Tim Kaine cheat sheet: Get to know Clinton's VP

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Need to know: Tim Kaine

It's official -- America has its general election tickets. Last week, Hillary Clinton tapped Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate, bringing a swing-state centrist to the first woman-led presidential ticket for a major party. As a level-headed moderate, Kaine stands out in an election that's set both parties on fire with impassioned rhetoric and talk of political revolutions. The country will meet him during his prime-time speech Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

While he's a new face for many Americans, Kaine is no rookie. He's held executive office since 1998, when he was elected mayor of Richmond, Virginia. Before winning his Senate seat in 2012, Kaine served as Virginia's lieutenant governor and governor. He also chaired the Democratic National Committee from 2009 to 2011. The man has never lost an election.

It promises to be a contentious few months between Clinton-Kaine and the Republican ticket of Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. But aside from a long political resume, what exactly does Kaine bring to the Democratic ticket? Graphiq's politics site InsideGov will get you up to speed with a Tim Kaine cheat sheet, outlining the facts and figures behind the potential next vice president of the United States.

Trouble with trade

One of the biggest issues liberals have taken with Kaine is his stance on trade -- the senator supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade deal that both Trump and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders lambasted throughout the primaries. They claim the deal puts the interests of rich, multi-national corporations before those of American workers.

Kaine publicly praised the TPP less than 24 hours before being named as Clinton's VP, calling it "an upgrade of labor standards... environmental standards... and intellectual property protections." However, he's reportedly reversed his support after being selected as vice president, falling in line with Clinton's position. In 2012, Clinton called the TPP "the gold standard of trade agreements," but after beginning her presidential run, she said she couldn't endorse the deal "in its current form."

See Tim Kaine throughout his career:

21 PHOTOS
Senator Tim Kaine through his career
See Gallery
Senator Tim Kaine through his career
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) react during a campaign rally at Ernst Community Cultural Center in Annandale, Virginia, U.S., July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
DATE:10/06/2001 SLUG:ME/KAINE CREDIT:TRACY A WOODWARD/TWP Candidate for VA Lt Gov. Tim Kaine at Herndon, VA., Homecoming Parade. Along parade route through the town of Herndon; Kaine (center of photo-blue shirt and jacket) shakes hands with Herndon High School student- Nick Palatiello (cq) 18 yrs old. The kids are on one of the Herndon High School floats. Original Filename: MEKAINE2.jpg ORG XMIT: M0110071405302067 (Photo by Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
SLUG: ME/RICHMOND The second day of the Virginia general assembly. Pictured, Lt. Governor Tim Kaine holds a press conference in the statehouse to introduce his legislative staffers and answer questions from the press. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
SLUG: ME/INAUG DATE: 01/14/2006 CREDIT: Bill O'Leary Governor Tim Kaine is inaugurated at the colonial statehouse in Williamsburg, VA. Pictured, the Governor elect gives a thumbs up signal to the crowd during a long ovation upon his arrival. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine laughs at a remark by President George W. Bush about his wife's needle work while visiting the Jamestown Settlement in Jamestown, Virginia, Sunday, May 13, 2007. (Photo by Dave Bowman/Newport News Daily Press/MCT via Getty Images)
CHESTER, VA - AUGUST 21: Presumptive Democratic Presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) (R) discusses economy with people as Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (L) looks on during a campaign stop at John Tyler Community College August 21, 2008 in Chester, Virginia. The media have been reported that Obama will announce who is his running mate in Springfield, Illinois on Saturday. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
DENVER - AUGUST 28: Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine walks off stage on day four of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) at Invesco Field at Mile High August 28, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is the first African-American to be officially nominated as a candidate for U.S. president by a major party. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 08: Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and President elect Barack Obama speak at a news conference at the Democratic National Committee headquarters to announce Kaine as the new chair of the DNC on January 8, 2009. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)
RICHMOND, VA - NOVEMBER 04: Virginia Gov. and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine answers questions during a press conference at the State Capitol complex November 4, 2009 in Richmond, Virginia. Kaine discussed the results of yesterday's election results during the press conference. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 30: DNC Chairman Tim Kaine (L) participates in a conference call with Rev. Regena Thomas, Director of Faith and Constituency Outreach in the Chairman's office on September 30, 2010. This was a 5:00 pm Conference call with the National Baptist Convention Leadership. (Photo by Tracy A Woodward/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, JULY 13: Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine plays to the crowd during a campaign stop with President Barack Obama at Green Run High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Friday, July 13, 2012. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MCLEAN, VA - SEPTEMBER 20: Tim Kaine in encircled by media in the media room of the Capitol One Conference Center following his U.S. Senatorial debate against George Allen on Thursday, September 20, 2012, in McLean, VA. The former Virginia governor Kaine is in a heated run against Allen, another former Virginia governor, for the US Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jim Webb. In addition to being a former Virginia governor, Kaine, a Democrat , is a former mayor of Richmond and a Virginia Lt. governor. Kaine's wife, Holton, has been active in the campaign, making appearances around the state on her husband's behalf. (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
FAIRFAX, VA - SEPTEMBER 25: U.S. Senate Democratic candidate and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine answers reporters' questions during a news conference at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Station 40 September 25, 2012 in Fairfax, Virginia. The International Association of Fire Fighters union announced its endorsement of Kaine in his race against another former Virginia governor and former U.S. Senator George Allen (R-VA). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - November 6 : Former Governor of Virginia, Tim Kanie makes his acceptance speech after winning the Virginia Senate seat from Former Governor George Allen at Kaine's election night party at the Richmond Marriott on November 6, 2012. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: (L-R) Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Anne Holton, and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) attend the Inaugural Youth Ball hosted by OurTime.org at Donald W. Reynolds Center on January 19, 2013 in Washington, United States. (Photo by Michael Kovac/FilmMagic)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Junior Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) looks up to think for a moment during a staff meeting in his office on Capitol Hill Wednesday, July 31, 2013. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US Senator Tim Kaine,D-Virginia, listens to witnesses June 5, 2014 during hearings held by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee On Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee is hearing testimony on 'Development in Ukraine.' AFP PHOTO / Karen BEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 9: Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., speaks with a reporter as he arrives for the Senate Democrats' policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday, June 9, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) appears in pre taped interview on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Friday June 24, 2016. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
US Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and US Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, wave during a campaign rally at Ernst Community Cultural Center in Annandale, Virginia, on July 14, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

