Tim Kaine Will Need to Ease Sanders Supporters’ Concerns at Democratic Convention by Ben Geier @FortuneMagazine July 27, 2016, 1:50 PM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Linkedin Share icons When Hillary Clinton announced last week that she had selected Senator Tim Kaine to be her vice presidential running mate, the reaction was fairly muted. The consensus was that Kaine was a safe pick, one that didn’t exactly light a fire in the bellies of voters, but probably wouldn’t hurt the campaign. There is one group, though, that was fairly turned off by the pick — progressive Democrats. The left wing of the Democratic Party is already less-than-enthusiastic about the top of the ticket, and there was some hope that Clinton would appeal to Bernie Sanders supporters by picking a dyed-in-the-wool progressive as her running mate. Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, and Al Franken were all considered possibilities. Kaine, though, is not a progressive. Left wing voters point to his record on a number of issues and wonder if he is more of a moderate than Clinton. Democratic National Convention Replay E-mail Tweet Facebook Linkedin Share icons Fullscreen gallery Hillary Clinton addresses delegates after formally accepting the Democratic nomination for president during day four of the Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA, on July 28, 2016. Van Tine Dennis — Sipa USA/AP “Together” signs sit on chairs next to balloons. John Taggart — Bloomberg via Getty Images Former US President Bill Clinton acknowledges the crowd at the end of the fourth day. Chip Somodevilla — Getty Images Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Democratic vice presidential candidate, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., right, stand on stage on the final day. Andrew Harnik — AP Clinton celebrates among balloons. Jim Young — Reuters From left, Anne Holton, Hillary Clinton, Kaine, D-Va., and Bill Clinton react on stage. John Locher — AP Clinton delivers her acceptance speech on the fourth and final night. Jim Young — Reuters A protester screams as she is detained. Bryan Woolston — Reuters Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stops to pose for selfies with members of the Colorado delegation. Bill Clark — AP Clinton embraces daughter Chelsea Clinton. John Locher — AP Delegates hug on the fourth and final night. Robyn Beck — AFP/Getty Images Singer Katy Perry performs. Carolyn Kaster — AP Demonstrators chant during protest at Franklin Delano Roosevelt park in Philadelphia. Alex Brandon — AP Actress Chloe Grace Moretz addresses delegates. Saul Loeb — AFP/Getty Images Rapper Wyclef Jean receives a hug from a delegate as he arrives on the convention floor. Carolyn Kaster — AP Delegates reach out to one another during a tribute to fallen law enforcement officers. Mike Segar — Reuters Retired US Army Captain Florent Flo Groberg arrives on stage to address delegates on the fourth and final day. Saul Loeb — AFP/Getty Images Actors Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen point from the podium before speaking. Lucy Nicholson — Reuters Delegates sing together on the convention floor. Jim Young — Reuters Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, center, stands on the floor. Daniel Acker — Bloomberg via Getty Images US Representative Tammy Duckworth of Illinois arrives to speak. Brendan Smialowski — AFP/Getty Images Delegates dance on the floor. Scott Audette — Reuters Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, speaks. Bill Clark — CQ-Roll Call,Inc./Getty Images President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wave as they appear on stage together on the third day session of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 27, 2016. Andrew Harnik — AP Obama is joined by Clinton after his address. Mandel Ngan — AFP/Getty Images Obama speaks. Lucy Nicholson — Reuters Delegates listen to a speaker. Brendan Smialowski — AFP/Getty Images Democratic vice presidential candidate, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., takes the stage. Paul Sancya — AP Recording artist Lenny Kravitz performs. Scott Audette — Reuters Delegates and attendees hold up signs during the evening session. Aaron P. Bernstein — Getty Images A supporter of the coalition group Democracy Spring is arrested by police after staging a sit in and what police said was “impeding access to a credential access point” inside the perimeter walls of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Adrees Latif — Reuters Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gestures to attendees after delivering remarks. Aaron P. Bernstein — Getty Images A delegate with Hillary Clinton stickers on her face sits for a video. Gary Cameron — Reuters Vice President Joe Biden greets delegates. Rick Wilking — Reuters Biden waves before speaking. Paul Sancya — AP Supporters are seen at congress hall. Volkan Furuncu — Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) and her husband Mark Kelly wave after addressing at the Democratic National Convention. Scott Audette — Reuters The silhouette of an attendee is seen. John Taggart — Bloomberg via Getty Images The scene at the Democratic National Convention. Marcus Yam — LA Times via Getty Images Christine Leinonen hugs Jose Arraigada as Brandon Wolf looks on. Leinonen is the mother of Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, who