Senator Tim Kaine, VP hopeful, became everybody’s goofy dad at the DNC

I’ve lived in Virginia most of my life, and let me tell you: here in Virginia, we really like Tim Kaine. We really like Mark Warner too, who is also a former governor and current senator. Kaine and Warner were great governors and they’re wonky, center-left senators. Unlike our former Republican governors, like Bob McDonnell (Governor Ultrasound, and a felon convicted of 11 counts of corruption) and George Allen (racist), few Virginians have anything bad to say about Warner and Kaine.

So I personally loved Tim Kaine’s big coming out on the national stage at the DNC last night. I loved that Virginia was getting a big shout-out, and I loved that the country gets to see Kaine’s dorky-dad realness and decency. Kaine’s speech wasn’t really a barn-burner or anything, but he was goofily charming and he’s the “I’d like to have a beer with him” guy. Here’s his speech:

The part where Kaine did his impression of Trump was when Twitter started blowing up. All of a sudden, people found their new Joe Biden. Sigh… I hope you guys like him. He’s an incredibly decent man, truly.

Sample reactions from Twitter about Kaine’s dorky-dad realness.

Photos courtesy of Getty.

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48 Responses to “Senator Tim Kaine, VP hopeful, became everybody’s goofy dad at the DNC”

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  1. LinaLamont says:

    Great Trump impression!

    I can’t deny the Benghazi mother, Patricia Smith, her grief, but, I’m glad Kaine talked about trusting his military son’s life in Clinton’s hands. Even Christopher Stevens’ mother has asked Trump and the GOP to stop using her son’s death, calling it “opportunistic and cynical”. “As Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens’s mother, I am writing to object to any mention of his name and death in Benghazi, Libya, by Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party,” –Stevens’ mother, Mary Commanday

    Clinton’s far from perfect, but, Trump will put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way to a degree we haven’t seen.

  2. Honeybadger says:

    My favorite part of the speech — aside from the Trump impersonation — was when he linked people throughout history. It brought me to tears.

  3. Nona says:

    I’ll be honest—at the beginning of his speech, I was pretty cautious. He seemed almost too nice. By halfway through his speech, I found myself warming up to him. By the end, I was rooting out loud. I think we’ve got ourselves a winner. Thanks, Virginia!

    • Esmom says:

      Indeed. And honestly, I think niceness has been underrated. What a contrast and breath of fresh air Kaine is compared to the last few GOP choices for VP — Palin, Ryan, Pence.

      • mary s says:

        Palin. I forgot about her and her brand of crazy. Was she even at the convention? She is so much saner than Trump, and certain people (one of my sisters) admire her– why isn’t the GOP trotting her out?

    • sherry says:

      I worked with Tim Kaine when I was fresh out of college and saving money to move to L.A. He remains in my memory as one of the nicest men I have ever known. If someone asked me to describe him in one word, that word would be kind.

      I don’t care who you were, he was kind to everyone. He always smiled and was always positive. Everyone in the law office liked him.

      He is just a genuinely nice person.

  4. LB says:

    Hilary made a great choice here. I am already smitten.

  5. Insomniac says:

    Did you see John Oliver talking about him on the Late Show? Find the clip if you didn’t already see it — it had me rolling.

    Fellow Virginian here who also likes Kaine a lot. He has always seemed so refreshingly normal and down to earth, and I think this election season really needed someone like that. (And getting cigarettes out of restaurants and bars in a Big Tobacco state? That was badass.)

  6. Naya says:

    He seems like a really nice guy. I hadnt read much about him so his intro clip was a revelation. I am a firm atheist but I love the part about attending the same racially diverse (those are rare!) that he married at. I just cant with Churches that still effect de facto Jim Crow.

  7. Little Darling says:

    I wasn’t terribly familiar with Kaine when he was chosen, and was a little unenthused about it. Every little thing I’ve learned about him since has been a little bit of affirmation, and seeing him speak tonight was the icing on the cake. He’s going to be the new Uncle Joe, I sense: solid, common-sense progressive voice, a guy with a lifetime of working for social justice and progressive political causes that we just didn’t really know about yet.

    I must say, this guy’s got a face that could out jolly all the other VPs. If 2017 is anything like 2016, we’re going to need many reassuring smiles.

  8. Bex says:

    I’ve been reading up on him and his wife and they just seem like thoroughly decent people.

  9. Nona says:

    Me again—just read on Huffington Post that the North Carolina Republican Party tweeted that Kaine was “shameful” because he was sporting a “Honduras flag pin” on his suit last night, but no U.S. flag. But as a reporter pointed out, the flag pin was for Blue Star Families, a group made up of families who have members in the U.S. military in active service, like Kaine’s son. The post has been deleted, per usual with the GOP after they attempt to defame someone. But wow! Talk about shameful …

    • Naya says:

      Those people are flag obsessed. Trump was also moaning about the size and positioning of the flag on the DNC stage. I appreciate the symbolism as much as the next person but these guys take the flag thing to fetishistic levels. Its like no flag=enemy of the State. But I love this story, these “patriots” dont recognise the emblem used by families with loved ones in active service? How deliciously ironic.

