Clinton’s choice, which she announced via text message to supporters, came after her advisers spent months poring over potential vice-presidential candidates who could lift the Democratic ticket in an unpredictable race against Trump.
In the end, Clinton decided Kaine, 58, a former governor of Virginia who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had the qualifications and background and the personal chemistry with her to make the ticket a success.
Clinton will formally introduce Kaine as her running mate during a campaign stop Saturday at Florida International University in Miami, which has a large number of Hispanic students.
The announcement came after a day of campaign events in Orlando and Tampa in which Clinton tried to offer a rebuke, both in actions and in words, to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
In Orlando, she laid flowers on a makeshift memorial outside the Pulse nightclub,where a gunman who expressed sympathy with the Islamic State killed 49 people last month. At an earlier round-table discussion with emergency medical workers and elected officials, Clinton nodded solemnly and hardly spoke, an implicit contrast with Trump’s 75-minute speech Thursday night.
At a rally in Tampa on Friday evening, Clinton blasted the bleak vision of America presented by her Republican rival. “The last thing that we need is somebody who is running for president who talks trash about America,” Clinton said.
Republicans seized on the selection and tried to sow discord among Democrats, arguing that the pick was evidence that Clinton had been dishonest with her party’s liberal base.
“Hillary Clinton’s choice of Tim Kaine does nothing to unify a fractured Democrat base which is repelled by her dishonesty and cronyism,” Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in a statement. “After spending last week pandering to grass-roots Democrats with Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton has chosen someone who holds positions that she’s spent the entire primary trying to get to the left of.”
© 2016 New York Times News Service