar in your hand every time he sees you.
He enters the rapids of this rocky presidential race midstream, signing on as Hillary Clinton’s new work husband.
Kaine brings with him a record of public service and reputation as the rare politician who also happens to be a decent guy. His choice, however, left the Bernie Sanders contingent and, its liberal wing more broadly, disappointed. He’s more centrist than leftist. For the death penalty, personally opposed to abortion but wants to keep Roe v. Wade in place. He sponsored legislation to open Virginia’s coast to oil drilling. He’s less eager to crack down on big banks than, say, Elizabeth Warren.
As lieutenant governor and governor of Virginia, he accepted more than $161,000 in gifts from an Obama campaign committee, from a pharmaceutical company, from Overland Park-based Sprint and others. The gifts were legal under Virginia law, and much of the money paid for trips to political events. It’s still likely to be the focus of ethical questions in the campaign.
He’s also got strong ties to Kansas City, where he spent most of his childhood. When he first appeared as Clinton’s pick in Miami, he talked about growing up in a place where people mostly talked about the Royals and church. (Kansas Citians might argue there’s a bit more going on than that, but …)
Kaine lived as a kid in Overland Park and worked in his father’s metal fabrication shop. He graduated from Rockhurst High School in 1976.
He became bilingual doing mission work, first as a high school sophomore, in Central America.
His parents still live in the Kansas City area, as do two younger brothers — one a lawyer and another a pediatric cardiologist.
Kaine enrolled at University of Missouri to study journalism, but found those in the field too cynical. He earned a law degree from Harvard.
On the Philadelphia stage, he followed an introductory video with an over-wrought narration and an opening of the Kansas City skyline.
He threw a shout-out to Rockhurst as the place where he first developed a spirit of public service and then gave a quick autobiography. Soon enough, the speech tics began to set in. He’s a little awkward with his hands. He tends to repeat himself.
“Do you really believe (Trump)? Donald Trump’s whole career says you better not,” he said. “You cannot believe one word that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth. Not one word. Not one word.”
As the speech went on, he kept repeating his lines and slipping into a faux Trump voice. The cast at SNL has nothing to worry about.
He seemed to play well in the hall, but not as well as Vice President Joe Biden or some others earlier in the evening. And he … seemed … to … go … on.