Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who supported Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democrat Primary, will be giving a speech at a Ready for Hillary-related event in South Carolina, a 2016 early primary state. Kaine is trying to coax Clinton into running, saying she is the right person to “lead this country in a very complicated world.” The endorsement is significant for Clinton should she decide to run for president. Virginia is a key battleground state, and Kaine, who is both a former governor and incumbent senator in the state, has a great deal of political capital. He is also the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, one of the first leading Democrats to back Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential race, on Saturday will urge the latter to run for the White House again, saying she is the right person to “lead this country in a very complicated world.”
The endorsement, to be made at a Ready for Hillary-related event in the key early primary state of South Carolina, comes as Clinton is still weighing whether to run for president a second time in 2016. But Kaine is a significant figure among Democrats, and his early backing of Clinton helps solidify her status as the overwhelming frontrunner for the party’s nomination.
Kaine also served up a rallying cry to Democrats by noting that electing a woman remains a challenge, walking the fine line between underscoring her inevitably through his endorsement and reminding her supporters they need to work hard.
Kaine is a popular Democrat and a former governor of Virginia, a crucial swing state, and his endorsement is an additional talisman to keep potential Clinton challengers at bay. Some Democratic donors had hoped Kaine could be a potential dark horse candidate for president. His decision to back Clinton now, given his ties to Obama, symbolizes the hopes of Democratic donors and Clinton backers for an easy Obama-to-Clinton torch-passing, instead of a bruising primary fight like in 2008. Kaine also has been mentioned as a potential running mate for the eventual 2016 nominee.
Kaine’s endorsement is to come at a Democratic Women’s Council event hosted by the super PAC Ready for Hillary. Obama trounced Clinton in 2008 in South Carolina, a state that other Democrats, such as Vice President Joe Biden and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley have visited repeatedly. Kaine announced he was joining the super PAC’s efforts, which have been focused on raising grassroots support for Clinton — the very thing she lacked in her last campaign.