July 23, 2016

PREDICTABLY, A NEOCON THIRD WAY GOVERNOR:

Tim Kaine, Pro-Israel Centrist From Virginia, Hillary Clinton's Vice President Pick (Nathan Guttman, Jul 22, 2016, Forward)

Virginia's Kaine is a centrist pro-Israel choice who should please moderate Jewish voters as Hillary's No. 2.

"He's not going to appeal to the Bernie Sanders voters. He's a centrist," Ron Halber, executive director of the Greater Washington JCRC, told the Forward. [...]

Kaine, who has also served as head of the Democratic National Committee, has visited Israel several times and has supported the funding of Iron Dome systems and the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act. Halber noted that he was a "very good friend" of the U.S.-Israel partnership, but he added that if chosen as vice president, he may want to see movement on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. "His social background and his sympathy to the oppressed will likely make him want to see a solution," he said, "but he will also support defending Israel in the U.N. and expanding the relationship."

Kaine is a member of a small group of senators who participate in a biweekly reflection group organized by the Faith and Politics Institute.

"I had many, many personal deep conversations with him, and he is genuinely a friend of Israel," said Rabbi Jack Moline, one of the group's moderators. Moline believes that much of Kaine's worldview was shaped during his work as a Jesuit missionary in Honduras. "It had an immense influence on his understanding of the need to make the world a better place."

In Virginia, Kaine hosted the first Passover Seder in the governor's mansion.

Before entering the U.S. Senate the well-liked Kaine had been the mayor of Richmond, governor of Virginia and chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Kaine, 58, is a fluent Spanish speaker after serving as a missionary in Honduras, and his presence on the ticket could help Clinton in Virginia, a heavily contested swing state.


Tim Kaine's abortion predicament : Once again, the Democratic VP prospect's record on abortion rights is under scrutiny. (DARREN SAMUELSOHN and DANIEL STRAUSS 07/04/16, Politico)

Tim Kaine has been here before: a leading vice-presidential contender with a complicated stance on abortion that doesn't neatly align with the one held by the top of the ticket.

His personal opposition to abortion generated significant scrutiny back in 2008 when Barack Obama, an abortion rights supporter, included the then-Virginia governor on his shortlist of running mates. Kaine's hometown newspaper in Richmond flagged the potentially awkward partnership right away, pointing out the philosophical and policy differences in a side-by-side graphic widely republished by media outlets across the country. [...]

He pledged in his 2005 gubernatorial campaign to reduce the number of terminated pregnancies in the state by promoting adoption and abstinence-focused education. That cycle, the state NARAL chapter ripped Kaine's GOP opponent, Jerry Kilgore, as "an extremely anti-choice candidate" but still withheld its endorsement of Kaine because he "embraces many of the restrictions on a woman's right to choose."

In a 2007 NARAL scorecard, Kaine was described as a "mixed-choice" governor and his state got an F grade thanks in part to a number of laws and other policies restricting access to abortions. Two years later, Kaine upset both local and national reproductive rights groups by signing a law that authorized the sale of customized "Choose Life" license plates. Kaine argued he was supporting free speech, but his critics complained that the law would fund pro-life organizations and didn't square with another very important hat that he was wearing at the time: Obama's personally picked head of the Democratic National Committee.

Kaine brings many other attributes as a running mate, including a widely respected reputation for bipartisanship, after serving just under four years in the Senate, and his own proven political chops winning three straight statewide races in the critical battleground of Virginia. But the hot button issue of abortion, where he has a much more nuanced stance than many of his fellow Democrats, is the baggage he carries.

The next presidential race just got tougher for the GOP, because the sitting VP will already own the issues Republicans need to run on to win.

It's a very savvy appeal to constituencies she can poach : Catholics, neocons, Bushies, Evangelicals, goo-goos, etc.




MORE:
The now-defunct Project Exile that Kaine backed was so unusual it was championed by Republicans and Democrats alike and by both the top U.S. gun lobby group and gun-control advocates. But the federal program launched in 1997 in Richmond, Virginia, was also criticized at the time as a racially biased initiative that condemned young black men to lengthy prison terms. [...]


As Richmond mayor from 1998 to 2001, Kaine, 58, was a vocal supporter of Project Exile, crediting it with reducing the city's murder rate.

Its goal was to literally live up to its name by making illegal gun possession a federal, not a state, crime, which allowed prosecutors to send convicted felons, most of them black, to a distant federal penitentiary for at least five years.


Posted by at July 23, 2016 9:17 AM

  

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