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No Party for Business

Hillary Clinton Tim KaineHillary Clinton Tim Kaine
Is there something you'd like to say about free trade, Senator? Screen shot YouTube/CBS

Business leaders may take some comfort from the fact that Hillary Clinton chose Tim Kaine as her running mate. He was one of only 13 Democrats who pushed for fast track authority to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And in last night’s 60 Minutes interview, he spent an inordinate amount of time praising Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, setting the stage for a chance at constructive governance after the election.

But while Clinton said last night she wanted a candid vice president who “would tell me, ‘Hey, I don’t agree with you,’ or ‘Could you think about it somewhat differently,’” her camp was quick to spread the word that Kaine had agreed to abandon support for the trade deal – a switch that was confirmed by his staff. So much for independence.

The bigger problem is that the Democratic party assembling in Philadelphia this week is far more liberal than the one that nominated Bill Clinton back in 1992. The Wall Street Journal has a good article this morning documenting the change. Only 30% of Democrats considered themselves liberal then; nearly twice as many do today. And support for capitalism among Democrats has sharply declined.

 

That new Democratic party is already making noise on the streets of Philadelphia, protesting for Sanders, against Clinton and Kaine, and against fracking, trade, and a host of other perceived ills.

Meanwhile, the Republican nominee Donald Trump, tweeted out an attack on Kaine for supporting the “job-killer” trade bill – which, of course, was also supported by his own vice presidential choice, Mike Pence – further evidence that there is no home for business in this election.

There is, however, a home for business at Fortune, now as always. We’re delighted to announce this morning that we are launching a new podcast series, Fortune Unfiltered, hosted by digital editor Aaron Task, that will include conversations with business leaders about their journeys to success. First up: General Electric’s Beth Comstock, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, and entrepreneur and marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk. You can download from iTunes.