Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has chosen Virginia Senator Tim Kaine to be her running mate. "I'm thrilled to announce my running mate, @TimKaine, a man who's devoted his life to fighting for others," Clinton tweeted on Friday night.
In response, Kaine, also a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee (January 2009 - April 2011), tweeted, "Just got off the phone with Hillary. I'm honoured to be her running mate. Can't wait to hit the trail tomorrow in Miami!" CNN reported. Clinton will introduce her new partner at a campaign rally on Saturday in Miami, Florida.
According to officials, Miami will be pivotal ahead of the Democratic National Convention slated to begin from July 25 as Kaine, 58, a fluent Spanish speaker, will introduce Clinton to Latino voters, a critical slice of the electorate in her quest to defeat rival Donald Trump. Clinton is hoping to seize the spotlight from Republicans after their convention in Cleveland, CNN said.
The site of Kaine's first joint appearance with Clinton is Florida International University, where the student body is more than half Hispanic. Clinton's decision to choose Kaine began when Chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, John Podesta brought the candidate to her home in Chappaqua, New York, in April, according to a campaign official.
Last week, Clinton and Kaine spent 90 minutes together, followed by another meeting on July 16 that brought together the two families, including Hillary's husband and former President Bill Clinton, daughter Chelsea Clinton and son-in-law Marc Mezvinsky, as well as Kaine's wife, Anna Holton, CNN quoted the campaign official as saying.
Ultimately, Clinton was swayed by her personal comfort with Kaine, as well as the belief that the senator is fully prepared to do the job. On Friday, Clinton called Kaine around 7.30 p.m., and then spoke with President Barack Obama informing him of her decision, the official added.
The Clinton campaign selected Kaine over a roster of at least three other senators and two Cabinet secretaries to Obama. At a joint campaign appearance last week in Virginia, which served as a final audition, Clinton stood side-by-side Kaine and beamed as he spoke of her virtues in Spanish, CNN noted.
"We all know we need a bridge builder, not a trash talker," Kaine said last week as he introduced Clinton at the Virginia rally. With nearly three years of experience in the Senate under his belt, Kaine has beefed up his foreign policy credentials. He serves on both the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, CNN added.