Lazy Saturday Reads: Clinton-Kaine vs. Trump-Putin


Good Morning!!

I woke up this morning feeling very good about the Democratic ticket. I know I have been saying Tim Kaine is boring; but now I that know more about him I realize I was wrong. He’s not a screamer, and he won’t get the Bernie-or-busters excited, but there aren’t that many of those selfish jerks and they aren’t going to vote for Hillary anyway. But Kaine is a lot more interesting than I originally thought.

Here’s Hillary herself on why she chose him (from campaign email):

Tim is a lifelong fighter for progressive causes and one of the most qualified vice presidential candidates in our nation’s history.

But his credentials alone aren’t why I asked him to run alongside me.

Like me, Tim grew up in the Midwest. During law school, he too took an unconventional path — he took time off and went to Honduras to work with missionaries, practicing both his faith and his Spanish.

When he returned to the states and graduated from Harvard Law, he could have done anything. But instead of going to some big corporate firm, he chose to fight housing discrimination as a civil rights lawyer in Richmond. Most car accident lawyers charge clients in a fairly unique way — as opposed to the hourly fee that many firms charge in other types of cases. The typical auto accident lawyer will charge a “contingency fee” to take an injury case.

Tim says his experience on city council taught him everything he knows about politics. To the people in Richmond, an underfunded school wasn’t a Democratic or Republican problem. It was simply a problem that needed fixing, and his constituents were counting on him to solve it. So Tim would do it. He’d roll up his sleeves and get the job done, no matter what.

He’s a man of relentless optimism who believes no problem is unsolvable if you’re willing to put in the work. That commitment to delivering results has stayed with him throughout his decades-long career as a public servant. So I could give you a laundry list of things he went on to accomplish — as mayor of Richmond, governor of Virginia, and in the United States Senate.

But this is what’s important: Tim has never taken a job for the glory or the title. He’s the same person whether the cameras are on or off. He’s sincerely motivated by the belief that you can make a difference in people’s lives through public service.


Emily Kadei at Newsweek (July 15, 2016) says Tim Kaine is not a “boring” choice.

Personable but unassuming, he’s not the type who, like Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, will engage in Twitter wars with Trump. In Virginia, he built a reputation as a consensus-builder, not a bold thinker, while governing as a Democrat in a traditionally conservative state. Dig beneath the surface, however, and another picture starts to emerge, one that’s a lot more colorful than the vanilla first impression. It turns out that this career politician actually has a pretty radical streak running through him: a fierce, Jesuit-inspired commitment to social justice and racial equality that was very much at odds with the consensus in his Southern state at the time he was building his career.

Kaine declined to be interviewed for this article, but in the past he has credited his deep Catholic faith and a life-changing year as a missionary in poverty-stricken Central America for his foray into public service and politics. Speaking to Charlie Rose in 2008, Kaine said the year he took off during law school to volunteer with Jesuit missionaries in rural Honduras “really reenergized my faith, it gave me a role model…it gave me a sense of mission generally and specifically and it taught me a lot about our country.”

He harkens back to the experience regularly, including on Thursday. Speaking at a community college in Northern Virginia with Clinton looking on, Kaine recounted, “When I lived in Honduras, the best compliment you could make to someone…was to say that they were ‘listo,’ to say that they were ready”—a reference to the Clinton campaign slogan “Ready for Hillary.” Showing off his fluent Spanish, he explained, “What ready means is more than just on time, it means well-prepared, it means they’re ready to get on the ballot!” The crowd roared.


Kaine spent 17 years as a civil rights lawyer in Richmond, VA.

Kaine’s time in Honduras also pointed the way toward the civil rights work he did in Richmond. It was there that he read the famous Martin Luther King Jr. line: “the most segregated hour of the week is 11 o’clock Sunday morning.”

“When I read that, you know, my experience growing up in a very white suburb of Kansas City, and not really knowing many people different from me, boy the scales really fell from my eyes,” he recounted to Rose. “I just decided whatever I did I was always going to try to make racial reconciliation a core of what I did.”

Kaine’s wife Anne is also a fighter for social justice.

Her father, former Virginia Governor Linwood Holton, made national headlines in 1970 by sending his daughters to a predominantly black school as part of a push to desegregate Richmond’s public education system.

Tim and Anne embraced a similar ethos in the life they built together in Richmond. They joined St. Elizabeth, a Catholic church in the low-income Highland Park neighborhood, at a time when few white people were part of the parish. Even now, the neighborhood is “mostly black folks,” says Rev. James Arsenault, St. Elizabeth’s pastor. The Kaines play an active role in the church, with Tim even being known to sing with the gospel choir from time to time. “I know they’ve been godparents for some kids from the parish and go to graduations and wedding anniversaries,” Father Arsenault says. “They’re friends, people call them Tim and Anne.”

After reading that, I can understand why Hillary chose him. His social justice Catholicism is a very good match for her social justice Methodism.


The USA Today Editorial Board: Tim Kaine is the right pick for veep: Our view.

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is not Mr. Excitement, as he’d be the first to say, but he is the smartest vice presidential pick Hillary Clinton could have made.

Kaine is not going to fire up the Bernie-or-bust crowd and he is, there’s no way to avoid noticing, a middle-aged white guy  (58, to be exact). But he does have the virtue of checking every other box on Clinton’s wish list – starting with the confidence that, as she put it in an interview with Charlie Rose, her running mate “could literally get up one day and be the president of the United States.”

She called that her top priority. It is ours as well.

If resume is destiny, Kaine was inevitable. He is a former city council member, mayor, lieutenant governor and governor who has become a student of war and foreign policy in the Senate. As governor he even had to prove himself in the tragic role presidents must play all too often, as consoler in chief after a mass shooting (the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre that left 32 people dead).

Kaine’s political credentials are also unmatched. A former national party chairman and a former Catholic missionary to Honduras, he has never lost an election and has asolid approval rating in his state. He may not be Hispanic, but he speaks fluent Spanish. He comes from an important swing state with 13 electoral votes – more than twice as many as Iowa (home of another finalist, Agriculture secretary and former governor Tom Vilsack). And, key to Democratic dreams of a Senate majority, Kaine’s successor will be named by a Democrat — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Frankly, Hillary is not going to need her VP to be an attack dog against Trump and the Republicans. She will have Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and yes, Bernie Sanders to fill that role. Kaine is said to be very loyal and self-effacing; he will not overshadow her, and that is very important for the first woman to run for POTUS on a major party ticket.

Hillary and Tim’s optimism and competence will be a welcome contrast to the negativity of Donald Trump and the anti-woman, anti-LGBT, anti-labor Mike Pence.

Finally, Al Giordano loves Tim Kaine.

More tweets:


And on the other side of the 2016 presidential campaign . . .

The Washington Post editorial board: Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy.

DONALD J. TRUMP, until now a Republican problem, this week became a challenge the nation must confront and overcome. The real estate tycoon is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament. He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions. Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together. His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew.

Any one of these characteristics would be disqualifying; together, they make Mr. Trump a peril. We recognize that this is not the usual moment to make such a statement. In an ordinary election year, we would acknowledge the Republican nominee, move on to the Democratic convention and spend the following months, like other voters, evaluating the candidates’ performance in debates, on the stump and in position papers. This year we will follow the campaign as always, offering honest views on all the candidates. But we cannot salute the Republican nominee or pretend that we might endorse him this fall. A Trump presidency would be dangerous for the nation and the world.

Why are we so sure? Start with experience. It has been 64 years since a major party nominated anyone for president who did not have electoral experience. That experiment turned out pretty well — but Mr. Trump, to put it mildly, is no Dwight David Eisenhower. Leading the Allied campaign to liberate Europe from the Nazis required strategic and political skills of the first order, and Eisenhower — though he liked to emphasize his common touch as he faced the intellectual Democrat Adlai Stevenson — was shrewd, diligent, humble and thoughtful.

In contrast, there is nothing on Mr. Trump’s résumé to suggest he could function successfully in Washington. He was staked in the family business by a well-to-do father and has pursued a career marked by some real estate successes, some failures and repeated episodes of saving his own hide while harming people who trusted him. Given his continuing refusal to release his tax returns, breaking with a long bipartisan tradition, it is only reasonable to assume there are aspects of his record even more discreditable than what we know.

The lack of experience might be overcome if Mr. Trump saw it as a handicap worth overcoming. But he displays no curiosity, reads no books and appears to believe he needs no advice. In fact, what makes Mr. Trump so unusual is his combination of extreme neediness and unbridled arrogance. He is desperate for affirmation but contemptuous of other views. He also is contemptuous of fact. Throughout the campaign, he has unspooled one lie after another — that Muslims in New Jerseycelebrated after 9/11, that his tax-cut plan would not worsen the deficit, that heopposed the Iraq War before it started — and when confronted with contrary evidence, he simply repeats the lie. It is impossible to know whether he convinces himself of his own untruths or knows that he is wrong and does not care. It is also difficult to know which trait would be more frightening in a commander in chief.

