July 27, 2016

Are The Berners Razing Kaine?

As Tim Kaine prepares to take the stage tonight at the Democratic National Convention, he’s poised to become the next speaker to “Feel The Bern” from the legions of still-disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporters.

After railing against the DNC for preventing them from mounting a formal challenge to Kaine’s nomination, an organized group of Sanders delegates were still on the attack against Kaine on Wednesday morning, passing out handouts blasting him for being insufficiently progressive at a press conference.

The handout cites Kaine’s positions on coal, labor issues, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as proof of is unsuitability, and includes the results of a poll of 285 Sanders delegates, where a whopping 251 described Kaine as an “unacceptable” vice presidential pick:


A series of news reports back up the notion that concern over Kaine’s record is bubbling up among the Democrat base. A Politico story, with the headline “Is Time Kaine Liberal Enough?” speculates that Kaine’s primetime speech may be poorly received:

The convention here has shown that the party still has a problem with liberal voters, given the constant jeering of mentions of Clinton by die-hard Sanders supporters.

And that’s not a dynamic that Kaine’s selection has changed – a quandary that puts his address on the third day of the convention under a microscope. Given that Sanders supporters even heckled Warren for praising Clinton, Kaine will need to be prepared for some dissension from the ranks.

“Here’s the thing: She didn’t pick a progressive VP,” said Shawnee Badger of Valencia, Calif., a passionate and prominent Sanders delegate.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Howard Dean-founded progressive group Democracy for America said Kaine’s ties to the financial industry were “disqualifying.”

And local news reports from blue states like New York and Connecticut have detailed dissent within their delegations about Kaine.

Low enthusiasm from the left isn’t Kaine’s only problem – a Morning Consult poll released Wednesday showed Kaine’s record of accepting “political perks” is a turnoff to voters across the ideological spectrum. Prevailing opinion entering the week was that Hillary Clinton needed to use the convention to fire up her base.

With day three of Democrat disunity looming, featuring a vice presidential pick that leaves liberals cold, she is farther than ever from accomplishing that goal.