After quite a while of consideration, Hillary Clinton finally introduced her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia. Amidst cheer and celebration, Kaine took centre stage while Hillary sat at the back and listened in. This gesture was a marked departure from the way the Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump had introduced Mike Pence, dominating the microphone as his vice- presidential candidate stood silently. Tim Kaine, on the other hand, spoke for about 40 minutes.
Here are the highlights of his address.
- “Bienvenidos!” He welcomed the crowdd in Spanish and declared that Ms. Clinton and he would be “compañeros de alma in this great lucha ahead,” i.e. “soul mates in the fight ahead.”
- He kept a calm and positive demeanor all through and often veered off prepared remarks. This could ease concerns among Democrats about Mrs. Clinton who appears too stilted and scripted at times.
- Kaine displayed utmost confidence, but with humility. “I’ve never lost an election,” he said. “I’m not about to let that change.”
- He seemed completely at ease in his new role, and conveyed eloquently the values he has stood by and those he sees as critical to the progress of the US.
- With a sincere sense of responsibility, he spoke about the Virginia Tech massacre, which happened while he was governor, telling the story of one professor who’d come to the United States from central Europe many years ago. Can you imagine, he asked; a man “who could survive the Holocaust? Who could survive the Soviet takeover of his country? But who fell victim to the horror of American gun violence because he blocked the door and told his students to go out the window?”
- His speech has his vision for the country embedded within it. Kaine not just made a convincing case that he’s a perfect companion to Clinton, he also conveyed strongly that he represents the antidote to savage Trumpism and Pence-ism. While acknowledging the existence of problems in the US and world, he made a point about not confronting them by insulting people and pumping fear into people and calling the military a disaster and trying to pass severe discrimination laws. According to him, they can be confronted by heeding the words of Harry Truman: “America was not built on fear. It was built on courage, imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”
- He is the first senator to deliver a speech in Spanish. In June 2013, mere months after taking office, he became the first senator to ever deliver an entire speech in Spanish. His debut address as Hillary’s running mate was also bilingual. This led him to create history again.
- The speech, that reflected sincerity and positivity, was well received by the crowd at Florida International University and those around the world following it in the media.