Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hillary Plays it Safe

Every once in a while I ask myself if Hillary might actually surprise me. Might she, for example, choose someone interesting as her running mate, perhaps even a non-politician? But then I remember, this is Hillary, so the guiding principle of the pick was "first, do no harm."

I have no gripes about Tim Kaine, who is ideologically similar to me and was a competent governor with no real scandals. And I agree with Patrick Healy that this pick was as much about what will happen after the election as anything about the campaign: Hillary picked someone she wants to work with in the White House, not someone who might energize the campaign but then not fit into her style of doing business.
Mr. Kaine is a strong advocate of gun control, opposes the death penalty and favored the Iran nuclear deal. He has also backed some restrictions on abortion and is a strong supporter of Israel. While he holds many progressive views, the fact that he does not come across as a fire-breathing partisan has helped give him a reputation as a moderate. He comes across like the nuts-and-bolts governor and mayor he once was — perhaps even a little boring — but it’s a style and approach to governing that won’t upstage Mrs. Clinton.

“Tim is a sensible and pragmatic guy whose presence on the ticket will be very reassuring to centrist Democrats,” said Steven Rattner, a Wall Street financier and longtime ally of the Clintons.
In one sense Hillary is clearly the conservative choice in this election. Because whatever issue you care to name, I can tell you what Hillary thinks about it and I can guess what sort of priority she will give to it in office. Does anybody know that about Trump?


pithom said...

"I have no gripes about Tim Kaine, who is ideologically similar to me and was a competent governor with no real scandals."

-I am much further to the Right than you are.

I don't like the status quo. Ergo, I have and will vote for Trump.

pootrsox said...

My take:

While Warren or Sanders might have placated the far-left, neither would have brought significant numbers of votes above other choices. And such a choice might have alienated others who are looking for "anyone but Trump" reasons to vote Clinton.

Kaine, however, is a choice that speaks to those middle Americans who really haven't decided-- they don't trust Clinton (for whatever reasons) but loathe and perhaps even fear the idea of a Trump Presidency.

Kaine allows these people (who, I suspect, number millions more than the first group I mentioned) to feel more comfortable pulling the Hillary lever. (ARE there any more of the old lever machines in use? I miss them. Penciling in bubbles doesn't really *feel* like voting to me.) I think Kaine will garner a lot of Republican cross-over votes.

OTOH, Warren or Sanders would likely have brought out moderately rightwing Republicans to vote against them.

On balance, Kaine brings more votes to Clinton and won't harm the down-ballot candidates.

Personally, I quite approve of Kaine! (And I actually know his inlaws, who are two of the loveliest people I have met since I moved to VA. We do call him "Governor" most of the time, not "Linwood," but if I didn't know who they were, I would never know they were "important" people-- just that they are good people. I suspect their daughter is the same way-- and Kaine seems to fit right in.)

pithom said...

A Sanders pick would have been Clinton's best shot at unifying the party. Warren is too far-left and a woman. Too many women on the ticket alienates men.

G. Verloren said...


...or at least, alienates some men. Many other men would actually celebrate such a ticket, as they recognize we no longer live in the Stone Age, and that the cult of machismo is a completely absurd and self destructive delusion to buy into.

pithom said...


-These people are called "beta males". They imagine themselves to live in fantasyland.