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Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Decider

So, it's Tim Kaine.

You know, that's a fascinating choice.

Hillary Clinton announced today that her running mate will be Virginia senator Tim Kaine.

That is a fantastic choice.

More, it’s a testament to her character and it says a great deal about how Hillary Clinton not only sees the world, but Americans in general.

In particular the choice of Tim Kaine tells you what Hillary Clinton thinks of her supporters.

 

And it’s a hell of a compliment.

 

You see, Donald Trump picked Mike Pence specifically because Pence appeals viscerally to the worst elements of the Republican base.

It’s obvious.

There's nothing even vaguely complicated or nuanced about Mike Pence at all.

There's no risk whatsoever for Trump in Pence.

Pence was the safe choice.

Pence is anti-everything. He's Anti-immigrant (including birthright citizenship), Anti-Federal Reserve (and all the Glenn Beck conspiracy nuts cheered), Anti-tax (he's a flat-tax guy and the conservative libertarians just wet themselves in glee), Anti-Education, Anti-EPA and a climate change denier, Anti-renewable energy (fossil fuels all the way and drill baby drill), Anti-Iran Deal, Anti-healthcare, Anti-abortion, Anti-stem cell research, Anti-evolution, Anti-Science, Anti-sex education, Anti-LGBT.

About the only thing Mike Pence is for is God, Guns, and War and not necessarily in that order.

Mike Pence wasn't a complicated decision, there’s nothing subtle or nuanced about his selection. Which figures, given that Trump is about as subtle and nuanced as a drunk at a frat party dancing on the table with a bra on his head.

Mike Pence is the clanking mechanical heart of the Party of No.

Trump picked Pence specifically because when he looks out at the chanting crowd Trump sees a simple, uncomplicated black and white world, us and them.

There are Stormtrumpers and there are enemies and there ain’t nothing else.

He picked Pence specifically because he doesn't think very much of his supporters' ability to grasp complex issues.

They're the howling mob, they’re the people who think Celebrity Apprentice is highbrow entertainment. Trump knows it’s not. He knows what kind of people watch his TV shows and visit his casinos and golf clubs. Those people are cash cows, marks, not his friends.

Trump’s base understands one thing: no. No. No. No. No immigrants. No abortion. No evolution. No big government. No Taxes. No deals with Iran or Russia. No liberals. No compromise.

They understand single syllable words, wall, war, gun, God and not necessarily in that order.

And Mike Pence is that guy.

Donald Trump picked Mike Pence specifically because he is that guy.

He is that guy. No. No. And no.

He's a more dignified (if that word has any meaning here) and well spoken version of Sarah Palin and he was picked for the same reason, because he appeals viscerally and emotionally to the very worst and most extreme elements of the Republican Party.

Trump isn't stupid, he just plays stupid on TV because that's the demographic he's aiming for. That’s who he thinks his supporters are.

And Tim Kaine?

Kaine is the anti-Pence.

Tim Kaine is why you should vote for Hillary Clinton – even if you hate her. Even if you hate everything about her.

You see, the Presidency is about choice.

The Office of the President, more than anything else, is about decisions.

 

George W. Bush was right, he was The Decider.

 

He just made shitty decisions.

The President is the decider.

And choice of running mate is a potential president’s very first major decision.

Who a candidate chooses tells you a lot of what you need to know right up front.

Trump’s selection of Mike Pence shows you exactly how his future decisions will go. They’ll be simple. Us and them. Black and white. You’re either with us or you’re against us. And made specifically because they appeal to the people keeping President Trump in power and for no other reason. There’s nothing else behind his decision. Nothing. He’s a guy who rose to fame on popularity and he doesn’t have any other move. None.

Now, take a minute and extrapolate…

…to the Supreme Court

…to foreign relations

…to the economy

…to healthcare, education, religion

…to war and peace.

 

You are unlikely in the extreme to see the reasoned and careful decisions of the last eight years under a Trump Administration.

 

Which brings us to Tim Kaine.

Unlike Pence, Tim Kaine is many shades of grey.

His choice as running mate shows careful, in-depth, strategic analysis on Clinton's part.

The kind of careful, deliberate, in-depth, strategic analysis you want from a president.

Kaine is a democratic Senator from Virginia. A state of military bases and conservative ideals. Think about that, think about what it takes to get elected as a democrat in Virginia. Kaine has a reputation as a decent forthright honest upstanding guy, bi-partisan, willing to work with conservatives and liberals with equal enthusiasm – those traits make Kaine well liked by his colleagues in the Senate, on both sides of the aisle.

And that is a damned rare thing nowadays.

Imagine a Senate, a Congress made up of guys like Kaine. Imagine how different our world would be today. How much better.

Strategically, Kaine is from Virginia. If Clinton wins the White House, Virginia’s democratic governor will appoint Kaine’s replacement in the Senate. If Clinton had chosen Elizabeth Warren or Sherrod Brown, their replacements would have been Republicans – in a Senate with a Republican majority. Did you think about that? It’s not enough to win the White House, not if you really want to do all those things Bernie talked about. You have to win back Congress too and starting out another point down isn’t the smartest way to go about that.

Clinton and her team are playing the long game, making strategic decisions that will win the war, not just the current dust up. She could have picked Warren or Sherrod or even Bernie Sanders. But she didn’t. Leadership isn’t about giving people what they want, it’s about doing the right thing for the right reasons.

Tim Kaine is the right thing. For all the right reasons.

This morning I’m seeing Bernie supporters saying things like, “Guess Hillary doesn’t want our votes after all, screw her.”

I’m seeing progressives saying the same thing. They’re telling me, hey, look at this, see? Tim Kaine is pro-bank deregulation and supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership and, holy shit, he’s a Catholic and therefore he’s obviously anti-abortion!

And I can see their point of view. I can.

But Tim Kaine is not Mike Pence.

And you have to look beyond the surface.

Kaine has spent his entire professional and political life fighting for civil rights.

In a lot of ways he’s done the things Bernie Sanders has only talked about.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not bashing Sanders. I’m not. I’m asking you to look a little deeper, hell, a lot deeper.

What I’m saying is if you actually look at Kaine in depth, as Clinton obviously did, you’ll see that she is very much listening. Perhaps that’s why Bernie Sanders himself endorsed her.

Maybe, if you look at Tim Kaine, you’ll see Bernie didn’t sell you out after all. Maybe, just maybe, you were right about him all along.

Look here, as a lawyer, Kaine spent two decades representing poor people who had been discriminated against in housing and employment based on race and disability. He won landmark cases and changed the law regarding fair housing, employment, and representation for minorities – and a lot of that was pro bono.

That’s the kind of thing Sanders talks about regularly, isn’t it? Kaine didn’t just talk about it, he did it.

He changed the world for the better.

He made the world a better place for a hell of a lot of people. Down in the trenches and the tenements where it counts.

Kaine took that experience and taught others. Literally. He taught legal ethics at the University of Richmond School of Law for six years. He was a founding member of the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness. Again, these are very things Bernie talks about. Kaine is out there doing them.

As Mayor of Richmond Kaine was the first white man in that position in more than ten years, chosen by the majority black city council in no small part for his record fighting for equality and civil rights. Because Kaine didn’t just talk about civil rights and equality and race, he leads on all fronts by example – as Bernie does. Kaine turned Richmond around, he renovated schools in poor neighborhoods and built new ones, he gave tax breaks to projects that directly benefited the city and opposed tax increases that didn’t, he brought back business and jobs, and his policies reduced gun crimes by more than 55%. Under Kaine, Richmond went from poverty and crime to being named one of the 10 Best Cities in America to do Business by Forbes – and the key to all of that was Kaine’s commitment to and leadership on racial reconciliation.

Tell me, is that not something Bernie Sanders would enthusiastically support?

You know what the biggest controversy of Kaine’s tenure as Mayor of Richmond was?

He spent $6,000 in public funds on buses to send citizens to the Million Mom March against Gun Violence in Washington D.C.

When pro-gun elements funded by the National Rifle Association tried to make something of it, Kaine raised money privately and paid the city back with interest for use of the buses and took the wind right out of the NRA’s sails. That’s right, Kaine himself paid to send citizens concerned about gun violence to Washington so their voices would be heard. Sounds like something Bernie would do, doesn’t it? And for all the right reasons.

As governor of Virginia, one of the largest and oldest tobacco producing states, Kaine banned smoking in public venues – Making Virginia the first Southern state to do so.

Now you think about that.

This guy faced down the NRA and the Tobacco Lobby on their own home turf and won.

Kaine isn’t a guy who does a thing because it’s popular, he does it because it’s the right thing to do.  Who’s that remind you of?

And then Kaine went to the Senate.

And one of his very first acts on Capitol Hill was to deliver a speech on the Senate floor in support of the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" immigration bill. Kaine gave the speech entirely in Spanish. The first time in the history of the United States that a speech was given by a Senator on the Floor in any language other than English. 

As a senator Kaine has spoken out strongly against Citizen’s United. He supports strong regulation of the financial industry and he supports Dodd-Frank – while at the same time acknowledging banking industry concerns and suggesting that a vibrant economy requires balance. He’s a vocal supporter of immigration and has been one of President Obama’s biggest supporters in this area.

And then there’s abortion:

"I have a traditional Catholic personal position, but I am very strongly supportive that women should make these decisions and government shouldn't intrude. I'm a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade and women being able to make these decisions. In government, we have enough things to worry about. We don't need to make people's reproductive decisions for them."

