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Gently Smiling Jaws

160723152029-tim-kaine-july-23-miami-florida-large-169

Getty Images

We had to wait until almost 2pm before Hillary and Tim Kaine showed up at the field house. There she was, cheery in robin’s egg blue. He was tall and relaxed in an open collar shirt. She gave a very pointed speech about Trump and his rule of one. There were some memorable lines. And then she did a magic trick.

Tim Kaine took the podium and nailed it.

Wasn’t that awesome? And there was Hillary sitting in back on her stool, looking perfectly content to let him have the stage and grinning from ear to ear as if to say, “Do I know how to pick them or what??”

She does indeed. Between the two of them, they have every branch of government covered except the Supreme Court. These are the two people who will get to nominate the next justices. Woot!

Meanwhile, Kaine gave his biography. He’s a really decent guy. Even his colleague Republican Senator Jeff Flake congratulated him. He also ticks every possible box Hillary Clinton could want in a VP pick:

  • From a battleground state- Virginia
  • Former Mayor and Governor
  • Faced a serious gun related incident during his tenure that compelled him to…
  • Take on the NRA to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands
  • Roman Catholic who likes Pope Francis
  • Actually went on a mission trip to Honduras where…
  • He learned to speak fluent Spanish

I could go on but you get the point.

But don’t be deceived. Behind that smiling face is the mind of a shrewd politician. He delivers his killing blows with neatly spread claws and gentle demeanor. I have no doubt that he’s companionable, competent and experienced, just what a VP should be. He can take over without any rookie mistakes. And he got to this place because he plays the game very well.

Can I just say that it’s about time we got people with experience running the executive branch? You know, people who don’t have to do on the job training, or will start the bargaining from a position of weakness, and who know how the web is structured so they know what threads to pull to get the whole thing moving in their direction? Politics is for politicians and this country has had plenty of really good politicians. They’re not all bad.

By all accounts he is a decent, hard working, god fearing, civil rights championing ex-governor with a heart. And he looks deadly for Trump and Pence.

Well done, Hillary. I have no doubt that she was rational and strategic and made this decision all by herself. There was no indication of second thoughts or buyer’s remorse. She also claims to be “afflicted with the responsibility gene“. As an eldest child, I know exactly where she’s coming from.

This was her first big decision and it was brilliant.

The two of them were like a crisp, bracing, joyful wind blowing away all the sturm und drang of Trump’s RNC convention speech translated from the original German.

All you lefty guys out there can relax now. (You know who you are, Joe Trippi and others too numerous to mention) This is what we saw in Hillary all along. She’ll take it from here.

 

23 Responses

  1. Great news! Can’t wait to watch the speech. You were missed, RD!

    • It’s too hot to blog. LOL!

    • The speech was great. I don’t mean it was the Gettysburg Address or anything. It’s just that the two of them look so comfortable together and it was upbeat and positive. Kaine delivered some of it in perfect Spanish.
      The snippy little Trump commentator, Kelly Whatsherface, had a deer in the headlights look on her face when it was over. Classic!
      It really was the kind of moment that turns campaigns around. Not that they needed help but the difference between Clinton/Kaine and Trump/Pence could not be more striking.

  2. “…Trump’s RNC convention speech translated from the original German.”

    The late, great Molly Ivins said that about Pat Buchanan’s speech at, IIRC, the 1992 GOP national convention. I see you borrow from the best.🙂

    • Yep, and Chris Hayes read Trump’s speech before he gave it and said he was going to do a “full Buchanan”

  3. I’ve been waiting for a new thread so I could post this. 😉

    Dihydrogen Monoxide Awareness

    • Lol! It looks like an MSDS. Did I miss the “can be fatal if inhaled” section?

      • The second image mentions that it’s not safe to breathe it.

  4. but but but “Banks” bawl the BernieBots and I say unto ye, that’s why you should want St.Elizabeth of Tassuchetts in the Senate. But there is no reconciliation with the former Obots, who got far more from Clinton than she ever received from Obama.