was killed in the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando. Wolf and Arraigada are survivors of the attack. Scott Audette — Reuters A poster placed by supporters of Bernie Sanders compare Hillary Clinton to former US president Richard Nixon in protest. Patrick T. Fallon — AFP/Getty Images Actress Sigourney Weaver speaks. Saul Loeb — AFP/Getty Images The view from the the top of the Arena. Riccardo Savi — Sipa USA/AP Singer Sebastien De La Cruz performs. Victor J. Blue — Bloomberg via Getty Images Delegates raise an American flag. Joe Raedle — Getty Images New York Mayor Bill de Blasio waves as he leaves the stage. Rick Wilking — Reuters Law enforcement blocks the road during a protest in Philadelphia on July 26, 2016. Alex Brandon — AP Delegates hold signs. Andrew Harrer— Bloomberg via Getty Images Black Lives Matter protesters clash with police. Bryan Woolston — Reuters Singer Alicia Keys performs during the second day. Mary Altaffer — AP Police attempt to lock a gate as supporters of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders attempt to break past the perimeter walls. Adrees Latif — Reuters People holding signs and cheer. Riccardo Savi — Sipa USA/AP Actress Meryl Streep speaks during the second day. J. Scott Applewhite — AP Former US President Bill Clinton walks off stage after delivering remarks on the second day. Drew Angerer — Getty Images A police officer cools off by riding through an open fire hydrant on a hot afternoon during a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Philadelphia. Spencer Platt — Getty Images Clinton addresses delegates. Anthony Behar — Sipa USA/AP Delegates walk out of the convention as they protest during the second day. Matt Rourke — AP People holding signs cheer after Hillary Clinton becomes the nominee. Riccardo Savi — Sipa USA/AP Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean raises his fists as he speaks. Mark Kauzlarich — Reuters Carrie Pugh, left, Katrina Mendiola and Mayors Wegmann cry as Hillary Clinton officially becomes the first woman to be the presidential nominee of a major U.S. political party during the second day session. John Locher — AP Actresses Lena Dunham and America Fererra speak. Anthony Behar — Sipa USA/AP Delegates walk out of the convention as they protest. Matt Rourke — AP Delegates embrace each other as votes are cast during roll call. Marcus Yam — LA Times via Getty Images Sen. Bernie Sanders joins the Vermont delegation for their vote in the roll call vote. Bill Clark — AP Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Donna Brazile speaks during the second day. J. Scott Applewhite — AP 16-month Ethan Jennings grabs a cardboard cutout of the face of Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as his father Florida delegate Bernard Jennings holds him. Carolyn Kaster — AP Eagle Academy students line up to get ready for their presentation. John Locher — AP A demonstrator is taken into custody by police after climbing over a barricade near the AT&T Station. Alex Brandon — AP Actress Elizabeth Banks mimics Donald Trump’s entrance to the Republican National Convention during the second day. J. Scott Applewhite — AP Delegates from the state of New York stand with signs. Rick Wilking — Reuters A protester climbs over the fence near the AT&T Station. Matt Slocum — AP A delegate holds a sign reading “Change Maker.” John Taggart — Bloomberg via Getty Images House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (C) stands with the Democratic Women of the House on stage. Mike Segar — Reuters Delegates partake in Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) speech. Aaron P. Bernstein — Getty Images Former New York congressman Anthony Weiner attends the start of the second day. Chip Somodevilla — Getty Images First lady Michelle Obama waves goodbye after her speech during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 25, 2016. Mark J. Terrill — AP Former President Bill Clinton reacts to a speech by First Lady as he sits with former Attorney general Eric Holder (top right) and Representative John Lewis (D-GA), (rear) at the Democratic National Convention. Lucy Nicholson — Reuters First Lady Michelle Obama smiles as she takes the podium. Gary Cameron — Reuters Democratic Party supporters hold banners at congress hall. Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) reacts after actress Eva Longoria introduced him on the first day of the Democratic National Convention. Aaron P. Bernstein — Getty Images Supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) react as they listen to him speak. Rick Wilking — Reuters Sanders addresses the Democratic National Convention. Michael Robinson-Chavez — The Washington Post/Getty Images A delegate shows his support for Sanders. Rick Wilking — Reuters Sanders speaks during the Democratic National Convention. John Taggart — Bloomberg via Getty Images A demonstrator leaps over a fence before being taken into custody by police near the AT&T Station. John Minchillo — AP Members of the press sit in risers alongside the event floor during the first day. Brett Carlsen — Getty Images Florida delegates dance during the first day. John Locher — AP Delegates hold signs protesting the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Brett Carlsen — Getty Images A Bernie Sanders supporter screams during the Convention Rules Committee report