Here’s a man who, for religious reasons, cannot himself support abortion, but who believes – and openly says so – that his beliefs should not be forced upon others. This is a man who believes in actual liberty, the actual right to choose, and actual freedom of religion.

This is an example for every American to aspire to.

On nearly every topic near and dear to liberal and progressive hearts, and many moderate conservative ones as well, Tim Kaine sets the example. Gay rights, war, the economy, the environment, energy, climate, education, civil rights, gun violence and gun rights, crime, taxes, this guy leads the way in every case.

Yes, Kaine has expressed pro-business and pro-trade ideas. Business and trade are part of America and as an American you should want both to be strong and vibrant. But if you look at Kaine’s statements in detail you’ll see that the difference between Kaine’s pro-business stance and that of Trump/Pence is that he doesn’t believe business should come at the expense of people and his record in every detail proves that all the way back to Richmond. Liberals, Progressives, Conservatives, and Libertarians can all find something to agree on in there.

Hell, if Tim Kaine was running for President instead of Clinton or Trump, I’d vote for him.

 

Kaine is the anti-Pence.

 

Tim Kaine is a brilliant choice by Hillary Clinton.

Tim Kaine shows you that she is listening to your concerns.

She is listening to Bernie supporters and taking them seriously, but she’s also the kind of leader who is going to make the right choice for the right reasons and not because it panders to popularity. And that matters.

She’s also listening to conservatives who hate and despise Trump and Pence and she’s going to have to win over those people not only to win the White House but because it’s the only way to move the country forward again.

And she’s listening to herself. To reason. To strategy. To long term goals. To doing what’s right instead of what’s popular.

Trump listens only to the cheers of the mob.

 

The Supreme Court.  

Foreign relations.  

The economy, healthcare, education, religion, civil rights, war and peace, the role of government, the role of religion, race, gender, identity, climate, science, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Those are the things in play here.

With the Supreme Court alone, the next president will decide the nature of America for decades to come.

With Kaine, Clinton has shown you what kind of Decider she’ll be.

With Pence, Trump has shown you the very same thing.

The choices – and the consequences – could not be more clear.

It is now time for you to decide for yourself what kind of Decider you are.

192 comments:

  1. The more I look at Kaine, the more I think this was a brilliant choice on HRC's part. (Also, since I fully expect the House GOP to start impeachment proceedings the day after she's inaugurated, he's an excellent backup.)

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    1. Hopefully, enough Democrats will win on the down-tickets that the GOP members left in the House will be impotent to do any such thing. So we all need to get out there in November and vote.

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    2. The impeachment threat depends on how many Repubs survive the November elections.

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    3. Thanks Jim, for the thoughtful and insightful essay about our next Vice President, and hopefully, some day, (8yrs from now) President of the United States...

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    4. Thanks Jim, for your thoughtful, insightful, and well informed essay on our next Vice President. And hopefully, someday, (8yrs from now) the President of the United States...

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    5. Does not matter if they start impeachment. They don't have the votes to complete it. It takes a 2/3 majority to convict. They have a 5 seat majority. Let them try and get laughed at again for wasting tax payer money.

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    6. No, but the GOP will waste millions of dollars and precious time trying.

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    7. If T.Rump wins can impeachment proceedings begin BEFORE he's inaugurated?

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    8. hopefully, the GOP will be the minority after November.....

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  2. Thanks. I was having trouble getting excited, particularly with Putin's hackers and Assange choosing this moment to cast their votes for Trump. I feel somewhat better after this.

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  3. We thought the 2008 presidential election was amazing, wait until this one. After the debates when people finally accept the fact that Trump is not kidding, its not movement art, that this man is in fact the single most dangerous candidate to be ever put forth for higher office, there is going to be such a landslide towards the Clinton/Kaine ticket it will make Obama's victory look pale in comparison. And the whole world will sigh in great relief.

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    1. Yes, but we must not become complacent. We need to get out there and vote, and make sure that our family and friends also vote. I have heard several people within my circle of friends that say they are just going to stay home. We can't do that, not it is important for our national races, but it is so important for our down ballot races.

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  4. You wrote, "Kaine turned Richmond around, he renovated schools in poor neighborhoods and built new ones, he gave tax breaks to projects that directly benefited the city and opposed tax increases that didn’t, he brought back business and jobs, and his policies reduced gun crimes by more than 55%. Under Kaine, Richmond went from poverty and crime to being named one of the 10 Best Cities in America to do Business by Forbes – and the key to all of that was Kaine’s commitment to and leadership on racial reconciliation."

    He also sent his kids to those public schools. Nearly every Southern white family of his class yanked their kids out of public schools after the SCt. forced desegregation on VA in the late 60s, more than 15 years after Brown. Not only that, his father-in-law, who was Governor of VA at the time, sent his daughter, now Kaine's wife, to the local Richmond public schools. This white family has rejected white flight for two generations, which is another example of walking the walk.

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    1. Wow. I didn't know this. Thanks so much for your wonderful comment. As a long-time Richmonder, I've always liked Kaine, but now I can be truly excited about supporting him for VP.

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    2. Many years ago, one of my students was a student page in Richmond while Tim Kaine was there. Kaine's son was a page at the same time. The two became fast friends and he was completely blown away by Tim Kaine. For a year after that experience, he regaled me during car pool with story after story of how intelligent, caring and down to earth the man is. I don't agree with him on every issue (pipelines being the biggest one), but I do think he was a brilliant choice.

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    3. i didn't know that either. leading by example is exceptional.

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  5. Thank you, Jim. You brought out things about Tim Kaine that I didn't know. After hearing this info, I must applaud Hillary for her choice. For any Bernie supporters who are planning on staying home in November, please don't. It may take longer to bring about the changes that Bernie supports by voting in Clanton/Kaine, but it will come. Trump/Pence in office means you won't have another shot at change until 2020 - if even then. Thanks for another great post, Jim. Welcome back.

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    1. No shot in 2020 - this one is for all the marbles. Supreme court, voting rights, redistricting ....that's just the short list. God help us if Trump wins. DON'T STAY HOME WHATEVER YOU DO.

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  6. Excellent thoughtful informative post about an excellent thoughtful informed choice. Thanks for this Jim Wright, well writ.

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  7. Thank you, for this and all your work.

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  8. "but she’s also the kind of leader who is going to make the right choice for the right reasons and not because it panders to popularity. And that matters." About the only part of this article I strongly disagree with. The only comfort I can find in the possible selection between these two evils it that Clinton at least makes attempts at pandering. Maybe she cares about how history might judge her. Trump flat doesn't give a shit.

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    1. Or, maybe, she might, *gasp* actually listen to people and adjust her thinking as she receives new information.

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    2. Clinton has a very long history of progressive action-- and her progressiveness has progressed, which is pretty much the definition of.
      By putting her in office we will benefit from 24 years of her continuous learning and enhanced understanding.

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    3. The Right has accused Hillary Clinton of everything from bad bookkeeping to first degree murder. None of those accusations proved correct. They have slung mud at her for 20 years and none of it has stuck, except in the minds of some voters.

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  9. Thank you, Jim. As a Bernie supporter, I have been concerned about Kaine. However, you have helped me bridge the gab between what we have and what I wished for. Thank you.

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  10. As a former resident of Maryland, I have seen the great things Tim Kaine has done for Virginia and I am thrilled that Hillary chose him as her running mate.

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  11. Excellent. This should be required reading by all voters. Thanks for the clarity of thought, and the crisp delivery. I was not sure about Clintons pick, and had started to research the man. Thanks for the thoughtful essay.

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  12. This is the most hopeful piece I have read in a long time. I'm Canadian and follow your blog because of the insightful analysis your work provides. (I also taught Englsh and appreciate the command of the craft you demonstrate!) Many thanks for educating us Cannucks who are concerned for friends and family south of the border. Keep beating the drum of reason, Jim.

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  13. I've been struggling to make people understand why he is a great choice. Thank you for putting it all together and for giving us a great argument for the Bernie bots. Not that they'll listen but reasonable people will. Like you, I'd vote for Kaine for potus and I plan to do just that after his 8 years as VP.

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    1. As a so-called "Bernie Bot", I have to question why you continue to denigrate the many, many diverse people who supported him. As a 64 yo grandma of 6, I respectfully request you to take your smugness elsewhere and stop sullying Jim's great essays with hate every bit as despicable as Trump's

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    2. As a so-called "Bernie Bot", I have to question why you continue to denigrate the many, many diverse people who supported him. As a 64 yo grandma of 6, I respectfully request you to take your smugness elsewhere and stop sullying Jim's great essays with hate every bit as despicable as Trump's

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    3. I am a Sanders supporter. I really wanted him to win, and I'm still excited that he came as far as he did and that he had the influence that he has had on the Democratic platform. I'm still a little disappointed that he didn't win, but he didn't get the votes and that's how it works. Throughout the primary campaigning, I, too, was insulted by the "Bernie bot" term. However, what I've come to see is that there are those Sanders supporters who are unreasonable about how the primaries went, and who still think that somehow he will become the nominee. It's unrealistic and foolish. And they are angry that Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. Some of them have made it clear that no matter what Bernie says, they will do as they want - write him in. Some of them are angry enough that they have sworn to vote for Trump in protest - basically proposing to "burn it all down - that'll show 'em." I believe those are the people to whom Joincj is referring with his term "Bernie Bot." I don't see smugness there, nor do I see hate.