    • Lolamd says:

      But somehow Donald Trump telling a group of followers that the DNC hack was perpetrated by his “friends” in Russia and or China is not ‘shameful’?

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Small minds talk about small things, just goes to show you how much the party that’s always ranting about the military really knows or cares about them.

      • Jwoolman says:

        Just look at the awful stuff Trump was saying about the Khans. That shows how little he cares about soldiers and their grieving families as well as his prejudices (he looked at Mrs. Khan and saw a silent oppressed woman instead of the former university professor who worked together with her husband as an equal partner in devising that powerful speech, which they wrote together and her husband delivered with no notes and no teleprompter).

        The Republicans really have to strongly repudiate those kinds of statements. There must be many of them who are appalled by such things. I hope Pence says something, he at least was brave enough to object to what the Trumpster was saying about McCaine being a POW.

  10. Jenns says:

    I wasn’t sure about him at first, but by the end of his speech he totally won me over. And I loved the tweets about him!

    And speeches like this are such a pleasant counter to the nastiness that Trump brings.

  11. Luca76 says:

    He really seems like a sweet guy. Good speech.

  12. BunnyBear says:

    Fellow Virginian here heeeey!
    Also young Tim Kaine? Was pretty much a 10/10 on the hotness scale.

  13. JenB says:

    I’m a born and raised Virginian and I’m so proud of Tim Kaine. He was a great choice for Hillary. And I’m so proud we’ve been a blue state for the past 2 Presidential elections. Kaine is just such a genuinely warm and good man. I think the point he’s made repeatedly about Hillary really hits home with me too. (Because we all know she’s made mistakes.) But his point about how Hillary really has dedicated her life, over many years, to causes like helping children, families etc. is a strong one. That does show true character even though she has some flaws. And it couldn’t be more opposite from Trump’s life ambition, himself.

  14. TeamAwesome says:

    The spot NPR did about him before he was actually chosen made me like him without knowing anything else about him. In it they interviewed his church choir director and she said when he’s home, he’s at church, and when she sees him she grabs him for the choir because he’s a tenor. As a choir director, I just loved that.

    He is totally that goofy dad that wants to be cool but is so genuine and loving you just go with it.

  15. bluerunning says:

    Grew up in Overland Park, KS… so happy to see Kaine doing well!

    • Christin says:

      Yes, he has Midwest roots in addition to his Virginia ties.

      Very good choice, IMO. He’s used to going up against idiocy, so hopefully he can take the unfounded crap that will undoubtedly be coming his way. They immediately started comparing him to McDonnell, which is ridiculous to anyone familiar with that case.

    • M says:

      Shout out to OP! Kaine was raised in the KC area so getting a lot of press here. Didn’t really know about him before but am happy with our hometown boy!

  16. Jayna says:

    I didn’t know anything about Senator Kaine until introduced to him for the first time, as many were, in the South Florida rally I watched on TV. I was actually blown away by his pretty long speech. Hillary didn’t speak that long. She gave the floor to her new VP pick so the world could get to know him since it was being televised. What a difference compared to Trump, who barely lets Pence get a word in edgewise.

    I became a huge fan of his after that speech. His life story and commitment to public service and impressive resume made me realize he was the perfect pick for VP and is a complement to HIllary as a running mate. This is a man who could take over on day one if something should happen to Hillary and someone you would believe in. I take great comfort in that in these times. He just seems like a wonderful human being also, who as a lifelong person in public service walks the walk, doesn’t just talk the talk.

  17. kodakay says:

    This guy is a keeper. Virginia’s been lucky; time to share him with the world!

  18. Amelie says:

    Didn’t know who he was and he’s not as charismatic a speaker like Biden or Obama. When he started off, I found him to be a little lack luster and nervous which I can’t fault him for because speaking in front of millions of people like that is terrifying. But then as he went on he got more comfortable and his folksy soccer dad vibe came through.

    Apparently he’s a mean harmonica player! Hoping he plays one soon for us.

  19. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    His record really speaks for itself and that’s what I like most about him.

    Although yes I am secretly glad to have a new ‘Joe’ the country’s getting depressing as hell these days. I need someone else to consume ice cream on camera like it’s their life’s sustenance.

  20. Christin says:

    Whether people like the DNC choices or not, at least the candidates (HRC and TK) have relevant experience for the job(s).

    There is going to be lots of mudslinging, yet how can anyone judge DT’s political capabilities when he has NO experience in any elected office? All we have is a reality show, tabloid headlines (he covered them throughout the 1990s) and his business track record (keeping in mind his father helped him get started).

    I’m not crazy about HRC, but she and Kaine do have significant related experience and dedication. That’s the bottom line and defining difference to me.

