5 things to know about Tim Kaine; Clinton’s running mate

Tim Kaine was picked late Friday as Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential running mate. Despite his protestations as recently as this week that he was too dull to get the nod, his selection was viewed as a lock by Friday morning. Clinton announced her pick via social media and text message.

Here are some facts about the U.S. senator from Virginia:

Doubling down on experience: Like his would-be boss, Kaine has both executive and legislative experience. Elected to the Senate in 2012, the 58-year-old had been governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010. At the helm of the Old Dominion, he oversaw a state whose unemployment rate didn’t spike as much the country’s did overall during the Great Recession. It’s a fair question whether that performance can be credited to Kaine’s stewardship or the fact that the federal government kept employment levels high in the region. Consider: Neighboring Maryland’s unemployment rate also was better than the national rate (though worse than Virginia’s) while Kaine was governor.

Él habla español: Kaine is fluent in Spanish, having served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Honduras. In fact, he discussed an immigration bill on the floor of the U.S. Senate entirely in Spanish, making him the first senator ever to do so. To be fair, Clinton already is handily leading Trump among Hispanic voters — with an incredible 69-point margin, per one poll — but a key will be getting Latinos to the polls on Election Day.

Free trader: Kaine’s no Trump — or Bernie Sanders, for that matter — on trade. He’s been a proponent of the North American Free Trade Agreement and voted in support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Asian trade pact that Clinton helped negotiate as secretary of state but has repudiated as a presidential candidate.

Fans on Wall Street: By industry, Kaine has received the third highest proportion of his political donations from the “securities and investment” sector, per data from OpenSecrets, running behind only lawyers and the retired. Kaine has taken some heat from liberal groups for supporting looser rules on regional and community banks. One such regional bank, Capital One, is based in McLean, Va.

Gift recipient: Kaine accepted about $160,000 in gifts while governor, and lieutenant governor, of Virginia. That’s legal under Virginia laws, and Kaine’s campaign has emphasized that he’s gone beyond disclosure requirements. One gift came from generic-drug maker Teva Pharmaceuticals, which gave him $12,000 to cover expenses at the Democratic Governors Association meeting in 2006.

Source: MarketWatch