There’s a whole lot more of this kind of analysis at the link.


Stephen Hayes at The Weekly Standard (!): Donald Trump Is Crazy, and So Is the GOP for Embracing Him.

Yes, Donald Trump is crazy. And, yes, the Republican party owns his insanity.

Fewer than twelve hours after Republicans rallied in support of his nomination for the presidency, Trump once again implied that Rafael Cruz, Ted Cruz’s father, was involved in the JFK assassination. At a press availability during an event to thank campaign volunteers Friday morning, Trump revived suggestions that the elder Cruz was an associate of Lee Harvey Oswald, Kennedy’s assassin, and that they two were together months before the assassination.

“I don’t know his father. I met him once. I think he’s a lovely guy. I think he’s a lovely guy. All I did was point out the fact that on the cover of the National Enquirer there was a picture of him and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast. Now, Ted never denied that it was his father. Instead, he said Donald Trump—I had nothing to do with it. This was a magazine that, frankly, in many respects should be very respected.”

He continued: “Did anybody ever deny that it was the father? They’re not saying: ‘Oh, that wasn’t really my father.’ It was a little hard to do. It looked like him.”

Trump is still running against his GOP primary opponents! Read more at the link.

Quite a few journalists have begun examining Trump’s ties to Russia and his vocal admiration for Vladimir Putin. Some examples:

The Washington Post: Inside Trump’s financial ties to Russia and his unusual flattery of Vladimir Putin.

The NY Review of Books: Trump’s Putin Fantasy.

Paul Krugman: Donald Trump, the Siberian Candidate.

Jeffrey Goldberg: It’s Official: Hillary Clinton Is Running Against Vladimir Putin.

So . . . What do you think? And what other stories are you following today?

110 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads: Clinton-Kaine vs. Trump-Putin”

  1. bostonboomer says:


  2. bostonboomer says:

    Raw Story: A third woman alleges she was sexually assaulted by Donald Trump.

    The latest allegations of unwanted sexual contact by Trump come from Jill Harth, a makeup artist and business associate of the billionaire in the early 1990s. According to Harth, Trump sexually harassed her on numerous occasions, including cornering her in his daughter Ivanka’s bedroom and attempting to have sex with her. In 1997, Harth filed a lawsuit detailing Trump’s alleged repeated efforts to force her to have sex with him, as well as a number of other outrageous and inappropriate behaviors.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    Sounds like Kaine is an excellent choice!! We absolutely need to defeat that Insane Clown in November or risk the consequences.

    Clinton/Kaine 2016!!!

  4. Riverbird says:

    bostonboomer, thanks for your post. I’m sending a link to friends who know little about Tim Kaine. I too woke up this morning feeling good about the Democratic ticket..

  5. Beata says:

    Is it okay to use the word “progressive” in a positive way now that Hillary has used it? I was away from blogging for several months so I’m still trying to learn the rules. I fear offending someone to the point where I might be told to get over myself.

    • Jslat says:

      Progressive is fine, the only problem is with relative purity. You know,those who compare how progressive they are in judgement against those “less pure.”

    • NW Luna says:

      I hope here we wouldn’t say tell that to anyone voting for Hillary!

      I starting using the term “progressive” more back around ’04, but after a few years I felt renewed comfortable with “liberal” and returned to using that. I don’t want to let the Rethugs shame me into not owning my proud liberal values. Also, some of the men using “progressive” seem to have forgotten that it includes women’s rights. But I don’t think there is yet a hard and fast definition for the term in a political sense.

  6. Jslat says:

    Clinton/Kaine will appear at rally in Florida @ noon. Can’t wait! I know that l will be clapping and cheering in front of the TV. (My dogs will most likely join in my excitement. They love to bark their approval😀)
    The rally is starting up now.

  7. Sweet Sue says:

    Good for you, BB.
    It takes a woman with character to reassess her first impression.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I think Hillary showed character by standing by her first choice in the face of criticism.

      • janicen says:

        Me too.

      • Fannie says:

        Yesterday, I was rather pissed off at Chris Matthews, because he said Hillary Clinton’s announcement for VP was set up like a Miss America Pageant………3rd place, 2nd place, and lst…….I thought that was rather sexist. Maybe it’s just that I see so much this in media, and read it all the time.

