On Friday, Hillary Clinton announced her running mate, Tim Kaine, a junior senator from Virginia.
With that, the country let out a resounding, “who?” and followed that up with an even louder, “meh.”
For those who know Kaine, however, the response was more in horror. If leftists thought Clinton resembled a Republican, they really aren’t going to like Tim Kaine. His nomination serves to do nothing but help Clinton secure the independent vote and further reach out to moderate Republicans who can’t seem to stomach Donald Trump.
So who is Tim Kaine?
Like Clinton, he is a policy wonk. Also like Clinton, he often “evolves” his views on things when votes matter.
In 2007, as governor of Virgina, NARAL Pro-Choice America gave Virginia an “F” in its annual reproductive freedom report and called Kaine a “mixed choice” governor.
2-years after that? He signed a law allowing “Choose Life” license plates.
“It is unfortunate that, even after receiving thousands of messages from Virginians and pro-choice activists across the country, Gov. Kaine has opted to sign a bill that advances a divisive political ideology at the expense of women’s health,” Nancy Keenan, then-president of NARAL, said at the time.
He has also supported the state’s informed consent laws, forcing women to go through an unnecessary ultrasound before having an abortion.
He said the bill would provide “women information about a whole series of things, the health consequences, et cetera, and information about adoption,” he said in 2008.
Pro-choice groups, however, have found that the information women receive is more often times biased and incomplete.
He has also supported parental consent laws.
While he says he is personally pro-life but is a pro-choice candidate who does not want to overturn Roe v. Wade, and NARAL has since upgraded his rating, he is certainly not a friend of abortion rights and many of his views and laws have been used to further the right’s war on reproductive rights.
No, Tim Kaine is not a far-right opponent but for a party that seemed to be moving left, the Clinton/Kaine ticket on abortion is making a marathon sprint back to the right.
When running for governor in 2005, Kaine promised to reduce abortion, and part of his plan was through sex-education. However, as a Roman Catholic, he didn’t quite support the secular sex education most on the left want.
Instead, he supported abstinence-first education. This is a slightly nicer way of saying abstinence only. He does make way for teaching children about birth control methods.
He did, positively, defund religious based abstinence only sex ed, upsetting the state’s conservatives to which he pandered in the election run.
He did seem to favor a more “evidence-based” sex ed program but wanted the focus on abstinence, which often places a stigma on sexual behavior. Sex education should be about how to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, not programs that convince teens that sex is wrong and they should avoid it.
Here, like on most issues, he is just wishy-washy and won’t take a solid position. He seems to want it both ways.
While Kaine seems to be in support of vaccines, as governor of Virgina he did work to loosen the requirements on the HPV vaccines for students. He argued that it wasn’t a necessary vaccine, even though it helped prevent cancer, and wanted to make it easier for parents to “opt-out.”
When state officials mandated the HPV vaccine for students, he said he needed to make opt-outs easier before he would sign it.
“We mandate a lot of vaccines for schoolchildren . . . for infectious diseases. This goes an additional step. It is not something we are mandating to stop infections among school kids,” said Kaine, who later added, “I think the opt-out provision to protect kids and parents should be generous.”
What made his stance particularly strange was that the state law already had an overly generous opt-out that only required parents to sign a form that they were choosing to opt-out.
Why would he want to make that even easier instead of fighting to get more students this life-saving vaccine?
Not much is known about Kaine’s stance on GMOs and that is why it is last on this list, however, in the recent senate debate about labeling GMOs, the one that science-based progressive railed against Bernie Sanders on, Kaine voted in favor of labeling.