      And, if you are still reading and enjoying Jim Wright's work, you are unlikely one of those Sanders supporters who is unreasonable.

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    4. Agree with Terri for all of the same reasons. I was also a Bernie supporter, but its time to be realistic and get behind the ticket we have-Kaine is perfect.

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    5. Terri, I 100% agree with you. Unlike you I have been a Hillary supporter from the beginning. However, after living in New England for a few years a long time ago, I've been aware of Bernie for a very long time and like him as well as respect him. I've never been disrespectful of a persons choice to support Bernie. That being said there are nasty people on both sides. I have made posts that have included nothing but a fact or given proof of a debunked right wing talking point that a Bernie supporter has claimed was truth. The posts were polite and the responses were beyond insulting including profanity, informing me of my ignorance and insinuating I was voting with something other then my head! Let's face it there are extreme people on both ends of the spectrum. I have also seen the those that will vote for trump to "show em" and want to see it all burn down, some have "their popcorn ready." These are the people who did not get their way so they are taking their ball home with them. They sit in a position of white privilege with zero regard for those who have much to lose or their so called progressive values. I also believe these are the people that Jolncj is referring today and as far as I am concerned their "vote of conscience" that gives no conscience thought to those who will be most hurt while they are eating popcorn and watching the country burn has lost them their seat at the table!

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    6. There are Bernie-bots and there rare .... Hillary-hacks... I'm a Bernie supporter. Not a bad essay: except that it spends 50% of it's words on why Pence is not a good choice when the article starts off telling is Kaine is a good choice. Because Pence is that awful? ..... It does a good job of comparing Kaine to Pence. Extrapolating why Hillary is a better choice for POTUS than Trump but skips over the details that are important to Progressives. Oh, wait, or as this author of the thread calls us: 'Bernie Bots'. Love it.

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    7. Sean Thorne, I understand why you object to the term Bernie Bot. I do. And I don't use the term myself unless provoked. But if you look at some of the comments below, you'll see why people tend to use it.

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    8. Sean Thorne... As a resident of Indiana, I can attest Mike Pence IS that bad. He is not benign...not by any long shot. I read the essay as compare/contrast. One can't see the benefit of Kaine without the comparison/contrast to Pence.

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    9. Sean Thorne, just so you know, Pence IS that awful. I'm convinced that the only reason he was elected in 2012 was because he kept his mouth shut, and so the ultra - right wing crazy didn't leak out.

      Plus, he said, like Mitch Daniels, his focus would be jobs and the economy. Hah! Joke was on us.

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    10. Thanks for giving me a lot to think about and to discuss with my friends.

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  14. Thank you Jim for another informative article.I have been trying to sort through all the information being published and I think that you have put it all into perspective that definitely makes me feel better.

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  15. Excellent and thank you. I had been looking for information on Tim Kaine, because I am unfamiliar with him and his political history. I took a break and found this. You've summarized his background, as well as Hillary's reason for choosing him as her running-mate, all of which I wanted to know, and you've done it extremely well, as usual.

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  16. Now, instead of feeling comfortable with the choice of Tim Kaine, I'm actually feeling excited about it. I don't know what they're paying you, Jim, but you're worth every penny. ;-)

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    1. Jim accepts donations - he really does not like asking for them, but when he does he tries to give back with chances to win some of his artwork. Otherwise he is self funded. If you want, there is a "Donate" button on the page...I would think that even "pennies" help :D

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  17. Thank you. Just the information I needed right now. Once again, since I can't say it any better, I'll be sharing your words.

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  18. Well thought out as usual. I hope your words help some liberals vote for the Dem ticket with a lighter heart.

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  19. I really wanted her to pick Castro or Perez but a) I trust Hillary's decision making skills, particularly when she has all the info (see Iraq vote) and b) the more I hear about Kaine the better I like him.

    Good analysis, Jim.

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  20. Excellent piece and lots of information about the VP choice. I would vote for him.
    I was hoping Clinton wouldn't pick Warren. We need her in the senate. I had totally overlooked that important point about the party of the governor who would be choosing an interim senator.
    Small edit in the last sentence; "want" should be "what"?
    Great job.

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    1. Senator Warren would also be a stellar Supreme Court justice.

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    2. Yes, but right now we need both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in the Senate.

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  21. Thank you for this brilliant articulation of how special this choice is to America. Virginia already loves Tim Kaine and he will be a great Vice President and then be more than ready to move into the presidency when Clinton is done. She has indeed seen and thought out the long game and this American is deeply grateful!

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  22. new follower here Jim, started reading your stuff after a FB friend shared your posts. Great stuff by the way. Just reinforcing what everyone else is saying. Had no clue who he was and it's great to know this info, thank you for sharing.

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  23. Thank you SO MUCH for this post. You've obviously researched your Kaine thoroughly and saved us an awful lot of trouble. I agree that he's an excellent choice for all the reasons you laid out. Now, if I can just get my BernieBot friends to read this!

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  24. That old cliche is that a Vice President is a heartbeat away from the Presidency. A Candidate for Vice President should be chosen for their temperament, experience, and qualifications, not on their ability to pass a liberal purity test. Republicans have litmus tests and ideological purges, for the reasons that Jim mentioned in his excellent essay. Democrats should be better than that.
    Clinton is the best qualified and most experienced candidate for President, and I believe she made a good choice.
    And as to the e-mail kerfuffle Part Deux, I think that Sanders supporters might want to ask themselves a question. What would the emails from the Sanders campaign look like if we could see them? What would they say about Hillary, and about the DNC?
    Finally, these emails were stolen by Russian hackers, and being released by Wikileaks at a time they consider to be opportune. Dr Paul Krugman isn't exactly a tin foil hat kind of guy, but in his latest NYT column, titled the Siberian Candidate, he gives a lot of reasons why Trump may be receiving support from Putin.

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    1. It's one thing to compare the HRC and Sanders' campaigns' emails - it's quite another for the DNC to be actively working to prevent a candidate from having a fair opportunity to participate. This is what people don't seem to understand about the outrage over the DNC's behavior - it was inherently undemocratic and it destroyed the trust many had for the party as a whole and anyone affiliated with it - for good reason.

      The DNC did this to themselves. We didn't need the email leak to prove that they had it out for Bernie - it's just additional confirmation.

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    2. Just why should the Democratic party not be biased toward a decades long Democrat as opposed to someone who was only running on the Democratic ticket because he knew he would never get anywhere on an Independent ticket?

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    3. Ms. Red's question is the great unanswered one. I like Bernie, and I voted for him in the local Primary. But, yes, that is a valid question. Bernie is an Independent. He is not a member of the Democratic Party. I don't agree with the tactics I've heard were played by Dems, but I don't know for a certainty that there were any rules broken within the party. Being mad at Hilary for not rolling over and letting Bernie have the party isn't going to help anyone. And the superdelegates did not, in fact make all the difference. Sanders did not claim enough pledged delegates to take the party. That simple.
      As Jim says here, it is time to pull together, and work the long game. I'm talking 2020, 2024, and 2026, just to start.
      If we don't work that way, the zombie apocalypse will be upon us before anyone can say "four more years."

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    4. Yes, Sen. Sanders has always been an Independent, however during his tenure in Congress he has caucused with the Democrats. He describes himself as a "Democratic Socialist"; Sen. Sanders supports a Progressive agenda, one that has much more in common with the Liberal side of the Aisle than the Conservative. When Sen. Sanders decided to run on the Democratic ticket he explained his reasons, and yes, running as a candidate for one of the two major parties is much more effective than running as an Independent. When you consider the wide spectrum that "Independent" covers the choice to align himself with the Democratic party makes sense with his progressive social message.
      The DNC & Wasserman-Shultz were out of line, it was apparent early on...the emails proved their bias. Each candidate on their ticket deserves equal treatment, they did not deliver. Instead of supporting Sec. Clinton they could have collapsed her campaign - we are all lucky that Sen. Sanders is an ethical man & did not decide to let his pride get in the way of the good of our nation. A contested convention would have been a gift to the GOP & Trump.

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  25. Kaine is a strong strategic pick, as you pointed out. No bomb thrower, and has solid governing experience behind him. My main concern is with the Wikileaks release of the DNC emails - Sanders supporters are feeling vindicated about what they perceived during the primary, and have a new(er) reason to sit this one out. Clinton/Kaine will have to show the progressive wing that they'll listen and support their concerns, once in the White House. Third way triangulation will not be a good move in keeping any House or Senate majority past 2018. The big game is down ticket. Need to keep supporters fired up, so that when 2020 rolls around, the gerrymandering of 2010 can be undone.

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  26. Great writing as always sir.

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  27. Thank you for being a voice of calm reason in a wilderness of fear.

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  28. Hi, Jim. Hope that isn't too forward, coming from a newbie to your blog. Two things: Mad respect. For your service, your writing style, your sense of humor and your treatment of the species Trollus Neanderthalensis. Secondly, I have a question and you may have been asked this before, buuut have you ever considered running for president? I know I would vote for you. I actually kind of like the idea of a national platform of a.)Leave b.)Pipe down or c.)Grow a (figurative) set of big hairy ones so that one may process butthurt in a constructive manner beneficial to society. I'm sure that I'm not alone in thinking that our country could benefit from gaining familiarity with Warrant Officers. Just a thought. Carry on, sir.

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    Replies
    1. "Have you ever considered running for president?"

      No.

      And you don't want me to. I'd make a lousy politician. I'm a career military guy, I'm used to giving orders not brokering consensus among people I don't respect. Military people make lousy presidents as a general rule, for just that reason. I'm blunt, loud, and opinionated. I'd make a damned good adviser and an even better trouble shooter. But I'm not the guy you want in the chair and I'm smart enough to know it.

      Delete
    2. Okay, makes sense to me. Just wanted to let you know how valuable your point of view is, to me at any rate. And it's best not to argue with the WO.

      Delete
    3. I don't know, Jim. That's a lot of conventional wisdom and well-reasoned logic.
      But I think George Washington did respectable service. The rise of Trump has really spoken against that conventional wisdom--and well-reasoned logic blew out the car window a long time ago.
      We really need someone up there that doesn't want the job, I think.

      Delete
    4. On the other hand, the last time that we had a President that had never held elected office (as would be the case with a Pres. Trump) was Gen. Eisenhower. The best military leaders are thoughtful and cautious (albeit accustomed to having their thoughtful and cautious decisions followed without question).

      That said, I want you to keep writing, not to jump into the political fray. Thank you for helping me take a more mature and nuanced view of Sec. Clinton's choice.

      Delete
  29. Well... okay you win. Honestly, for several reasons I am not in favor of his "business" decisions, but I will say your post has certainly softened my feelings and made me willing to take a second look at him. Thank you as always for a well thought out, well researched post.

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  30. As a Bernie supporter who is voting for Hillary, I appreciate your insight and opinion regarding Kaine. My initial reaction to a Kaine choice was one of disappointment..ya know, just not progressive enough. The more I learn though, the more I'm thinking Hillary's choice was the absolute best she could have made.

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  31. Thank you Jim. Again. I knew nothing about Kaine until HRC picked him then started doing research. Your essay added more facts to what I've found. My only question had been who would replace him and now I know it will be a Dem; I say full speed ahead for Clinton/Kaine!

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  32. Thank you for the education about Kaine. Not that internet media sources aren't trustworthy (snark) but you particular spin is one that should be noted and respected. Interesting how many GOP Congress folks are saying "good choice" as well.

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  33. Thank you -- between this article and one I found about Kaine's actions after the Virginia Tech massacre, I am now on board with Clinton's choice, and happy to welcome him to the campaign.

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  34. Thank you so much for this great summary. Those of us who live in Richmond, and have admired him since he first ran for City Council, are so proud and excited that such an honorable, smart, funny, down to earth person is her pick.

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  35. The worst you can say about Kaine as a Veep pick is that he's going to be another Joe Biden.

    And you wanna know something? THAT'S PERFECT IF YOU'RE A DEMOCRAT.

    Biden as Veep is one of our more popular Vice Presidents we've had. He was popular enough that people seriously talked about him - not just as an alternative to Hillary - running for President himself.

    Remember, Biden was the one who dropped the news that the Democrats were ready to support gay marriage. Conservatives attacked, thinking they could get Obama to repudiate his own Veep. Instead, Obama seized the moment and used the pulpit to support gay marriage as well. You could *see* the majority view on gay marriage shift overnight to what I call Pro-People. That was really on all Biden.

    To have a Biden in the White House is to have a team player who knows the game and plays it well, but just doesn't have the charisma or spark to take it to the next level. You want someone like that as a Vice President in case of emergency, like we had Truman back in 1945.

    I don't think there were few other choices Hillary COULD have make that didn't involve getting an older white guy. There was Perez (whom I preferred, honestly), but Castro was taken off the list because he's running afoul of scandal at his Cabinet post, and while Warren was "the sexy pick" it made more sense to keep her in the Senate (make Warren the next Ted Kennedy: a lioness of the legislature). I can't think of anybody else.

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  36. And Kaine has changed or softened his stance on trade. One article I read said it was a condition to getting the nod from Senator Clinton, but whatever the reason, he is no longer supporting TPP and other trade agreements.

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  37. Here here! Oh how I hope there are enough people in the U.S., thinking like you and voting with their brains/conscience. I was thinking Kaine would make a great President even before I got to where you said it yourself. You write excellent Essays Jim Wright but I must say this one really got me to comment. I also hope this one gets shared and shared and shared some more!

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  38. I want an anti-poverty President.

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    Replies
    1. Well, your choices are Trump or Clinton. Which one do you think will do the most for poor Americans, even if they don't do everything you'd like them to do? Seriously. Clinton comes with a new Senate Democratic majority and possibly the House too. What's the value of a liberal-leaning Supreme Court for the next few decades when it comes to the rights of the poor?

      Delete
  39. Well, ya see, according to the NYT (claiming Kasich's office as a source) Donnie doesn't want to be the Chief Executive (CEO). He doesn't even want to be COO. He sees himself as Chairman of the Board (never mind that dang Constitution.) That's what kind of Deciderer he sees himself being.

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  40. I can't wait to get some time to savor the whole piece later on, but I can't help wondering when you'll change the thumbnail pic to one with a white straw hat and a flowered shirt!

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    1. With a T-shirt under it that says "unwindulax"?

      Delete
  41. Love your work!! Follow you on FB & here. You're wonderful at articulating points and arguments. I also entirely enjoy your humor... vasectomy as it related to the RNC was fabulous!! What a different tone today's announcements projected.

    You may want to edit for *CapitOl Hill

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  42. Thanks for raising my hopes again. With luck, perhaps we'll have Tim Kaine around for 4 terms!

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  43. Thanks for doing the legwork on this,saving me time to bang on the airlock to get in

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  44. I can hardly wait for the debates. Cue the "JAWS" theme! I can only hope the idiocy of the Trump movement will be obvious to his followers. It's a stretch, I know, but it's what I am looking forward to. Thank you for this excellent essay.

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  45. Well said, Jim. This post clarifies what's at stake in this election. We cannot sacrifice our future by electing a man who believes that the National Enquirer is a viable source of information, among all of his other negative issues. Trump is all and only about himself, and his followers are blinded to the future he and Pence represent.

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  46. Thanks for this piece. I had no idea who Kaine even was prior to this, and was somewhat disappointed. But after reading this, the long game looks good, and I am hopeful that this will be a history-making team in the Whitehouse! This is coming from a Sanders supporter who long ago bowed to the reality that he wasn't going to be the Democratic nominee.

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  47. Wonderful and thoughtful. Thank you.

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  48. I have to admit, I was initially disappointed in Clinton's pick. But your article, plus others I've read about Tim Kaine and the wisdom of choosing him, convinced me that my disappointment was ill-founded. I'm now enthusiastic about Hillary's running mate, and I'm with her and Kaine all the way.

    One nit about your article's repeated lowercasing of "democrat/ic" vs your putting Republican in its proper title case. Was that intentional?

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  49. Thank you Jim.Very insightful, as usual.

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  50. Just saw Kaine's acceptance speech. Thought it was fantastic. Especially after the last week of the GOP caucasian hate-fear-hopelessness fest with added Trump personality cult and Hillary lynching.

    We will never have a perfect Pres/VP ticket, but Clinton/Kaine is very good. Clinton is the most qualified candidate in decades by dint of her resume and experience. She also brings 20+ years of 24/7/365 GOP anti-Hillary hate and hounding that has hardened her but also made her susceptible to poor optics and choices like the email server issue. Big friggin deal. She is married to a known adulterer who was elected POTUS twice and left office as the most successful and popular moderate Republican Pres ever. Who gives a shit. She is seasoned in personal and public battle vs the never ending tsunami of GOP shit tossed against the wall but never quite sticks.

    Tim Kaine intro'd himself today and I gotta say at first glance I wish he was top of the ticket. He seems to present a more open and natural public persona than Clinton, but considering her constant battle against hate, she's gonna seem uptight. Kaine brings great experience and passion for many of the right issues and problems the REAL America faces.

    Despite the obvious blemishes, we should be satisfied with this Dem top ticket. The critical thing is to attack and vote Democrat in every down ballot position from Senator to dogcatcher with the same enthusiasm. Cause Trump and the never ending bleeding ulcer of the GOP primaries and convention is a feature and not a bug in the way Republicans and their owners long for total control and ownership of our nation.

    And Kaine's son is a Marine! Double points. Semper Fi

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  51. Jim, you rock! This is my favorite essay, so far. You perfectly articulated what I have been trying to say since yesterday. Thank you.

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  52. After hearing Sen. Kaine's speech this afternoon and reading your essay, it's so good to feel hope again. Thank you, thank you, thank you Chief Jim.
    Best, hillsmom

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  53. So what you are saying boils down to she picked someone with convictions and the courage to live by them and the brains to get it done, Half the art to leadership is knowing who to delegate to and confidence in the person. I only wish we had someone with Hillary's brains in charge over here

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    1. You and me, both, Deborah! I'm in Bristol, and not happy right now!

      Delete
  54. I didn't know much about Kaine but through research and now confirmation here, I agree he is a super choice for VP. The more I see of him the more that I agree that he's right for the job and will be a big asset to the ticket. Hillary needs to get him out front and center and let him get as much exposure as possible so people know who he is, and that he is a good solid man for the job.

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  55. Some sanity in an insane situation. Thanks!

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  56. Thank you for another well reasoned, thoughtful essay. This one will, I think assist many of your readers to better understand Hillary Clinton, and to come to appreciate who Tim Kaine is, and how importat he will be, not only in this campaign, but assuming they carry the vote in November, in the years to come after the win. I have been feeling let down, as I honestly believe Bernie would be the best choice for President, perhaps the best in my lifetime. However, I have never bought into the "crooked Hillary" meme that so many seem to. After all for the last 25+ years the Republicans have smeared, her, and brought baseless accusations, held innumerable hearings, tried to find some actionable act that they could hang her with...all to no avail. If any of those accusations were true she would not be in the position she is in today.

