July 27, 2016

Tim Kaine To Convention: Tell Me What You Want To Hear

The dominant theme of the Democratic National Convention has been a party divided. The more liberal Sanders delegates do not like or trust Clinton. Without those voters, Clinton’s electoral hopes would be greatly damaged. Clinton’s choice of Tim Kaine did not endear her to the Sanders/Warren wing of the party either. Warren still won’t say that Kaine was the right pick!

Since becoming Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) has flip-flopped his way to where Clinton needs him to be on key issues. Even though Kaine praised the Trans-Pacific Partnership the day before his announcement, he has subsequently come out against the deal. Kaine has also flip-flopped on the Hyde Amendment, which prevents the federal government from spending money on abortions. Still even with Kaine’s flip-flops, Politico says that Kaine’s speech should expect boos from the liberal voters still not sold on Clinton and Kaine:

“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.”

The Clinton-Kaine ticket also has a wider problem beyond liberal voters. The more Americans hear about Tim Kaine’s record, the more they don’t trust him. Kaine took $160,000 in gifts as Virginia governor. A new Morning Consult poll today shows that when Americans learn about this, a majority have a much “less favorable view” of Kaine.

With all these issues, anything less than a home run from Kaine tonight will leave the Clinton campaign with a severe liability moving forward.