By Liam Menzies
How was he chosen as running mate?
On July 22, 2016, Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton made known that Kaine would be her running mate in the upcoming election, beating out the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro to the position.
This wasn’t a surprise to many especially those who were keeping close attention to the primaries as Kaine not only endorsed her bid but campaigned actively for her in several states. New York Times reported that even ex-POTUS Bill Clinton had unveiled his support of Kaine at his wife’s selection due to his domestic and national security resume.
Kaine’s running as Vice President is significant for the state of Virginia as this makes him the first Virginian since Woodrow Wilson to be on a major party’s ticket and the first Virginian to run for vice president on a major party’s ticket since John Tyler in 1840.
What are his policies?
Unlike his opponents Trump and Pence, Kaine’s stances are very different. Although he is Roman Catholic and is personally against it, Kaine is “largely inclined to keep the law out of women’s reproductive decisions” and believes that the government should allow them to have the choice. As a senator, he has received perfect scores from Planned Parenthood and the abortion-rights advocacy group NARAL.
On the topic of LGBT rights, despite saying that in 2005 only married couples should be allowed to adopt, Kaine has largely been an advocate for those who are gay to be married. There’s a running trend in Kaine’s career for voting against his religion that many see as admirable.
Kaine has been vocal about his view on US foreign policy, calling the country’s policy in Syria last year “an absolute joke” though he has since stated that it has “dramatically improved over the past year”. Despite Clinton’s persistence regarding a no-fly zone, something that would ultimately bring with it the deployment of US ground troops, Kaine said in an interview with CNN:
“He [The King of Jordan] has said if they want to defeat ISIS then they need our help but it can’t be your fight, in fact that would be used as a recruiting bonanza for terrorists. Our strategy is to train and equip, use air assets and that is the strategy we’re using. What we have to make sure is that we’re sharing intelligence with allies, not tearing up alliances, as Donald Trump would propose.