    She is not Bernie, and she has taken a different road to her progressive view point, but she is principled, she is passionate about her values, and she is unabashedly liberal, and has always been so.

    However, as of today, I am much relieved to have read your history of Mr. Kaine, and gleefully intend to vote for the Clinton/Kiane ticket, as mu forwho they are, as for the simple fact they are the only Electable altenative to the unacceptable threat of a Trump/Pence Presidency.

    Again, thank you for sharing the gift you have with reason and words. I am always a little more knowledgeable , a little wiser, and generally in a better frame of mind after reading your work.. Rick Morton

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  57. That must be some AMAZING crack you're smoking. There is zero chance I will vote for Hillary and a Southern Democratic "centrist." Her selection of Kaine tells progressives in no uncertain terms what we've known for years: she's about as left of center as the entire rest of the Republican Party, the place she started and still belongs. By all means, tell us of the "Ogre Trump and the Good Princess Hillary" because fairy tales are always fun. Just don't expect us to swallow them as reality.

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    Replies
    1. Michael, let's talk about that crack, shall we?

      When you say Southern Democrat Centrist and you put Centrist in quotes, what exactly do you think you mean by that? And be VERY specific.

      Delete
  58. Thank you, Jim. I appreciate the time and thought and fact-checking that went into this excellent article. Thank you for assuming I would never research Kaine myself and organizing the info I need into such a concise compilation of what I need. You really are the best.

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  59. Thank you for your thoughtful piece. I live in Southwestern Virginia, in what appears to be Trumpland. Seriously, I live in the heart of "people who continually vote against their own self-interest". While I don't think that he's going to get many of these loonies to vote for a Democrat, and certainly not Hilary Clinton, they are actually able to verbalize that HE'S not a bad guy. For a Dem. That's a big deal around here.

    Tim Kaine is a wonderful person. He's the epitome of "public servant", and waaay too many of our congresscritters have forgotten what that means entirely. He makes me proud to be a Virginian. Even down here in SWVA.

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    Replies
    1. I live in a similar "people who continually vote against their own self-interest" location in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. They do, on occasion, manage to elect a Democratic candidate in the Charleston area. But we in the surrounding towns and counties, not so much.

      So I know what a compliment it is that your neighbors like Tim Kaine. For a Dem.

      Delete
  60. Thanks so much Jim for clearly laying this out. I had little info on Sen. Jaime and thought he was a "safe" choice. Now I'm an enthusiastic supporter. Glad you are back! Loved the vasectomy story by the way😉

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  61. Fantastic.

    I didn't know anything about Kaine until now - this was a great breakdown of the kind of person, and politician, he is, and has been, Jim.

    Thanks - I'll do some looking around on my own, now, and keep my eye out for more on Kaine.

    Cheers.

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  62. Great article Jim! Now if only we can get those who feel like this choice was a slap in their face to read it!

    One thing that might need correcting "She have could have picked Warren"

    Hope you are settling into to your new home. I tried for a decade to settle in to Florida but couldn't stand the heat. So now me and my native Floridian husband are in Montana! Guess I made the opposite move LOL.

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  63. Thank you for letting me know all this about Tim Kaine. I was one of those "disappointed" you talked about. Not anymore. I really appreciate and value your opinions. You have that gift of being able to make 360 degrees around the person or subject and let us see all the sides.

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  64. REALLY impressed by abortion stance. That's rare now a days in the "with us or against us" thing the US is embroiled in. Not a single issue voter but I always vote CIVIL RIGHTS. TK is a dynamo there going way back..Great choice by HRC..

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  65. Wow! Thanks for this. I just posted a piece on FB about th relief of feeling the Trump Funk lifting as I watched and listened to Kaine's speech and watched HRC listening to Kaine's speech. Your piece gives me the intellectual complement to my feelings. Well done, sir!

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  66. I'm very glad that a friend talked about your blog. This is my first read, and it was a great comparison between Twump and Clinton's decision making. I was hoping she would select Tim Kane, but after reading your post, its by far a great choice, and I think will help her win the election. Thank you for the post.

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  67. Dude, you are a cool rain on a hot summer day, refreshing and mind clearing. A straight thinker and talker, how we need more people like you in this world on non thinkers.

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  68. Excellent.

    As wrong as Ted Cruz is on anything including when the sun comes up - tere is truth to "vote Your conscience".

    But let's decide what exactly is a conscience... is it an ideology? No.

    Is it a core value system that looks at how "My Decision" will affect others as well as myself? Yes.

    Using the proper definition, you can't let the entire country suffer just because you didn't get exactly what you want. Hey, you CAN still work for it - how about that "running for local office" thing Senator Sanders asked folks to do? That's the grass and the roots folks. Get involved every year, not just election years. And vote ... bit please use your conscience, not your ideology (otherwise you'll be like Ted - who really just wanted to say "Vote for ME!"

    Clinton and Kaine with Democrats in Congress AND [big] in the State Houses will give us a chance to get back to the solid ground ... and progress from there.

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  69. Well, Jim's right, HRC *is* playing the long strategic game. It's just the wrong one.

    There are too many good reasons to Write In POTUS Sanders in all 43 States, where in all cases, the Sore Loser laws do not apply to Presidential candidates.

    1. Kayne will deregulate the banks - again - he just said so day before yesterday. He was one of 13 Senate Dems who voted to give POTUS Obama sweeping authority to fast track the TPP - essentially NAFTA on steroids - which abrogates national sovereignty among other ills. He's pro-life - now wait he's pro-choice - no wait he's -who the Hell really knows? Her choice of Kayne is not as much strategic as it is a big Fuck You to all authentic Democrats and a pivot to her *real* constituency: Wall Street, Arms Manufacturers, and the Goldwater Republicans who have let her remove the Democratic Party as their only obstacle to One Party rule in this country.

    2. The already termed-out two-term Co-Presidents Clinton do not deserve third and fourth terms. They are not FDR. They decimated the Middle Class by abolishing Glass-Steagal, imposing NAFTA against the will of the American People, will impost the TPP on the American people and on the world, and during the NAFTA opposition it was HRC who crafted the "Free Speech Zones," thus effectively abrogating the First Amendment. And and now they want another bite at that apple. No. Nothing doing cupcake.

    3. Syria. You know - that Hellhole that *was* a First World country? This "legacy" of POTUS Obama's which #NeverHillary helped to craft and is so eager to carry on, is heavily invested in bombing women and children. In fact in the Spring of 2012, under her tenure at State, she obstructed UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan's attempts at peace efforts. This point is well known and acknowledged among diplomats. Instead of a cease-fire, Syria and the world got escalating carnage. And why? Because Syria is a proxy war against Iran on behalf of Nutty Bibi Netanyahu.


    4. Pay-to-Play State Dept under #NeverHillary who gave contracts to Arms dealers in return for donations to the Clinton Foundation which is essentially a money laundering scheme

    5. If Hillary had all of this support of the DNC and the media, and she was still not able to reach the magical 2383 delegates, then she is too weak of a candidate in the first place to defeat Trump - even with Kayne. She had every break imaginable and still couldn't get that magical number. Hillary supporters need to start emailing super delegates and tell them they are Hillary supporters and let them know they are afraid she can't beat Trump. If the DNC backed Bernie liked they backed Hillary for the primaries, it would be a landslide victory against Trump.
    (cont in next post)

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    Replies
    1. Well, I can neither verify nor disprove most of the claims you're making.

      But since you can't even be arsed to spell "Kaine" correctly, even though Jim used it multiple times, I tend to question your accuracy. And I have no doubt about your lack of objectivity.

      Delete
    2. Point taken. It was intentional on the misspelling - an attempted take on the mark of Cain - only with a K. Clearly it did not translate well in flat electrons. My bad.

      These are not "claims," but points for attempting on the gaslighting. You can look up his Senatorial voting record and his public comments as well as I if your willing. Clearly, you aren't willing.

      Delete
    3. I remember President Nader, that's why you should vote Hillary/Kaine.

      Delete
  70. I just published - waiting for approval - I had to use Anonymous because I didn't have time to figure out signing in with my name or a good avatar.

    If anyone can point to an easy way to get past Anon, will you? I'll look back
    Thanks

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  71. (Cont from pervious post)

    6. The WikiLeaks e-mail dump https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/ from the DNC clearly show that the DNC rigged the primaries in collusion with most of the main-stream media. Mathematical analysis has given enough solid evidence for a a lawsuit to proceed on election fraud charges. Even is you think that a political party has some kind of privilege to chose it's own candidates, *over* the majority of voters *in* that party - can you really, as an honourable person, submit to undemocratic behaviour by a party calling itself The Democratic Party?


    7. Today at the Democratic Convention the rules committee is underway. Livstream on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUZMuPo2UBg

    "Sanders delegates with complete ID and authorization, even those on the committee itself have been locked out of the Rules Committee Meeting. This even after Sanders did what the DNC demanded by endorsing Hillary for the nomination. They are strong arming Sanders, his delegates and supporters. The party does not want unity, they want surrender." This was reported by several Sander's Delegates on the scene.

    Let me be perfectly clear: If the DNC and don't get their shit in a pile and nominate Sanders, Trump will be President.

