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
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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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