He's progressive, but not radical

As a 58-year-old white man who describes himself as "boring," Kaine isn't the progressive firebrand or diverse politico many expected to see on the Democratic ticket. The liberal wing of the party, which hoped Sanders or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren would get the nod, has expressed its disappointment with Clinton's choice.

A few of Kaine's views stray from the party platform -- he supports expanding the military and sees marijuana as a gateway drug. He is also personally opposed to abortion, but still supports Planned Parenthood and pro-choice policies. Beyond that, Kaine aligns with Clinton and the Democrats on most issues.

A devout Catholic, Kaine has also built strong ties with diverse communities through his faith. He took a year off law school to do missionary work in Honduras, where he taught carpentry and welding, and became fluent in Spanish. Back home in Richmond, Kaine sings in the choir at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church. He and his wife have been involved members of the predominantly African-American church for more than 30 years. It's where the Kaines were married and their children were baptized.

People like him

During his time as senator, Kaine has enjoyed consistently positive approval ratings. Currently, 53 percent of Virginians approve of the job he's doing, compared to 25 percent who disapprove. Virginia is a swing state, so Kaine's popularity could help to turn the state blue in the general election.

His likability also extends to both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill. Kaine is a respected member of both the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, and he frequently works across party lines. In a 2014 interview with Politico, Kaine said that he and hardline conservative Ted Cruz, the Texas senator who was runner-up in this year's GOP presidential contest, "get along great." Even former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a staunchly conservative Republican who's never worked with Kaine, called the senator "an honorable guy."

Kaine's ability to get things done and endear himself to those who may not agree with him might prove crucial in the 2016 race. Clinton's net favorability rating stands at -17 percent, and a personable vice president could help offset that.

Trump's criticism

Just as he did with "Little Marco," "Lyin' Ted" and "Crooked Hillary," Trump wasted no time coming up with a nickname for the Democratic VP nominee: "Corrupt Kaine." Trump charged that Kaine accepted over $160,000 in gifts during his time as governor of Virginia, taking advantage of the state's "lax gift laws." In a "Meet the Press" interview, the Republican nominee compared Kaine to former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who was tried for accepting cash and gifts during his tenure as governor and attorney general. Trump claimed "McDonnell took a fraction of what Kaine took."

But that's not true. According to Politifact, a political fact-checking website, McDonnell accepted $452,707 in gifts during his time in office, while Kaine received $162,083 worth of gifts. Kaine disclosed everything he was given, but McDonnell failed to disclose $177,000 of the gifts he received. Before 2015, Virginia politicians were allowed to accept gifts as long as they were disclosed to the public, making what Kaine did completely legal.

More: The 2016 Democratic Convention by the Numbers

Follow InsideGov on Twitter: @inside_gov

Research More About the 2016 Presidential Election

Check out who else is speaking at the 2016 DNC alongside Tim Kaine:

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners