Today we begin with analysis of the joint appearance by Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine as running mates on CBS’s 60 Minutes weekend news program.
The video is here, and the transcript here. Clinton highlighted Kaine’s record of progressive accomplishment in answering why Kaine was her selection.
Secondly, he's a progressive who likes to get things done. That's how I describe myself. And I look at his record, his civil rights record, his education record, his taking on tough issues like gun safety, climate change. The whole picture is one that I find, you know, very appealing.
Clinton was quick to put forward her positive vision for the economy.
I want an economy that creates more jobs. And that's a lot of jobs. I want an economy that gets back to raising incomes for everybody. Most Americans haven't had a raise. I want an economy that's going to help lift millions of people out of poverty. Because, given the great recession, we have fallen back in the wrong direction. And I'm also going to be relying on President Obama. You know, I've already put him on notice. I'm going to be picking up the phone. I'm going to be calling and asking for his advice. And so we're going to put 'em all to work.
The positive vision will be the message of the convention this week.
We have our agenda. We have a very positive agenda. You'll hear a lot about it in Philadelphia this week. You know, people make fun of me sometimes because I do have plans. But I think I have this old-fashioned idea that when you are asking people to vote for you, it is kind of like a big job interview, and you oughta tell people what you think you can do for them. I think we can create more economic opportunity. I think we can improve education, make college affordable, deal with the myriad of issues that we confront.
Kaine made some predictions for how downticket will play out this election, and what it means for the prospect of legislative progress starting next year.
I do think we're gonna take a Senate majority for the Democrats.... I think the House is going to remain in Republican hands. I think the margin will be narrowed. Some of the big things that we have to do: immigration reform, tax reform, mental health reform, criminal justice reform, they're only going to get done. I think they're only going to get done probably with a divided House scenario where each side's gotta give on something. Now here's the second thing. Some people don't agree with me on this. I was a brand new Senator in 2013. And the idiocy of Congress was to shut the government down for two weeks in October.
Kaine spoke with 60 Minutes at length about the lessons from the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech while he was governor.
First, I did what I could personally, which was within 24 hours after that horrible shooting, I put a panel together of people who had no connection with Tech and no connection with the family. And I said, "I want you to tell me everything that went wrong and everything we can do to fix it." We improved mental health systems, though not enough. We-- There was a critical loop in the background record check system in Virginia. I was able to fix part of it of it executively. But when I went to my legislature even six months later and-- with the wound still fresh, I could not get the Virginia legislature to do the comprehensive background record check that we should do. And then I come into the Senate. We have that same battle within three months of being there, you know, after the horrible shooting at Sandy Hook right before I came into the Senate. You know, we had a vote on the Senate floor for common sense gun reform. The chamber was ringed with the family members from Sandy Hook, with Virginia Tech family members sitting with them and helping them. There's a phrase in the Letter to the Hebrews that says-- talks about being surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. We were surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, but we couldn't do the right thing.
Scott Pelley: And you thought what?
I just, you know, our public wants us to fix this. Gun owners want us to fix this. NRA members want us to fix this. And I thought how hard it is to do something that makes sense. So, you know, you mourn falling short, but we just gotta keep trying.
Most of the commentary about the interview so far highlights that the Democratic candidates plan to run on their policies and a hopeful vision for America while avoiding the negativity and name calling we see on the Republican side. As Bloomberg reports,
Hillary Clinton and her new running mate said they won’t use the kind of insults that Donald Trump has used during his presidential campaign, with Senator Tim Kaine saying that “most of us stopped the name-calling thing” in the fifth grade.
“I’m not going to engage in that kind of insult-fest that he seems to thrive on,” Clinton, who will be anointed the Democratic nominee this week at the party’s convention in Philadelphia, said on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” in an interview broadcast on Sunday.
She’d been asked what name she would call Trump in response to his repeatedly referring to her as “Crooked Hillary.”
This interview capped a weekend in which Tim Kaine was introduced as the Vice Presidential candidate following a very well-organized and successful plan that won support of many who had been skeptical before.
Hillary Clinton made her case for Tim Kaine in an essay that was sent by email to subscribers and also posted on Medium.
Tim says his experience on city council taught him everything he knows about politics. To the people in Richmond, an underfunded school wasn’t a Democratic or Republican problem. It was simply a problem that needed fixing, and his constituents were counting on him to solve it. So Tim would do it. He’d roll up his sleeves and get the job done, no matter what.
