He's a Catholic and says he's personally opposed to abortion, but fellow Catholic Joe Biden has said the same thing, and that hasn't been a problem in the Obama years. I lived for years in a state governed by Mario Cuomo, yet another Catholic who proclaimed personal opposition to abortion, and his commitment to choice was rock solid. Kaine has 100% ratings from Planned Parenthood and NARAL.
On the other hand, I don't trust Kaine's equivocation on TPP:
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) reportedly told Hillary Clinton he would oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership before she selected him as her running mate -- but as recently as Thursday, the Virginia senator was praising the massive trade deal.And the pro-bank talk is not encouraging:
The Huffington Post reported Friday night that Kaine told Clinton he would oppose the trade deal between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations. According to the report, Kaine said he agreed with Clinton ... that the TPP did not meet certain standards on wages and national security.
But one day prior, the pro-trade senator still had warm words for the Pacific trade pact.
"I am having discussions with a lot of groups around Virginia about the treaty itself. I see much in it to like,” Kaine said Thursday during a series of roundtable events in suburban northern Virginia. “I think it's an upgrade of labor standards, I think it's an upgrade of environmental standards. I think it's an upgrade of intellectual property protections."
... a bipartisan letter that Kaine signed on Monday urg[ed] the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to “carefully tailor its rulemaking” regarding community banks and credit unions so as not to “unduly burden” these institutions with regulations aimed at commercial banks.Politico notes that even Elizabeth Warren "has supported targeted regulatory changes that would benefit a narrower group of smaller lenders" -- though presumably not Capital One, the tenth-largest bank in America, which is based in Virginia and is, as Politico notes, clearly on the mind of Kaine (and his Virginia Senate colleague, Mark Warner, who also signed the letter).
But a deregulatory free-for-all is inevitable if Donald Trump becomes president and leaves all the boring stuff in the hands of Reaganite Koch puppet Mike Pence working hand in glove with the likes of Ayn Rand fanboy Paul Ryan. We can work to push Clinton-Kaine to the left on this issue, and they're already on the left on so many other issues. With the Republicans, there's no hope.
And yet Trump is faking populism on this issue:
Tim Kaine is, and always has been, owned by the banks. Bernie supporters are outraged, was their last choice. Bernie fought for nothing!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2016
This is a big reason why the conventional wisdom about Kaine is dead wrong:
As a staunch Catholic with blue-collar roots, who grew up in Kansas City, Mo., he is likely to give Mrs. Clinton a needed boost among white men....The Clintonites think demography is destiny. So does the mainstream media. They think she'll do better with Middle American white men because she's picked a Middle American white man.
That's not how it works. As the GOP and Fox News have proven, white male heartlanders respond to coastal elites, women, and sometimes non-whites if they say what the white male heartlanders want to hear. New York billionaire Donald Trump is the obvious example, but heartlanders respond well to Fox's East Coast-centric talent pool (Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro). They love Sheriff David Clarke, a black gun nut and Black Lives Matter foe, who spoke at Trump's convention and is a frequent Fox guest. They admire Clarence Thomas and (until recently) Ted Cruz. They love Sarah Palin and Joni Ernst.
And they responded to New York-born, Vermont-based, Jewish agnostic socialist Bernie Sanders this year. That's the problem: Working-class whites are in an anti-elite frame of mind right now, and Clinton just picked someone who's easy to dismiss as a friend of the elites.
And even before the year of Trump and Sanders, Kaine didn't have great appeal to white males. Here's the exit poll result on that from his 2012 Senate race against George "Macaca" Allen:
Allen is the son of a revered football coach, so he started with a reservoir of goodwill among men. Allen, like Trump, has a history of ethnically insensitive remarks. Yes, Kaine beat Allen, but Allen clobbered Kaine among white men, 63%-37%. (And Kaine didn't fare much better among white women.)
Kaine is, as The New York Times says, "a self-effacing senator in a sharp-elbows era." That's going to appeal to white men? This year?
Nope. Clinton can certainly win the election with Kaine, but he won't help her with that demographic.