Hillary Clinton announces Tim Kaine as vice-presidential running mate

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA). © Carlos Barria
Hillary Clinton's pick for vice-president is Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who is considered a safe choice by some, but not as progressive as many supporters would like.

Donors to the Clinton campaign received text messages at 8:11pm EST reading, “I’m thrilled to tell you this first: I’ve chosen Sen. Tim Kaine as my running mate. Welcome him to our team, [Name]. http://hrc.ms/vp/38pvol - H”

Senator Tim Kaine, 58, could be a valuable ally to Clinton in the swing state of Virginia. The Virginian senator hails from St. Paul, Minnesota, but has been in Virginia since 1984.

After spending nine months in Honduras to assist Jesuit missionaries in a Catholic school, he became fluent in Spanish, a skill that will surely be utilized in Florida, another key swing state.

Kaine's support for the DREAM Act and other legislation to allow foreign students to enter the US could also win support from the Latino community.

Given that a poll from NBC/Marist found that Trump trails behind Clinton in approval from Hispanics in swing states, this could be an ace in the hole for the Democratic nominee.

Kaine’s political leanings largely follow the Democratic platforms, such as supporting public abortion funding and Roe v Wade, cutting spending by investing in infrastructure and support of gun control.

However, his support for Project Exile – a 1997 crime reduction strategy, could come under fire. The program targeted felons carrying firearms and had them tried and sentenced in higher courts, where they received significantly longer sentences and harsher punishments.

Between this and Clinton’s support for harsh crime-reduction strategies in the 1990s, they could create issues for people concerned about their ability to tackle criminal justice reform and jail overcrowding.