He’s a man of relentless optimism who believes no problem is unsolvable if you’re willing to put in the work. That commitment to delivering results has stayed with him throughout his decades-long career as a public servant. So I could give you a laundry list of things he went on to accomplish — as mayor of Richmond, governor of Virginia, and in the United States Senate.
Like Hillary, Tim is an optimist. But like Hillary, he is also a progressive fighter. He’s the son of a teacher and an iron worker who’s always got working families on his mind. For nearly two decades, he specialized in representing people who had been denied fair access to housing just because of what they looked like, or because they had a disability. And when a gunman killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech, Tim knew he had a responsibility as governor to offer more than thoughts and prayers to the community he mourned with—and as a gun owner, he stood up to the gun lobby on their behalf.
There aren’t a lot of elected officials in Washington whom people like even more when the cameras are off than when the cameras are on. But Tim is that kind of guy. He’s a man who’s risen to the highest levels of government but still lives in the same neighborhood he did as a city councilmember in Richmond. You just can’t find anyone with a bad thing to say about him, from the staff who’ve worked for him to the Republicans who’ve served alongside him.
Simply put: Tim is a good man. He’s a true progressive. And he will make a great vice president.
The commentary about Kaine has been resoundingly positive. Jonathan Capehart of the Washinton Post provides one example.
Melissa McEwan of Shakesville also provided helpful commentary on the selection of Tim Kaine, especially for those who remembered some history where he fell short in being a champion for Choice.
I know there's a lot of concern about Kaine's record on choice, which I totally understand, although it's clear that he has moved significantly left on reproductive issues in the last decade. As I noted in comments last night, I would be a lot more concerned about his mixed record were it not for three things:
1. I don't believe that Hillary Clinton would have chosen him were she not certain that he would be 100% committed to supporting pro-choice Supreme Court nominees.
2. I have already been through the "Catholic dude who is personally squishy on choice but is publicly pro-choice" with both John Kerry and Joe Biden, both of whom were more reliable on choice the more influential they became.
3. Normally, when there's someone who's chosen for veep who isn't flawless on choice, I'm super pissed off because it doubles-down the ticket on being insufficiently robust in their support of choice. For the first time ever,because Hillary Clinton is at the top of the ticket, that isn't happening! And that actually isn't a small thing to me.
(And, hey, she pushed Sanders left on Hyde; I've no doubt she can push Kaine left on choice if he needs pushing.)
Moving along, Michael Bloomberg will endorse Hillary. He is the billionaire former mayor of New York who left the Democratic Party in 2001 to run for office as a Republican. His tenure held a lot of disappointment for many in the diverse city, but his direction today may be a sign of how many Republicans upset at the ugliness of their modern party will vote this year.
Michael Bloomberg will endorse Hillary Clinton in a prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, a timely boost as the candidate prepares to accept her party’s nomination for president.
“As the nation’s leading independent and a pragmatic business leader Mike has supported candidates from both sides of the aisle,” said Howard Wolfson, an adviser to Bloomberg and a former spokesman for Clinton’s 2008 campaign. “This week in Philadelphia he will make a strong case that the clear choice in this election is Hillary Clinton.”
The endorsement from the former mayor of New York City could resonate with swing voters and Republicans who haven’t warmed to their party’s nominee, Donald Trump.
“What’s disturbing to us is that experts are telling us Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, and other experts are now saying that the Russians are releasing these emails for the purpose of actually of helping Donald Trump,” Mook said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails were released on the eve of our convention.”
Mook did not provide evidence that the Russians were trying to help Trump when pressed by CNN’s Jake Tapper to back up his charges, instead falling back on what “experts” were saying.
“This isn’t my assertion — there are a number of experts that are asserting this,” Mook said. “I think we need to get to the bottom of these facts. But that’s what experts are telling us. Experts are telling us it is, in fact, the Russians who hacked these emails.”
Finally, the campaign is still deciding who will nominate Hillary at the convention. They made a call earlier for ordinary supporters of Hillary Clinton to step forward and make a case for being chosen to be the person on stage. There are now five finalists, and it is fun to go through their videos. If you have a favorite, there may still be time to make the case on social media for your pick.
Big news: At the Democratic convention next week, one lucky supporter will be onstage to formally nominate Hillary as the party’s presidential nominee! President Obama, Vice President Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, and other national leaders will all take the stage — and so will one of you.