  21. lilacflowers says:

    I was disappointed that she didn’t choose Corey Booker or Julian Castro and I didn’t know anything about Caine. But, after last night, I like this guy.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Same here, but he’s growing on me and gets such glowing reviews from people in his state.
      I can see the strategic electoral advantages of this choice and Booker and Castro are young yet. Plus, I’d be comfortable with him a heartbeat away, which is the main thing people assess in their gut.

    • LinaLamont says:

      Corey Booker’s a lightweight. He looks and sounds good, but, he’s not all that…. maybe, with time.

    • hogtowngooner says:

      I think Cory’s time will come. He’s got boatloads of personality. But as with Warren, Democrats need as many Senators as they can right now.

  22. hmmm says:

    More than a dad stereotype, the guy’s a savvy mensch with a spine (took on the NRA and won). What’s not to love and admire?

    Some commentator (Van Jones?) on CNN pleasantly realised after Bill Clinton’s speech that Hillary was basically a “workaholic, do-gooder chick”. I would say that Kaine is her do-gooder other half with a radiant demeanour. Both have been determined, passionate and effective in their causes. Could that pairing be any better? No wonder she was beaming when she introduced him at the rally.

  23. allison says:

    Goofy endearing lovable dad is spot on! He seems like a such a good guy, I was impressed after the 60 Minutes interview, but after last night, I’m a fan! I am so impressed with this convention. I swore I wasn’t going to watch because this election makes me so nervous, I was afraid of seeing mis-steps. I don’t know how anyone with a pulse could watch our President last night and say that this is not great man and leader. I just love my party so much today…very proud to be a Democrat :)

  24. Embee says:

    He was awesome, and a smart choice. It’s like the Clinton campaign thought, “Well, likeability is our biggest issue for our candidate…let’s find the MOST likeable running mate to offset theat.”

    And they did.

  25. Alex says:

    While I wish HRC made a different pick for VP I do not deny Kaine’s record speaks for itself. It was a good strategic move as well and I’m warming up to Kaine. He’s ALMOST as good as Joe.

  26. KiddVicious says:

    Very goofy. My first impression of him came from the 60 Minute’s interview and I wasn’t sure I liked him. Then the guy had to speak after Biden last night, and Biden is a great speaker so of course Kaine came off VERY awkward and goofy. I have to say though, I was a fan by the end of his speech. There were too many “hey, …..” like he was trying to sound off the cuff which was failing hard, but the Trump impressions got me every time, I would break out in giggles.

    Hillary made a good choice.

  27. Lambda says:

    I enjoyed seeing Tom Perez sitting next to Bill Clinton. He was my choice for VP. Hillary would do well to tap him for a high rank position in her administration.
    As for Kaine, I agree, very likeable, seems solid.

  28. nicole says:

    I liked him from day one when Hillary chose him, and I like him even better now, lovely warm genuine easy going type of man, great pick for me.

  29. A says:

    Fellow (reluctant, northern) Virginian here, and I second everything you said Kaiser. I worked with him briefly just as he had started his campaign for governor, and he really is a truly decent man. I wish we had more like him in politics; hardworking, unassuming, resists the urge to invest in flash over knowledge and substance, unafraid of negotiating, compromise, or straying from the party line. FYI the American Conservative Union (they place politicians on the political spectrum by their votes) ranks Kaine as significantly more liberal than Sanders, and has every they they both served in the Senate. I worked on the Hill for a while; listen to what people say, but NEVER FORGET to look at how they vote.

  30. princessbuttercup says:

    He is a treasure, I love him already.

  31. mire usted! says:

    I can’t help it. I like him. Tim Kaine represents people in the DC Metro area. He’s highly educated with an international perspective from living in another country. As a result, he has a broader perspective of the world. He can even speak Spanish. People travel from all of the country to live the DC Metro area just for the diversity. I’m a Montgomery County Maryland gal but grew up in the tri-state area. It’s wonderful but the traffic? Not so much.

    I really liked Maryland’s former Gov. Martin O’Malley’s speech too. Fun Fact: Both O’Malley and Kaine are Catholic guys. Oh, and so is our current VP, Biden. A friend of mine was hoping Clinton would pick O’Malley to run a VP. Colbert has joked that no one knows who O’Malley is. LOL

    Sen. Kaine was great! When he said he was the luckiest husband in the world, I couldn’t help but smile. He and his wife are adorable!

  32. Jwoolmany says:

    I never heard of him before, but he won me over in an interview where the interviewer was reading off something about him being boring and asked Kaine what he thought about that. Tim just laughed and said, “It’s true – I AM boring!”. Now there’s a man with true non-arrogant self-confidence. He didn’t take offense, didn’t try to prove he wasn’t really boring, he owned it! But his record actually is remarkable. He’ll be able to take whatever the opposition dishes out without name-calling or meanness and deal with the real issues. The worst he will do to hecklers is make them listen to him playing the harmonica…. Definitely a great choice for VP. Competent as the spare but not full of himself. Also not dangerous to the country… He’ll be a real asset in the campaign.