  5. I couldn’t be happier with this ticket.
    Kaine looks like the cool priest that all the kids just loved.
    And he was trained by Jesuits, you know that means he has a mind like a steel trap.
    Also, his wife is a powerhouse (they met at law school; that sounds familiar) and she kept her “maiden” name (sob,)

    • I’m not so sure Black is correct here. Yes, it’s one of the first things I thought of too when she picked him. I’m no fan of the TPP in its current form and I don’t like the sound of further deregulation of banks.
      But as I point out, Kaine is a savvy politician. There are also positions that Clinton when she was a senator that I don’t much like. The IWR being one of them. I always chalked that up to her constituents in NY losing their collective minds after 9/11 and pressuring her to go along with it. As their senator, it would have been difficult if not impossible to not vote for it.
      Kaine is senator for Virginia. The same Virginia that abuts DC. you know, the place where all his donors work? The ones who negotiate trade deals? He’s one of 100 senators. Maybe he swapped cover with someone else over TPP. Maybe he’s a true believer. We’ll see. Would the Congress try to push a vote on it before November? I don’t know. It could scare Dems away if he votes Yes even if it doesn’t pass.
      As for bank deregulation, my brief reading on this issue is that he is referring to regional banks. Sounds like small, local banks. I don’t know enough about this to know if it’s dangerous or not and whether Dodd-Frank may be having a negative unforeseen impact on banks below a certain size. Dodd-Frank was intended to make Too Big To Fail banks more boring. But maybe it’s not a good one size fits all bill. That might make a difference in a rural state like Virginia where farmers presumably don’t have many interactions with Citibank.
      But the bottom line is that he will work for Clinton and will necessarily have to adopt the initiative and policies that she wants. That’s what VPs do.
      She’s running with him because he ticks her boxes for the election and his resume is stellar for taking over if something happens to her. That’s in contrast to Trumppence where Pence is not well liked or successful in Indiana.

    • Another thing that bothered me about Kaine initially was he was one of the first Democrats to jump on the Obama bandwagon.
      But something tells me he did this because of an identity thing. He and Obsma have a lot in common personally. And now I get the impression that he has gotten to know Clinton better and like many Obama early adopters has come to see the difference between the two. I’m reminded of the piece that Jon Favreau wrote a few months ago about how he was young and stupid when he groped Hillary’s cardboard breast in that famous picture but then he had to work with her and came to admire her. Who knows, maybe he wants a speechwriting gig after Obama. It sounded sincere though and follows a pattern: people have preconceived ideas about Hillary and tend to be dim issue and disrespectful of her until they actually have to work with her. Then, it’s a different story and they become true believers.
      I suspect something similar happened with Kaine. By all accounts, Kaine was a sincere civil rights lawyer shaped by his relugion and missionary work. He may have initially thought that Obama was like him. Then found out that Obama left that part of himself behind a long long time ago while Clinton never lost her passion for helping children. At least that’s what I picked up on in his speech yesterday.