at the start of the first session. Carlos Barria — Reuters US Senator Al Franken, left, and comedian Sarah Silverman share a moment during Day 1. Saul Loeb — AFP/Getty Images Demonstrators from various groups, including supporters of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, take part in a protest march on the first day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 25, 2016. Adrees Latif — Reuters Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake gavels-in the Democratic National Convention Rick Wilking — Reuters Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania, smiles on the floor during a walk through. Andrew Harrer — Bloomberg via Getty Images Bernie Sanders supporters cheer among delegates attending the first day. Mike Segar — Reuters Women walk down a Philadelphia street with a Chuck Close portrait of Hillary Clinton. Spencer Platt — Getty Images An attendee wears a cape in support of Hillary Clinton. Andrew Harrer — Bloomberg via Getty Images Senator Bernie Sanders waves farewell to his electoral delegates gathered at the Convention Center. Bryan Woolston — Reuters Workers prepare the podium prior to the start of the first day. Drew Angerer — Getty Images Supporters of former US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders hold a giant inflatable joint calling for the legalization of marijuana during a rally at City Hall. Nicholas Kamm — AFP/Getty Images Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) stands on stage. Joe Raedle — Getty Images Bernie Sanders supporters prepare to march through downtown. Spencer Platt — Getty Images Balloons fall from the ceiling as preparations continue/ Mark Kauzlarich — Reuters Illinois Delegate for Bernie Saunders Olivia Hatlestad cheers at the “March For Bernie” ahead of the DNC. Victor J. Blue — Bloomberg via Getty Images Comedian Stephen Colbert tapes a segment for his television program above the floor. Mark Kauzlarich — Reuters On the eve of the Democratic National Convention, thousands marched in Philadelphia for action to prevent climate catastrophe and present their demands directly to current and future policy makers. Erik McGregor — Pacific Press LightRocket via Getty Images Jesse Jackson watches as singer Paul Simon sings during his sound check. Mark Kauzlarich — Reuters Hundreds of environmentalists and Bernie Sanders supporters march through downtown. Spencer Platt — Getty Images House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., left, listens while comedian Stephen Colbert records a program. Paul Sancya — AP Andrew Binns proposes to Liz Hart, both Democratic National Convention staffers, on stage at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 24, 2016. Saul Loeb — AFP/Getty Images Activists march through downtown. Spencer Platt — Getty Images Paul Simon stops to talk with the media while doing a sound check before the opening day. Toni L. Sandys — The Washington Post/Getty Images Hundreds of environmentalists and Bernie Sanders supporters march through downtown. Spencer Platt — Getty Images Dan Amadie installs an Arkansas sign. John Locher — AP Environmentalists and Bernie Sanders supporters start to gather for a march. Spencer Platt — Getty Images Balloons sit on the arena floor after falling prematurely. Drew Angerer — Getty Images Alex Schaefer, of Los Angeles, prepares his giant Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., costume before a march during a protest in downtown. John Minchillo — AP More on Fortune What's Happening at the Democratic National Convention In Photos What's Happening at the Republican National Convention In Photos ∨ Show Full Caption 1 of For one, the Virginia senator has been tepid on social issues for most of his career. He was especially slow to evolve on the issue of gay marriage, something he has in common with Clinton. As a practicing Catholic, Kaine is somewhat wishy washy on abortion rights. He claims that while he is personally opposed to the procedure, he supports a woman’s right to choose. Then there’s trade, a key issue for many on the left. Kaine is a free trader, and he has expressed support for the Trans Pacific Partnership. The proposed free trade deal, supported by the Obama administration, has become a sticking point for many on the left, and chants of “No TPP!” have rung clear throughout the convention hall this week in Philadelphia. Support for the financial industry is also a sticking point. As recently as this month, Kaine has called for deregulation of banks. The Sanders wing of the party spent much of the primary season calling out Clinton for her ties to Wall Street; picking Kaine doesn’t ease those concerns. There are other problems too, like concerns about large, legal gifts Kaine accepted while he was governor of Virginia. Given all this, Kaine has one simple job on Wednesday night — convince voters on the left that he is an adequate choice to represent them, and that Clinton is as well. Look for him to focus on his time as a civil rights attorney and his record taking on the National Rifle Association. And, of course, Kaine will likely praise Clinton’s work on behalf of children and families, as has been the theme for much of the week. Kaine can’t win the election for Clinton, but if he can use his speech on Wednesday to convince progressive voters that he isn’t a reason to abstain from voting for her, he will have done his job.