        That is a very good character when you stand by the decisions you make and do so firmly.

  8. Jslat says:

    C-SPAN has rally now…no commentators.

  9. MsMass says:

    Getting ready to hear Hillary and Kaine. Feeling positive! Yay!!Yay!! You go girl!

  10. janicen says:

    I’ve seen a few indications of dissatisfaction from the Bernie crowd around the web and quite frankly, I don’t care. Bernie acted like such an ass after the last primary election, stubbornly refusing to concede and taking even longer to endorse Hillary, that he lost any special consideration when it comes to picking the Veep. Hillary chose who she wanted and I think it would be a mistake for her to veer off of her course at this point. Clearly, she knows what she’s doing.

    • Jslat says:

      Do they understand sour grapes??? Most of what I have heard is just sore losers. How they could have thought that the Bern would have a say in VP selection is beyond me.

      Hillary knows what she’s doing.

      • janicen says:

        Exactly. She has stuck to her game plan and methodically defeated all of her opponents. To veer away from her plan at this point would be a mistake.

  11. Delphyne49 says:

    I really love this tweet!

  12. Jslat says:

    They are on now!!!!! She looks great!

  13. Jslat says:

    Hill a Ree!

  14. NW Luna says:

    Also live stream here:

  15. NW Luna says:

    “Behind that smile he has a backbone of steel. Just ask the NRA.”

  16. NW Luna says:

    “Americanos todos!”

  17. NW Luna says:

    “…When Donald Trump says he’s got your back, you better watch out.” –Kaine

  18. NW Luna says:

    Hey, Tim Kaine gives a damn good speech.

  19. NW Luna says:

    “1 of only 20 people who’ve been a Mayor, a Governor, and a Senator…know how government works and sometimes doesn’t.”

  20. Jslat says:

    He has my vote. Trust Hillary to pick a winner.

  21. NW Luna says:

    “a faith in kindness” “to you want to be right or do you want to do right?”

  22. NW Luna says:

    “Invested in cleaning up Chesapeke Bay… during the recession. “

  23. NW Luna says:

    America should be a country of welcome, of inclusion, “do all the good you can”

  24. NW Luna says:

    And he loves joining along in the Hill-A-Ree, Hill-A-Ree chanting acclaim.

  25. NW Luna says:

    “Where are Donald Trump’s taxes?”

  26. Jslat says:

    We will not rest fighting gun violence!

  27. NW Luna says:

    Blessed sanity. What a difference.

  28. NW Luna says:

    Do you want a “You’re Fired” President or a “You’re Hired” President?

    Trash-talking or Bridge-Building?

    Me-First or Kids and Family First?

  29. NW Luna says:

    Hillary’s thinking “Yep, this guy is the best choice.”

  30. janicen says:

  31. Jslat says:

    WOW! WOW! WOW!

  32. NW Luna says:

    “No one is tougher or more compassionate than Hillary Clinton”

  33. Jslat says:

    He is cheerleader, defende extraordinary. They are going to slay it during this election. T-rump will be roasted till he is toast.

  34. NW Luna says:

    Clinton/Kaine! Clinton/Kaine! Clinton/Kaine!

    There’s energy and determination that won’t burn out.

  35. janicen says:

    This is the Tim Kaine my daughter and I saw at the rollout of the McAuliffe campaign and at a Mark Warner event here in VA. He was the best speaker in the room both times. He wasn’t always this good, he’s had to work at it to get this good.

    How can you not love this guy?

    • NW Luna says:

      I love him now. No doubt about it. And in a way, it’s even better than he put in the work required to develop his skills and communicate this well. Yes, our team isn’t afraid of the work. Unlike Trash-talking T-rump.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I thought his speech was terrific!

    • ANonOMouse says:

      He’s a WINNER!!!

  36. dakinikat says:

    Great post! Just finished watching his speech and I like him and his wife sounds wonderful.

    I’ve been using this site to check up on things and found it useful

    • NW Luna says:

      Thx; I’ve bookmarked that. Yes, I liked how he spoke about his wife, and how he reacted when Hillary spoke about her also.

  37. NW Luna says:

    Kaine nonetheless drew praise from the overwhelming majority of his colleagues, including a handful of prominent Republicans. Elected to the Senate in 2012, he has developed a reputation as an affable senator able to work across party lines.

