By choosing Tim Kaine as her running mate, Hillary Clinton drives away thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters but probably picks up some Republicans who cannot in good conscience vote for Donald Trump.
It is a risky bargain.
Obviously, Hillary thinks most Americans will choose stability over radical change in November. And I am sure she has the facts and figures to back up her view. But my question is: How many stability voters will actually go to the polls?
Hillary’s choice of Kaine robs her campaign of excitement. I’m sure he is – as so many people say – one of the nicest guys on earth. But he is a career politician who straddles the center of American politics on some key issues. Abortion, global trade and bank regulations, to name a few.
Millions of Americans are in no mood for “steady as she goes.” They want a new deal. They are not going to vote for a pair of “Washington insiders.”
The crowds Bernie attracted are proof of that. So are the crowds that flocked to hear Donald Trump’s vitriol.
It’s true that Kaine would be a useful vice president. He has friends on both sides of the aisle and no enemies that I know of. In the world of Washington politics, you need someone like that to loosen the gridlock if you hope to achieve anything.
Hillary is a pragmatist and she knows there is no pixie dust in politics. You reach your goals by cooperation and compromise, not by decree. Kaine is no left-wing ideologue; he is a seasoned pro who is prepared to give a little to get a little.
But in the highly charged atmosphere of this campaign, Kaine’s choice adds no electricity. I don’t think he will inspire many Democrats to get out and vote.
Indeed, his choice will turn off a lot of young voters and possibly some women.
Of course, fear of Trump should be enough to make any sane American head for the polls. But, after watching that screaming hate fest in Cleveland, I wonder how many sane people there are in this country today.
As for me, I will be voting for Hillary and Kaine. But not because of Kaine.