      • Don’t make the mistake with hillary the obots made with obama

        • I’m not making that mistake. I never felt a spark with Obama because he reminded me too much of the upper middle class suburbanites I was surrounded by in NJ. For them, it’s all about having a big house in a development with a gigantic kitchen that never gets used, weekends playing golf, sheltered kids who are ferried to activities who can’t pick their own friends or play outside. Everything is unimaginative, conformity and their lives are driven by how much money they can make. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with money. It’s just that they were the ones in the corporate offices up the road from the labs I worked in. The corporate types got upset by the fact that they had to work in cubes while the researchers had lab space and sometimes private office space. I had an office that was easily twice as big as the spacious cube I have now. I had an office because as a modeler, I needed the ability to shut the lights out when I was falling into the protein on my screen. My office was my labspace. Then when I went back to the lab to make those proteins, I needed a cube outside my lab to do paperwork and eat snacks and stuff like that.
          The corporate types resented all that space. I heard about it from the people who worked there.
          They treated us with contempt.
          We worked with our hands. We weren’t driven by money. That got translated in their heads to thinking we thought money grew on trees, that we were careless and extravagant and not very good scientists because the blockbusters dried up.
          But they didn’t realize that the decisions they made with mergers and acquisitions and endless reorgs were killing research. The emphasis on getting personally rewarded for increasing shareholder value caused them to see research as a money pit instead of an endeavor that required commitment and patience and people who defined success in terms that were not personally financially rewarding. Research is an intense practice that rewards intrinsically. Its celebrations are incremental. Sometimes those incremental changes can result in dramatic breakthroughs. A corporate type only sees the dramatic breakthroughs and misses all the years of trial and error and piecing together of the little bits of a puzzle.
          Research is also a team sport. To get anywhere you must put your ego aside and work collaboratively. One person does not get all the credit and reward.
          So this is a long winded way of saying that in Obama I saw a person who absolutely does not have any appreciation for intrinsic reward. He looks, acts, behaves, governs like a corporate guy. The bottom line is the bottom line. He serves the shareholders. When he leaves office, he’ll be one of their more powerful members. But he does not understand what it is to do something for the love of doing it regardless of personal wealth. I have never detected that in him.
          I do see that with the Clintons. They have consistently been public servants who acquired power to serve their vision. Yes, they’ve done well for themselves but remember that they had to borrow money to buy their first house in chappaqua when they left office. They have poured their hearts into a charitable foundation. Yeah, they probably have investments but that’s not the focus of their lives.
          In other words, if the clintons lost it all tomorrow, I could see them still being fulfilled doing what they do without all the trimmings. They might have to learn how to drive again and live within their means but I don’t think it would diminish their happiness.
          I can’t say the same about the Obama’s. I don’t know what is obama’s intrinsic driver. I think he bought into being a the pretender of that Jackson Browne song but without any of the self awareness. And it was his inability to see past the shareholders that made me distrustful about him. He will never be able to relate to those of us who do what we do because we love it. A lot of people have lost their livelihoods and careers because of that. He ignored the decimation of some of our industries and turned his back in the unemployed. To his cohort, we are necessary sacrifices to satisfy the end goal of the shareholders and the global entrepreneurs. We are where we are because we got Obama in 2008 when we should have had Clinton.

  6. Let’s see, Kaine’s been a vocal advocate for TPP, advocated increased offshore oil drilling, and been extremely cozy with both coal and the finance sector: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/tim-kaine-clinton-rumored-vp-000000899.html

    What’s not to like?

    • Well then, we’d better be sure that there are plenty of downticket successes this fall that will prevent Kaine from enacting his Northern Virginia constituents’ agenda single handedly.

    • BTW, did you vote for Obama in 2008? I’m not singling out anyone in particular on this blog. I’m talking to Obama voters who want purity now. Because if you did, you shouldn’t complain. Obama never hid his fondness for finance, trade deals, HIB visas or offshore drilling.
      I can complain because I saw what was coming and didn’t vote for him and despite playing by the rules and living a decent life, I still got hammered and lost my career, along with hundreds of thousands of other STEM workers. Obama did nothing for us. So, if you voted for him in 2008, thanks for nothing. You’ll excuse me if I question your judgement from now on.

    • He has an F rating from the NRA and spent a significant part of his life being a Civil Rights attorney. Hang him!

    • Indeed

  7. I really REALLY wanted Cory Booker. But I have to say I now think Kaine was the right choice. The more I read about him and hear from him the more I like him. He is going to be really effective for her.

  8. I just love Hillary’s expression and pleasantly proud smile in the pix you selected for the post.

    As if she knows she did a great pick.

    I’d like to enlarge it and frame it.

    I’m just so excited about this ticket…

    But mostly, Hillary never cease to impress me…quite a woman.

  9. I never liked his and Warner’s affinity for offshore drilling but his banking love is mainly for Capital One, which is headquartered in Richmond. Oh well. Apparently Saint Bernie is the only perfect politician!

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