  38. Sweet Sue says:

    Hillary, you did good.!!
    I was raised Catholic and Tim Kaine is the “cool priest” that all-I mean all-the kids love.
    If Hillary’s choice for VP is an indication of her decision making process, we-God willing-will be in very good hands when she becomes America’s President.

  39. Sweet Sue says:

    Did you get a load of the unenthusiastic, elderly crowd in Miami? 🙂

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Yeah, that crowd looked to be all of 30-ish or less. And the assorted skin colors, when compared to trumppence in Cleveland, was absolutely remarkable. Crayola…..And I love it!!!!

  40. ANonOMouse says:

    So, what did Trump Tweet after the the Kaine speech, “my pee-pee hurts!”? Really, I haven’t checked his tweets, but I’m certain he couldn’t keep it to himself and I’m certain it was ugly.

  41. bostonboomer says:

    This morning on MSNBC it was all negative. After the speech, the commentators were all raving about Kaine and what a great pick he is.

  42. ANonOMouse says:

    Now it’s time to go to work to keep this disgusting creep from getting into the White House.

    • NW Luna says:

      Ick. Such a contrast.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        The most amazing thing in that GIF is her reaction to what I consider to be inappropriate touching. She literally pulled her arm in toward her body and moved away from her father.
        When I saw it live I cringed. Looking at it in a gif, obviously it’s moving a little faster than real time, I’m even more repulsed by it. I also see a coolness between Donald and Melania and wondering if anyone else has noticed it. That family gives me the creeps

        • janicen says:

          Me too, mouse. The touch was wildly inappropriate but the thing that turned my stomach was her reaction. He’s done this before, this is not new to her nor was it an accident. Fucking pig.

    • Jslat says:

      I don’t even want to think about it! Eeeeewwwww

    • Sweet Sue says:

      I loathe Trump as much as anyone could, but what’s wrong with a father touching his daughter on her upper arm?
      That would be a prelude to a hug, no?
      This reminds me a bit of people freaking out because Victoria Beckham was photographed kissing her little girl on the lips.
      Until the day she died, I kissed my mother on the lips.
      My father, too, occasionally.

      • NW Luna says:

        Did you play that gif? Upper arm touch might be no problem, but his downward look to her pelvic/hip area and then the fondling of her hip, plus her reaction, make it creepy.

  43. pdgrey says:

    I respect everyone’s opinion here at skydancing. I am personally ok with this, his speech today was wonderful. But I worried about “the news” talkers. I will say I was happy and shocked the Washington Post did what all media should have done. MSNBC is worse today than, (of course Fox), but CNN was actually pushing back on some of the lies, but I’m sure that won’t last long I’m sure. Anyway, I trust Hillary!

    • NW Luna says:

      That DailyBeast article is right on about Kaine. But it’s description of what “most” people think about Hillary — aloof, unlikeable, probably untrusted — and that Kaine is an foil for this, was infuriating. Yeah, why did all those people vote for her, cheer for her, line up for hours if she’s so aloof and cold? Open your f’ing eyes, pundits.

      If a man who is tough, smart, and compassionate gets rave reviews. The woman is thought cold and aloof. Damn double standard misogyny.

  44. bostonboomer says:

    This is very disturbing!

    Trump & Putin. Yes, It’s Really a Thing

  45. contrask says:

    Do any of his supporters read these? I saw a thread today where deveral were lamenting the media is all in Clintons’ back pocket and just hates DT. Really?

  46. janicen says:

    The more I read about Tim Kaine, the more in love with him I am. I speak enough Spanish to ask where the bathrooms are so most of what he said in his speech went over my head but I just read this in the WAPO:

    “Bienvenidos a todos en nuestro pais. Porque somos americanos todos,” Kaine said. “Welcome to everyone in our country, because we are all Americans.”

    This guy doesn’t just speak Spanish, he totally empathizes with the plight of Latino immigrants. I’m crazy about this guy.

  47. Jslat says:

    Tim Kaine per Repub senators. Respected, well liked.. Hillary picked a winner…what a smart woman!

  48. janicen says:

    Watched the late local news last night before I went to bed and of course the lead story was about Kaine. Everyone in Richmond is elated about it. When the Kaines arrived home last night, around 800 of their friends, neighbors, and fellow church members were there to greet them. The news showed Kaine getting out of the SUV and speaking to the crowd but they didn’t play what he said or show the whole speech. It seemed the news people wanted to give him his private moment with friends and neighbors. So not only do the Kaines’ friends and neighbors love them, the local press does too.