    There are over 13 million of us who support Sanders. We do not negotiate with terrorists who hold Hegelian dialectical guns to our heads. Clinton *cannot* win without the Sanders vote, and she will *not* have it. We will *never* vote for her. Never.

    No means no. We will Write In Sanders or vote for him on the Green Ticket.

    Either Way - Sanders will receive the majority of the Popular vote and our consciences will be clear. Trump will be on the DNC and The Pantsuit and her BillyGoat. History will remember them that way and *that* will be the Clinton legacy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Either Way - Sanders will receive the majority of the Popular vote and our consciences will be clear. Trump will be on the DNC and The Pantsuit and her BillyGoat. History will remember them that way and *that* will be the Clinton legacy."

      Please be advised that Rainbow Bus Lines has discontinued service to Unicorn Street.

      Delete
    2. I find it interesting that Kathleen has appointed herself steward and distributor of Sanders voters. ALL of them.

      Delete
    3. Regarding your paragraph #1, it's "Kaine," not "Kayne." In paragraph #5, his name is STILL "Kaine," not "Kayne." And in paragraph #7, it's "Livestream," not "Livstream." Remember--correct spelling is essential for creating a coherent essay.

      Delete
    4. Your conscience will be clear? Who care about *your* consience?!?

      Sad news for you, but Bernie isn't going to win without Clinton supporters either. 13 million? It's a drop in the bucket.

      Kick, scream, rant--g'head--I did it too.

      Here's what "excites" me about Clinton: she's not Donald Trump!

      Whatever platforms, ideals, hopes, and visions you had for a Sanders administration, they certainly aren't going to be realized in a Trump Administration. Not in the least.

      So you can protest vote. You can roll the dice to appease *your* conscience. You only risk Donald Trump, a serious economic downturn, possible trade wars, and actually war itself, but we're talking about *your* conscience here and that's far more important--right?

      Delete
    5. Oh, TM Rezzek...you only pointed out a small fraction of the grammatical and spelling errors. There are so many more contained therein...which I find ironic, considering Kathleen's profile says she is a writer. But the most amusing thing...well, actually it's more of a sad thing...is that all of the "points" she makes are just her opinions on various topics, without any real facts to support them. Rather like what Trump does, don't you think? So, again, Kathleen, if you really want to win people over to your way of thinking, why not try a writing an essay that is coherent, fact-filled, and grammatically correct, with zero spelling errors. Just a suggestion...

      Delete
  72. I've been reading up on Kaine since the announcement. He has a 100% rating from NARAL. That is significant. It shows two things. Though he is personally anti-abortion, he bases his decisions on the will of his constituents, not his own personal views. It also shows me that he has integrity.

    This pretty much just turned it around for me with Hillary. It was a nuanced, strategic, brillant choice, and I'm feeling much better about where I have to go in November. Much better.

    Thanks Jim, you are a good mental sounding board.

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    Replies
    1. He also has a 100% from Planned Parenthood.

      Delete
  73. Jo North of BostonJuly 23, 2016 at 4:50 PM

    Thanks for the information on Kaine--I knew about his gun control work but not really anything else about him. You've helped me really appreciate him.

    Also, just a clarification--people to fill senate vacancies aren't appointed in Massachusetts, a special election is held. It used to be that they were appointed by the governor here but when John Kerry was running for president and Mitt Romney was governor the democratic legislature changed the law. Of course, that backfired when Scott Brown was elected in a special election to fill Ted Kennedy's vacant seat. So though there's not guarantee that Massachusetts would have elected a Democratic replacement for Elizabeth Warren it also wouldn't have been a done deal that a Republican would have been appointed.

    I really enjoy your blog--it helps me remember the sane, reasonable arguments when I am overwhelmed by the ridiculous.

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  74. Thank you for breaking this down!!

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  75. Kathleen, is that what this election is about? Your conscience being clear?
    I think it is interesting you already have a derogatory nickname for this VP nominee.

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  76. Damn it Jim! Once again you write something I wish I had written! Thank you!

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  77. I'll quibble. Tim Kaine is not the Anti-Pence. He is ANTI-MIKE.
    http://imgur.com/MGi9J3M

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  78. Jim - Thanks for laying out the arguments so clearly. I too had some questions at to Kaine's progressivism, but feel better after his pledge to follow Hillary's lead in opposing the TPP. I would vote for Hillary in any case (after all, look at the alternative), but your summary on Kaine helps a great deal. Despite the hysterical screed by Kathleen (above) who is so married to Bernie that she will never vote for Hillary, I seriously doubt that her "13 million" Bernie voters will desert Hillary in the face to the Trump disaster. As the Hillary Pumas came over to Obama almost en masse in 2008, so the Bernie-or-Busters will do what their conscience demands. Else they have no conscience.

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  79. As a Virginian who was also living in Richmond when Mr Kaine was elected Mayor, I have had the privilege of watching his rise through the ranks, including his election to the Senate, which finally drove a stake through George Allen's heart. Anyone who doesn't understand what a rare treasure Mr Kaine is in this world of two faced bought and paid for politicians really doesn't understand what honesty and humility are. Yes, he did support the TPP (although he is now against it, and yes, he has come out in favor of regional banking giant Capital One getting some governmental love, but the NRA grades him as an "F" while Planned Parenthood gives him a 100-proving that a man whose personal religious beliefs are anti-abortion can correctly balance those beliefs against the over-riding rights of a woman's right to choose and support those rights. As Jim said, if he were running for POTUS, I too would vote for him instead of the two existing candidates. I suspect if HRC wins in November, we just might get that chance to vote for him as a Presidential candidate one day.

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    Replies
    1. If the NRA grades you an 'F,' then I'd consider that a badge of honor. My respect for Tim Kaine is increasing.

      Delete
  80. I could not be more disappointed in Kaine as VP! He voted against women to have abortions as Governor. He is a centrist. He is overweight a poor example of health. Yuk, yuk and yuk

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    1. Yes. He did.

      However the part you are conveniently ignoring is this: Kaine's stance on abortion has evolved since 2005 when he spoke against abortion rights as governor. Since 2012, Kaine has vocally supported a woman's right to choose. This is especially significant since he himself is anti-abortion in accordance with his religious beliefs.

      Isn't this exactly what you want? A man who was convinced to change his view by reason, logic, morality, and doing what is right for his constituents? Isn't it? Isn't this exactly what you want?

      Tim Kaine listened to the people, weighed rights against his beliefs, then he changed his position on abortion. He is able to accommodate his own beliefs while at the same time supporting those who believe differently.

      That, to me, is exactly the kind of man I want in office.

      Delete
    2. Rebekah,

      Regarding your opinion of Senator Kaine's size:

      Unless you are his doctor, you have no idea what his state of health is. There are fat people whose health numbers are solidly normal and thin people whose numbers are anything but.
      Thin =/= healthy. The fact that you, personally, find overweight people to be "yuk" is a matter of interest primarily to no one but yourself.

      Delete
    3. Research is good. Multiple sources of research is better.
      Why is "centrist" a dirty word? In the past we used to have "moderates" from both parties...they were the ones who could work across party lines & actually do the work of governing our country. Moderates are very rare anymore, they seem to exist mostly on the liberal side of the spectrum, otherwise we have been pretty much paralyzed by extremism. A great example of that is the Supreme Court seat that has been vacant since Feb, Sen. Grassley & Sen. McConnell have refused to put Judge Garland's nomination up for discussion, even in the Judiciary committee, where the nomination could have (theoretically) rejected, taking away the possibility of a floor vote. That move is pure, obstructive partisan politics...the type that needs to end. The major parties should balance each other out - not run a death match for power.

      Delete
  81. Sir,

    I loved the essay. I cast my ballot for Sanders in my state's primary, but as a 20-year military retiree, will have no problems pulling the lever for Hilary Clinton.

    One small nit, however, and this is merely my opinion, and nothing I can back with evidence -

    IMHO, George W. Bush wasn't running or deciding a damned thing. He gave the speeches and signed the EOs, to be sure. But that guy running shit? Can't buy it.

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  82. I voted for Bernie. But I'm also smart enough or maybe I'm old enough to remember the Ross Perot crap. Papa Bush lost his election because of the Ross Perot running as a third candidate. I voted for Bush in that election. Bill Clinton won it. I've never voted for a Clinton before but I also realize that splitting the party isnt a good thing either looking at Trump. So I'll be voting for Hillary. Because there is too much to lose if I don't. I may not like her, and I don't like either candidate. But I also know that we can't as a nation live with what may come from a Trump Presidency. Some times you need to put your big girl/boy panties on and do something you dislike but know in the end will be a far better thing than the alternative.

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  83. I did want to say though that even though he's religious and most if not all religions teach that abortion is wrong, you can still be religious and oppose it for personal and moral reasons that are independent of your religion religion. I'm Catholic, but not super religious (not even close really) and I'm like Kaine, pro-life myself, but I support the rights of women to chose for themselves. My pro-life stance though, has zip to do w/ my religion and everything to do w/ my belief that a fetus is a human being from conception. I'm sure there are many that don't subscribe to any religion that feel a fetus is a baby from conception as well. I'm not wording it well, but I hope you understand my meaning because you cited that he's opposed to it for religious reasons and he may even say that, but one can have beliefs that don't have to stem from religion even if they coincide.

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  84. Thank you for this. I feel a bit better about the choice now...

