Tim Kaine Is Ready for Hillary

The senator and former Democratic National Committee chairman throws his support behind Clinton 2016.

Tim Kaine of Virginia, Senate
National Journal
Alex Seitz Wald
Add to Briefcase
Alex Seitz-Wald
May 3, 2014, 4:45 a.m.

The long list of Demo­crats lin­ing up be­hind a po­ten­tial Hil­lary Clin­ton pres­id­en­tial bid will add an­oth­er bold-faced name Sat­urday, when Sen. Tim Kaine of Vir­gin­ia, the former chair­man of the Demo­crat­ic Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee, will throw his sup­port be­hind Clin­ton.

In a speech Sat­urday morn­ing in the early primary state of South Car­o­lina, the sen­at­or will say that Clin­ton is the best per­son for the job, ac­cord­ing to ex­cerpts of his re­marks shared with Na­tion­al Journ­al ahead of their de­liv­ery.

“I stand with you today to en­cour­age Hil­lary Clin­ton to run, to pledge my sup­port for her can­did­acy if she does and to ask you to make that same pledge,” Kaine is ex­pec­ted to say dur­ing a speech to the South Car­o­lina Wo­men’s Demo­crat­ic Coun­cil break­fast in Columbia. He’s in town to give the key­note ad­dress to the state party’s an­nu­al Jef­fer­son Jack­son Din­ner.

Kaine was an early sup­port­er of Barack Obama in the 2008 Demo­crat­ic primary. And after he be­came pres­id­ent, Obama ap­poin­ted Kaine to lead the na­tion­al party com­mit­tee. But he’s now one of the many Obama-sup­port­ing Demo­crats who have come around on Clin­ton. 

“In 2006, nearly 2 years be­fore the 2008 pres­id­en­tial elec­tion, I told my friend, then-Sen­at­or Barack Obama, that I would sup­port him if he ran for pres­id­ent of the United States,” Kaine will say. “I’m stat­ing my sup­port for Hil­lary Clin­ton today for the same reas­on. She’s the right per­son for the job.”

Obama beat Clin­ton in South Car­o­lina, which fol­lowed only Iowa and New Hamp­shire in the pres­id­en­tial primary pro­cess, by nearly 30 per­cent­age points.

Kaine will go on to say that we need more wo­men in power. “So I’m do­ing my bit now to en­cour­age Hil­lary Clin­ton to run. I’m en­cour­aging my con­stitu­ents in Vir­gin­ia and also en­cour­age all of you to do the same thing by join­ing the Ready for Hil­lary move­ment that already has two mil­lion sup­port­ers. Pledge your sup­port right now so that Hil­lary Clin­ton will know that, should she take this step, there are mil­lions of us ready to take the field with her and make sure she wins,” he will say, ac­cord­ing to the ex­cerpts.

Kaine joins every fe­male Demo­crat in the Sen­ate, who col­lect­ively en­cour­aged Clin­ton to run in a private let­ter sent last year, in an­oucing his back­ing of Clin­ton. Many oth­er party lead­ers have pledged their sup­port as well, in­clud­ing House Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi and Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id, both of whom snubbed Clin­ton in the 2008 Demo­crat­ic primary.

Kaine’s re­place­ment as chair of the DNC, Flor­ida Rep. Debbie Wasser­man Schultz, is of­fi­cially re­main­ing neut­ral for the 2016 primary, since she has to ref­er­ee the pro­cess, but she was a na­tion­al co­chair of Clin­ton’s 2008 cam­paign.

The su­per PAC Ready for Hil­lary, which Kaine ref­er­ences, has raised mil­lions of dol­lars and at­trac­ted over 2 mil­lion sup­port­ers since start­ing early last year.

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