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U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (R) wave to supporters during a campaign event at the Charlottesville nTelos Wireless Pavilion August 29, 2012 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Alex

Was Tim Kaine Obama's Handpicked Choice for V.P.?

Jeffrey H. Anderson

Barack Obama reportedly had Tim Kaine on his shortlist for consideration for vice president in 2008 but was concerned about Kaine’s lack of foreign policy experience. Kaine has since helped shore up that hole in his resume by being on the Senate Armed Services Committee for the past three years. While occupying that post, he voted to sustain the Democratic filibuster that kept the Senate from having a chance to vote on President Obama’s unilateral nuclear deal with Iran. Through that deal, which strengthens Iran, Obama effectively green-lighted Iran to become a nuclear power in the 2020s.

This was hardly the first time that Kaine, who will be debating GOP vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence on Tuesday in Kaine’s home state of Virginia, had allied himself with Obama. Kaine held the key fundraising position of Democratic National Committee chairman during the entire run-up to Obamacare’s passage, as the Democrats passed that unpopular 2,400 page legislation without a single Republican vote. But Kaine’s ties to Obama go back further. In November of 2005, during Obama’s first year in the Senate, Obama campaigned for Kaine in the Virginia gubernatorial race. Just over a year later, in February of 2007—as the Los Angeles Times reports—Kaine became the first statewide elected Democrat outside of Illinois to support Obama’s presidential bid against the Democratic heir apparent, Hillary Clinton.

The Clintons are not exactly known for their short memories. So how is it that someone who was among the first to break ranks with Hillary in 2007 was rewarded with the top prize that she could grant in 2016? Could it be that Clinton decided that the largely unknown Kaine was such a big political asset that she should let bygones by bygones? Or could it be that Clinton, who has tied herself to Obama and is highly dependent on his help in turning out the Democratic base, was told whom to pick?

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