Working-class voters in South Carolina will be more likely to vote Democratic in November now that Hillary Clinton has chosen Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate, state party officials said Monday.
“Tim Kaine is one of the finest public servants in the United States,” former state party chairman Don Fowler said at the Democratic National Convention, which began Monday. “He’s good. He’s bright. He’s moderate. He has everything you would want in a very substantial highly placed public servant.’’
Many supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders criticized Kaine, a former Virginia governor and former mayor of Richmond, as not liberal enough for progressive Democrats.
But South Carolinians at the convention praised Kaine for helping to turn Virginia from a red state to a swing state.
“He was my first choice,’’ said Lynn Lotz of Hilton Head, a former resident of northern Virginia who co-hosted a Kaine fundraiser with her husband when Kaine was running for the U.S. Senate. “It’s kind of like having Joe Biden on your ticket. He’s just a good old soul. He’s very believable. He’s very honest. He’s always in a good mood. He always has a smile on his face. He’s just a calming influence and I think a lot of people will navigate toward him.”
Lotz and her husband Blaine, who chairs the Beaufort County Democratic Committee, received messages from Hispanic friends who were happy about the selection because Kaine learned to speak Spanis fluently who serving as a missionary in Honduras.
Jim Thompson from the Charlotte suburb of Fort Mill said Kaine’s experience as a mayor gave him important experience.
“Administrating a city is really right there with the folks getting problems solved,” he said.
Bryanta Booker-Maxwell, who lives in Columbia but grew up in Lawrence, said she trusts that Clinton picked someone who could take over as president if something happened to her.
I think Tim Kaine is well able and capable of doing that,’’ Booker-Maxwell said. “The question is whether he will be able to galvanize the youth vote. That may be a question for him. But I think she has hired some phenomenal staff to get the youth vote across the country.”
Although Booker-Maxwell is a Sanders delegate, she’s supporting Clinton in the general election.
“I just want us to move forward so we can defeat Donald Trump,” she said.
Jay Parmley of Columbia, chairman of the Richland County Democratic Party and a Clinton delegate, described Clinton’s decision to pick Kaine as a “home run.”
“I was not surprised,” he said. “I think all the signs were pointing to him in the days leading up.”
Parmley said he met Kaine many times when Kaine chaired the Democratic National Committee.
“I’ve been around him many times... and I think the world of him,” he said. “He’s so humble, so well-spoken and just a committed progressive. He’s just sort of these understated guy who has done all these things in Virginia.”
Parmley thinks Kaine will communicate to Latino voters and working men and women from middle America.
“Remember, we are the party of average, everyday Americans.”
Trump plays on the worst in Americans, while Clinton and Kaine will talk about moving the country forward, Parmley said.