After becoming the first female Democratic party nominee, Hillary Clinton has made a critical decision for her campaign by selecting Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate. She asserts that Kaine is a “progressive and likes to get things done,” and introduced him for the first time at the Clinton 2016 rally in Miami.
“Donald Trump might think that America is in decline but he is wrong,” Clinton said at the rally that took place at FIU on Saturday, July 23. “We will offer a very different vision for our country, one that is about building bridges not walls,” she said.
After Donald Trump’s earlier announcement selecting Mike Pence as his running mate, Clinton responded that her candidate is “everything that Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not,” and affirmed that Kaine shares values similar to her own.
However, Kaine has received skepticism by progressives for his support in the global trade deals, and his vote in favor of giving President Obama authority on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, according to an article published by The New York Times. He also argued for looser bank regulations that have sent some voters questioning whether he was the best decision for the ticket.
Although he has received mixed feedback, Kaine has been regarded by Clinton’s campaign as a reliable senior member of the democratic office, ever since his election in 2012. He is known as a Catholic civil rights lawyer who went to Honduras on a mission trip during his time at Harvard Law School.
Clinton’s campaign rally in Miami acknowledged him for his continual efforts in advocating for racial justice, immigration reform, gun reform, LGBTQA rights, and has recognized his high ratings from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
“I have been able to see how government works and how, sometimes, it doesn’t, from just about every perspective,” said Kaine. “I’ve always believed that however you serve, what matters is whether you actually deliver results for people. And that has been my goal in every position I have ever held.”
Sara Moats, an FIU instructor in the department of Politics and International Relations said to Student Media: “Overall, I think Tim Kaine is a good choice for vice president. He and Clinton make a solid team.”
Moats believes that the duo has good chemistry and that Kaine will help pull swing states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, which are important battleground states in the general election.
Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz also made an appearance at the Miami event.
“South Florida, we are better than Donald Trump’s dangerous and divisive rhetoric and America is far better than that,” Schultz said.
Later on Sunday, July 24, Schultz made the decision to step down from her position as the party chair after a leak of 19,000 emails were published by Wikileaks describing messages of ruining Bernie Sanders’ chances in claiming the nomination.
She has also received criticism for taking actions to limit the number of primary debates, and also being in favor of superdelegates that guaranteed Clinton’s nomination.
“I know that selecting Hillary Clinton as our next president is critical for America’s future,” Schultz said in a statement. “I look forward to serving as a surrogate for her campaign in Florida and across the country to ensure her victory.”
It was revealed that Schultz no longer has speaking authority and chair privileges on behalf of the party and cannot appear in Clinton’s next stop at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, July 25.
“I do not think the actions of the DNC came as a great surprise. Clinton had a majority of the superdelegates’ support throughout the primary season and Sanders knew the Democrat Party establishment supported Clinton over his campaign,” said Moats. “Candidates that were once rivals during the primaries are now unified under a single party name.”
Bernie Sanders made a statement on Schultz’s resignation saying that she had made the right decision for the democratic party to step down. He also commented on Clinton’s vice president selection, stating that he does not share the same political views as Kaine and would have rather seen someone like Elizabeth Warren as the running mate, a more ideologically progressive candidate.
Moats believes that Sanders understands that he must offer his support for Clinton’s running mate for the greater good of the party even though he would have preferred a candidate with a more progressive record.
“There are always a few bumps, however Sanders realizes his supporters must now channel that support to Hillary Clinton,” said Moats.
Following the announcement, Trump took to Twitter and said that having Kaine as Clinton’s running mate “is very disrespectful to Sanders and his supporters”, and has heavily denounced the DNC.
Even though the rally was Kaine’s formal introduction to American voters, comparisons to the Republican ticket were made by the Clinton, and she also spoke about the initiatives that she will take on as president of the United States.
“This is one of the most consequential elections in our lifetime; when someone says I alone can fix it, that should set off alarm bells in not just Democrats’ minds, but Republicans, independents, [and] people of all ages and backgrounds,” said Clinton. “That is not a democracy.”
At the rally, Clinton stated that she will provide the middle class with better wages, provide tax relief for working families, and further create jobs in the U.S. Other positions on her platform consist of making college debt-free, tackling issues revolving around climate change, and reforming the criminal justice system.
Even though the DNC and Clinton’s campaign are currently under fire for questionable actions during the primaries, some of Clinton’s final messages at the rally maintained that her campaign is different from Trump and Pence and that she will continue her goal in becoming the next president of the United States.
“Donald Trump and other speakers repeatedly attacked Hillary Clinton. I do not think the Democrats will return the political rhetoric to the same extent,” said Moats. “I expect the party as a whole will portray a more positive outlook for our nation’s future and will focus more on the Democrat Party platform.”