While the Democratic Party reacts to shocking events in light of a recent email leak, Hillary Clinton’s pick for vice president is being touted as a message to the party’s progressive and liberal camps.
As Bill Sheer open’s his recent analysis for Politico, he drives the point home that the Hillary campaign had its own direction all along in picking Virgina Governor Tim Kaine.
“Hillary Clinton’s choice of Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate sends a message to Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and their progressive populist supporters: There’s a home for you in the Democratic Party, but I’m still the landlord.”
The aforementioned email leak is a reference to how the party deliberately worked to sabotage parts of Bernie Sanders’s campaign, which he has yet to concede.
Sanders Statement on DNC Chair Resignation pic.twitter.com/xMA60mnBIT
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 24, 2016
As the article suggests, Hillary could be counting on meshing elements of Kaine’s background that progressives may support in order to mitigate those that have proven unpopular among the voters most likely influenced by Sanders’s run.
Kaine has been criticized in Politico for his stances on loosening bank regulations and his support for fast-tracking the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade deal, but he also received a perfect score from NARAL on pro-choice issues as well as the endorsement of trade union AFL-CIO despite support for “right to work” laws, which are deemed anti-union and anti-worker.
While the Clinton campaign touts Kaine’s reputation as that of an unobjectionable person, CNN political commentator Sally Kohn writes, progressives, emboldened by the campaign of Bernie Sanders and the presence of Elizabeth Warren, wanted something different.
We were truly hoping for a bold choice in Hillary’s running mate, along the lines of Elizabeth Warren herself or at least Sherrod Brown or Tom Perez.
Kohn further discussed Clinton’s VP pick while adding additional commentary.
“It would have been refreshing if the Clinton campaign — and by extension the Democratic establishment — finally recognized that centrist big business-cozy economic policies, military hawkishness and social and environmental incrementalism were not only alienating many Democrats but the American people in general.”
It seems that the criticisms are sticking out more than the intended positives. The Washington Times noted that progressive and liberal groups had been warning the Clinton campaign about tapping Kaine for vice president before she announced her pick.
NPR reported that the mood of Democratic voters on Hillary’s VP boiled down to the main criticisms that the Virginia governor was too nice, too white, too moderate, and too safe. The article outlined that such a “pugnacious” election season with reference to both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and that Kaine’s reserved style could be a bit of a letdown.
Aside from Kaine himself and his voting record, the biggest burn resulting from Hillary’s VP selection may simply come from the belief that the Sanders campaign had much more influence on the Democratic Party than it appears to have had.
In an interview with MSNBC in June, Jill Sanders, the wife of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, stated her belief that the Hillary campaign must select a progressive for the ticket. Jill Sanders serves as one of her husband’s top strategists.
Questioned on her thoughts about a Clinton/Warren ticket, Sanders commented that her husband’s campaign wants a “progressive” on the ticket and affirmed the notion that his campaign also changed the agenda.
The decision by the Clinton campaign to forgo that direction may indicate that the threat of not appeasing Sanders’s supporters did not matter all that much, as a Common Dreams article featuring interviews of several higher-profile Bernie supporters, like Norman Solomon of RootsAction.org and coordinator of the Bernie Delegates Network, indicates.
“[Voters] will understand what it means when their efforts to challenge oligarchy have been met by Clinton’s selection of a loyal servant of oligarchy. If Clinton has reached out to Bernie supporters, it appears that she has done so to stick triangulating thumbs in their eyes.”
[Photo by Andrew Harnik/AP Images]