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  85. As a Bernie supporter who HAS in the past asked, "Does she even care about my vote?" let me say you have convinced me.
    I was going to vote for Hillary regardless, as the stakes are too high.
    Those of you talking about "when people wake up" need to realize, however, that Trump really does have this support.
    These people will never "wake up". Trump really does speak for them.
    Then you have a large group who have bought into the "Hillary as Bride of Satan" narrative, and wouldn't vote for her if she were running against the re-animated body of Adolph Hitler.
    We have to vote, and we have to tell others to vote. Be a pest, annoy your friends. If you live in an 18th century hellhole that has passed restrictive voter I.D. laws donate a few days helping folks get their I.D.'s and register to vote.

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  86. "Stormtrumpers" - oh, I am stealin' that!

    Great work, Jim,. Glad that you're settling in and back on thr job.

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  87. While I would have prefered a POC as VP, I'm fine with Kaine. Thank you for highlighting the many reasons that Kaine is a great choice for Secretary Clinton. I especially respect Kaine for being personally anti-abortion but for being pro-choice as a matter of public policy. This is a very devout Catholic who can separate his religious/personal beliefs from his politics, which is what we need in this country.

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  88. Thank you for making voting for Mrs Clinton a Hell of a lot less odious to this Bernie Supporter.

    Oh and are you gonna switch the background of Stonekettle to a more tropical theme now that you have moved to the deep south?

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  89. Thank you, Jim, for your post. The whole banking thing worried me quite a bit (not enough to NOT vote for Clinton, but worrisome all the same). What a ride this year has been!

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  90. Donald G. SwarbrickJuly 24, 2016 at 6:09 AM

    Excellent article. I knew very little about Tim Kaine prior to
    reading this. The insight you provide here is much appreciated.
    Jim... the only problem I have with your writings... is waiting
    impatiently for your next one!
    Thanks. Keep up the great work!

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  91. Thank You very much for that article!

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  92. Thank you, Jim. This, and Senator Kaine speech yesterday, quelled my fears.

    I just shared this with my friends on Facebook and asked they share this and work to get the votes out in November. Ourfuture and that of next generations depend on the Democratic ticket of Clinton-Kaine winning the White House.

    Excellent piece, Jim. It definitely is a MUST READ.

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  93. What I think of when I think of Donald Trump's "vision for America"....

    http://images.mentalfloss.com/sites/default/files/styles/insert_main_wide_image/public/hjk5ryt.png

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  94. This is your finest article yet, Jim.

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  95. Thank you, Jim! I already knew that Tim Kaine had earned himself a lifetime score of 0% from the American Conservative Union and an F from the NRA, but I had missed all the things he did before the Senate. Good to know, and makes me feel even better about Hillary's choice for VP.
    That Other Jean

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  96. I have a theory that many of our current legislative problems began when Issues Organizations, on both ends of the spectrum, began issuing scorecards on elected officials and adherence to "our views." These scorecards made it hard to compromise, to support something of marginal importance to garner support for something important to my constituents. With the advent of scorecards, I can't compromise because every vote, no matter how minor, has the potential of being used against me in the next election. Whether it is the NRA or the Sierra Club,a representative is bullied into toeing the line.
    It because of this theory of mine that I find myself so impressed with the selection of Tim Kaine. He seems to be, as Jim points out, that rare legislator who makes the decision that is right based on facts, data and a strong set of morals. He does what he determines to be right regardless of how he'll be judged by partisan groups, and even by his faith.
    What a difference it would make if we had more like him. I'm with Her and Him.
    -- Billy Adams, aka 3CallFinagle

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  97. Okay J.W. maybe it was only one tear but yeah - I cried. Remember the old Readers Digest stories that made you feel when you didn't think you were going to ? That kind of a cry.
    I knew every little bit of this and more before I read this too and it still got to me. Well done sir !
    BTW - Did you know that he has been going to church at the same place for thirty years ? It's a predominately African-American congregation too. That isn't so remarkable today I guess, but thirty years ago ?

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  98. Thank you, once again, for being the voice of reason among the bitter shit-storm that is the 2016 Presidental Election. I was happy with Hillary's selection of Tim Kaine, and you have set forth his qualifactions in your usual fair fashion. I am spreading your words far and wide to help my progressive friends to feel better after last week's nightmare.

    Also, love the back-lit picture of Stupid. Has ShopKat come out of her bag yet? ;-)

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  99. Not what I wanted to hear, what I needed to hear.

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  100. Hoping your article will provide the hubby with some motivation to overcome his disdain for Clinton, and not write in our dog, Bella for President.

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  101. Well, that was an educational post. Seriously -- I'm not being flippant. I've been ferociously pro-Bernie, viewing Hillary skeptically but not hatefully. Am I disappointed that Sen. Sanders isn't the VP choice? Yes, of course. I view that choice to have been the single best way to reconcile the progressives and attract independents who supported Bernie through the primaries. But this review of Time Kaine has proven to be a much-needed corrective.

    As for the Bernie supporters who will stay home or vote Trump to punish the nation's Democrats for nominating Hillary -- don't you dare to speak for me, or for my husband for that matter. We remember Perot in 1992. We remember Nader and Florida's hanging chads and the US Supreme Court in 2000. We remember how people viewed Bill Clinton skeptically because he did not win a pure majority in 1992. We remember how Gore won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College in 2000. Now we have Trump, who wants to burn down the country, and I am not going to sit home, or cast a protest vote just because I didn't get my first choice candidate. There is too much at stake for me to be that prissy about this election. I may need a few clothespins for my nose, but I'm voting for the Democratic ticket.

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  102. Jim, once again, you have managed to organize the plethora of information into a straightforward, coherent argument for the Clinton-Kaine ticket. This is exactly what I needed! We should all aspire to be the person Tim Kaine is. We should all strive to think as clearly as Jim Wright does!!!

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  103. I'm a church goer. Years ago, as we were beginning the process of calling a new minister, we were going through a process where we all got together and spitballed what we'd like in a new rector. Several hours later, (at least there was food) one elderly lady, who was from Germany and had that delicious accent, stood up, smacked her hand on the table, and said " For goodness' sake! You could list Jesus Christ's attributes on that list and some of you WOULDN'T BE HAPPY!" Ursula really knew how to shut up a roomful of Episcopalians.

    For those people who have a problem with this thing or that thing about Tim Kaine, I'd say "do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good". He's been my Governor and my Senator, and I think the world of him.

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    1. That's a pretty great story, Elizabeth. Thank you. // Jim

      Delete
    2. Can we lose this quote?

      "do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good"

      I've only heard it a few thousand times.

      How about - can we pick a candidate that is anti-TPP?

      Or - can we pick a candidate that does NOT think banks are over-regulated?

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    3. Well we could..... but we didn't.
      So pick the least of the bad, but do it from an informed position.
      And for gods sake view the problem from ALL available angles.
      Remember how awesome it was when Pres. Nader got elected in 2000? Me either.

      Delete
    4. This seems like a good comment to "go there" with. You are always only going to get the "good" or "adequate" choice in an election. (If you want "perfection" you can go on a caged unicorn hunt in La La Land with Donald Jr and his brother Udai.) At this point in this horror show election cycle who gives a shit about TPP or bank regulation? Those are numbers 22 and 40 in order of national issues that matter, compared with the first priority of keeping Trump out of the White House.

      Day #1 of the DNC is revealing that Dems can be just as ignorant, narcissistic and selfish as those GOP fools who nominated Trump. Sanders LOST his bid for nomination! There is no redo and we cannot go back and find another anti-TPP, anti-banker far-left liberal dreamboat to run for President. Hillary Clinton is the Dem candidate this November. I wish she were not because the last eight years of Obama hatred and GOP work stoppage is wearing thin. If Clinton is elected and the GOP RWNJ shit suckers keep both the Senate and House, they are going to double down on Clinton hatred and our schools, infrastructure, government, judiciary, etc, etc will continue to degrade through willful obstruction.

      Even given that potential outcome, we do not have a choice NOT to vote for Clinton/Kaine and every other Democrat running for office down ballot. Because if the GOP takes the White House they are determined to ram through their scorched Earth legislative policies; select Scalia clones to fill the SCOTUS and judiciary; sell off the national treasures and rewrite the Constitution to be more Christo-Taliban oriented. (Read the fucked up GOP platform passed at their RNC last week.) This result will not happen if the Dems keep the White House. But, it sure as shit WILL happen if that orange pus-filled rage puppet somehow gets elected.

      I don't know if Turd Blossom Rove and his GOP black bag gang are conniving to commit electronic vote fraud for Trump as they did to tip friggin Cheney/Dubya over the top. But, they will probably deploy some of their fucked up dirty tricks cuz a Trump admin will still be extremely lucrative for the most fucked up of the 1% (AKA our betters and owners). The only way to overcome GOP voter suppression and fraud is to flood the polls with Democrat votes for Pres/VP and every other Dem on the ballot. This is not going to fun, pretty or even satisfactory to most Americans. But, this November is the break point between continuing to turn the nation to an eventual more progressive outcome, or allowing the GOP and their owners to make the final grab for everything they can take and destroy for years to come.

      This is time for reality, not wishful thinking.

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  104. Thank you for this commentary, Jim. This is, without question, the most insightful piece I've seen about Kaine and his selection, anywhere.

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  105. The anti-Hillary's at this years RNC
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zrzMhU_4m-g

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  106. One friend has referred to Bernie Sanders' gradual progression towards endorsing Sec. Clinton, and the DNC's gradual adoption of some of the progressive planks championed by Sanders, as "The Dance Of The Grownups". As such, he has described it as a slow, stately, measured dance, specifically a Pavanne (medieval dance procession during which you mostly showed off your fancy clothes). His point was that acting like a grownup isn't SUPPOSED to make for exciting television / media.

