Tim Kaine’s address to the Democratic National Convention can be summed up in two simple words: faith and trust.
Kaine, the Democratic nominee for vice president and a devout Catholic, talked about his experiences with Jesuit missionaries during law school. He explained that the motto at his Catholic high school was “men for others.”
“That’s where my faith became vital, a North Star for orienting my life,” he said. “And I knew that I wanted to fight for social justice.”
After discussing his backstory — meeting his wife, his time as mayor of Richmond, and his experience as Governor of Virginia — Kaine’s address focused on trust. And he made it clear where his trust lay.
“Now, last week in Cleveland, we heard a lot about trust,” he said. “So let’s talk about trust. I want to tell you why I trust Hillary Clinton.”
Kaine cited Clinton’s consistency, specifically in her commitment to fighting for children. “She has battled to put kids and families first since she was a teenager — in good times and bad, in victory and defeat, in and out of office, through hell or high water.”
And he let everyone know that he doesn’t trust Donald Trump, going through many of the familiar examples Democrats have given of Trump, from not paying contractors to not releasing his tax returns.
Finally, Kaine returned to faith as a means to explain why Clinton would be a good president. “She’s ready because of her faith,” he said. “She’s ready because of her heart. She’s ready because of her experience.”
Kaine spoke in Spanish several times throughout the night, a sign that he’ll be used to woo the Hispanic vote.
All in all, it was a speech that did exactly what the Clinton campaign wanted it to: it happened. There were a few applause lines, but it was a mostly bland affair, though he did offer a valiant attempt at a Donald Trump impression. In any event, the lack of fireworks was likely part of the plan. Clinton knew what Kaine would deliver when she picked him as her running mate. And while there were a few outbreaks of “No TPP” among the crowd — Kaine has said he supported the controversial trade deal, which is not supported by the left wing of the Democratic Party — the dissenters in the crowd were mostly silent.
Kaine was picked as vice president in order to not hurt the ticket. He did that on Wednesday night.