    I am happy Sec. Clinton appears to have found another grownup to join the Dance.

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  107. Like many, I knew little about Tim Kaine just a few days ago. However, I've made a point to begin reading up on him and I also watched the 60 Minutes interview with Hillary tonight, and I am very impressed and enthused about his selection. Not only does he have the extensive experience and progressive history I was hoping for, but he also has the warm and engaging personality that Hillary occasionally lacks. Like Obama/Biden, I believe they will make a great team that will continue the legacy that President Obama had begun.

    Thanks for pulling all this valuable information together in your usual thorough and entertaining manner.

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  108. Seriously, thank you for this essay. And I am sharing the hell out of it with relatives and others I know because it is that important.
    M.

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  109. There is excellent information in this Post that has helped me understand
    what's what from different perspective about the candidates for President.
    I had now doubt that I would vote for the most experienced candidate and
    that was before Tim Kane was chosen by Hillary. Experience and making
    good choices is a winner as far as I'm concerned.

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  110. I enjoyed this wonderful follow up to Kaine’s acceptance speech and I’m so sorry more people (especially well-informed ones as post here) didn’t see it. I was enthralled with this decent, humble man who lives his values. He has made me, an avowed and militant atheist, respect his committment to his religion--now that’s impressing someone! The speech has nice doses of Spanish seamlessly woven in for the largely hispanic audience and his storytelling skills are as great as thes rest of the speech, which was delivered in a style so conversational that it was difficult to believe it really was up there on the teleprompter (according to CNN). Try to find the speech online and watch it--you will be inspired--as was I by HRC’s choice. No Bernie supporter should be at all disappointed with Tim Kaine and I truly hope Bernie will speak out on this.

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  111. I needed to read this today. I was down in the Keys over the weekend - noone in the Conch Republic gives a sh*t about politics. Unfortunately, coming back to the Space Coast - I had to scroll through my feed, slack jawwed, viewing snippets of Trump and his cronies' speeches. I feel we are in a perfect storm for him to be elected; I hope my fellow Americans prove me wrong.

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  112. Outstanding post, Jim. It should be required reading for all voters.

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  113. Fantastic coverage. If Hillary wins, I could see Kaine being groomed for President in 2024. The guy sounds like an ideal choice
    .

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  114. Brilliant analysis, Jim. Hope it's okay to share the link to this post on my Facebook page.

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  115. On point Mr. Wright.
    It's very important the Bernie supporters understand how much is at stake in this election.
    SCOTUS appointments WITH AN S!! one empty seat with the demise of Scalia (can't believe they left that seat open!!), and Ginsburg was Aristotle's prom date. Trump replacing Scalia effectively puts the court in balance with Kennedy being an either/or, but if he also gets to replace R.B.G. then the court is solidly conservative for the next 20 years!! think of the good that would be undone. Right to choose and, gay marriage to start.
    Trumps foreign policy would be..... well Trump at best is a hammer, and when all you've got is a hammer lots of stuff starts to look like a nail. The problems of the world are nuanced, and require nuanced solutions, hammers aren't nuanced.
    Please all of you Bernie supporters, I was one of you, but please don't stick the world with a Trump presidency, the stakes are too high this time.
    If you think I'm being an alarmist, or disingenuous a quick googling of President Nader's time in office will show otherwise (8 years of George the lesser)

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  116. This morning I’m seeing Bernie supporters saying things like, “Guess Hillary doesn’t want our votes after all, screw her.”
    I’m seeing progressives saying the same thing.

    Since when are Bernie supporters not Progressives?

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    1. Since they decided that progressives like Tim Kaine aren't their kind of progressives.

      Delete
  117. Thank you, didn't even think about the "Keeping strong chess pieces" in the game scenario. Very Smart...... :-)

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  118. 1. squirrel means ??? ( It's what my Fiest chases up a tree, right ? )

    Some where in this you mentioned we might have been right about Bernie. You don't know how gratifying that was to read, as a Bernie supporter, now struggling with new decisions. I think that is the only type of talk that will help some Bernie supporters stay with Democrats. People talk about Berniebros and how they got ugly but they weren't hearing just how both condescending and ugly the comments Bernie supporters received. It's never only one side.

    I will never vote for Trump. Would never have voted for Trump. Now with Pence added, I will doubly never vote for Trump.

    I am struggling mightily with voting for Hillary or Jill Stein. But you've convinced me. Can I write in Tim Kaine for President instead of Vice President ?

    Seriously though, this is a very nice and informative piece. Thank you again.

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  119. In his recent piece, How American Politics Went Insane (The Atlantic, July/Aug 2016 issue), Johnathan Rauch said it best when he summarized that
    "Our most pressing political problem today is that the country abandoned the establishment, not the other way around"
    Ultimately, while a more rational fellow, Sanders is no more or no less than the Dems version of Trump, that is, hes the fellow who will fix the "broken" system. If the system is broken, we can all simply look into the mirror to see who's responsible, us. Its a democracy, and through ignorance of how the system really works, "politiphobes" (Rauch) have allowed reforms to render the render a working system impotent.
    Complacency is complicity. We have allowed this to happen and neither Trump nor Sanders are the quick fix the masses are clamoring for.

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  120. Brilliant.

    The assessment of Trump that he ain't stupid and that of Pence as an articulate version of Palin is pure verbal gold.

    Kid Coif knows how to work a crowd. He knows too that the most outrageous and stupid statements get the most press and, yes, like the late L. Ron Hubbard, he looks at his followers as marks.

    Andy Borowitz of the New Yorker did a parody of Trump getting panicked at the prospect of actually winning the presidency. Now, the dishhonest Donald's got Pence as his perfect mirror visual image who agrees with him down the line.


    And then there's Kaine. The more I read about this guy, the more like Joe Biden he appears. A nominal Catholic, an old fashioned liberal and a thinker who gets along with people.

    I've said from the beginning that Hillary is a smart woman who, thanks to David Safire has been hung with a problem of a dark image.

    To date, the only credible accusation I've ever heard about her is that she's uppity and hard to get along with.

    I supported her 8 years ago and am delighted to do so again.

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    Replies
    1. Nice job, Jim. Your article forced me to completely rethink Hillary's choice of Tim Kaine as her running mate.

      Delete
  121. Clinton's problem is that while Kaine might help her win Virginia, he won't help her win Ohio and Pennsylvania. She can't get to 270 Electoral Votes without those two states and so while Kaine might be a smart choice in some ways, he doesn't help her become President.

    Even though Sherrod Brown's replacement might have been a Republican, he could have helped Clinton be President.

    So the Democrats keep the Ohio Senate seat but they lose the Presidency.

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  122. About those Bernie supporters. They're Greens (Naderites to be exact) and here's their ativist website (they had no intention of voting Democrat in the first place):

    Sanders "Campaign Needs to Build Independent Political Power"
    http://www.socialistalternative.org/2015/05/09/bernie-sanders-independent-campaign/

    Formerly, "Our Campaign for Nader" http://www.socialistalternative.org/support-naders-campaign-for-president/socialist-alternative-our-campaign-for-nader/

    Jill Stein, Nader 2.0 deliberately throwing elections to the right is their M.O. (let's revisit election year 2000, shall we?) http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/ballot_box/2000/10/ralph_the_leninist.html

    Nader, or his part, proposed a "progressive" alliance with Ron Paul and his teabaggers (here he is on Fox with Paul): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTCr3dtDv1o

    The fake pot-stirring Libertarian Bernie Bros (Nader suggested liberals get behind Tea party Rand Paul): http://theweek.com/articles/447342/ralph-nader-wants-liberals-back-rand-paul-dont

    No thank you: http://www.politicalresearch.org/2013/11/22/nullification-neo-confederates-and-the-revenge-of-the-old-right/#sthash.gbk5eqTe.dpbs

    Oh... and the #1 Libertarian Bernie Bro feeding the youngsters right-wing propaganda in order to weaken the Democratic Party base is this guy: http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2005/11/reality-of-latin-american-reaction-to.html

    It's ratferking 101. Look into it.

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    1. k freed Sorry, but I have to disagree. You are going to see many Bernie supporters go away from the Democratic party but they are not Naderites and yes they were going to vote Democratic.

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  123. Everything you have written here makes me think that not only do I want to vote for Clinton, but I want to vote FOR her and not against Trump.

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  124. Thank you for your writing. I love it and you say so beautifully and succinctly all the things I agonize over communicating.

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  125. Ah, I do wish people would stop grouping all Bernie supporters as being cut from the same cloth. I am totally onboard with the vision of what we should be that he supported and believe in a bottom up vision of reform. I voted for him in the primaries but I am voting for Hillary, no longer with dread, because of some of Jim's essays/blogs/thoughts. I do see Greenwald, Sirota, and other people who proclaim to be progressives writing about emails, Clinton Foundation, etc., in an extremely negative way and truly wonder now just what the heck are they looking for? I think Hillary has definite negatives but geez, Lord Almighty, the only candidate that could garner enough votes to come close to being POTUS besides her is Trump and WHO WANTS THAT?

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  126. Spot on; I live in Virginia and was thrilled to see her choice. This entire election year has been a freak show and this was one of the best moments.

    Loving all your posts, BTW. I keep hoping to find a man out there as wise, astute, and articulate, but you're probably one in a million!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with the rest of us who feel the same way.

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