Vice President Joe Biden twice declared his support for “Tom Kaine” during a campaign rally today when he was trying to praise Tim Kaine, the Democratic Senate nominee in Virginia.
Biden began well enough. “It’s good to be in a state that’s going to be represented by Tim Kaine,” he said. “That man has more integrity in his little finger than most people have in their whole body.”
And then things got shaky. “I’m a big Tom Kaine fan — a big Tom Kaine fan,” Biden said twice for emphasis. The crowd applauded.
Then-Sen. Obama’s campaign team was also a big Tim Kaine fan in 2008. So much so that they almost chose him as Obama’s running mate instead of Biden.
Biden had foreign policy experience, congressional relationships, and the blue-collar appeal we’ve heard about so much this election cycle, but he was long-winded and gaffe-prone.
“[I]t was clear that if we picked him, we would suffer a few self-inflicted wounds,” Obama’s 2008 campaign manager David Plouffe wrote in The Audacity to Win.
But Kaine had no foreign foreign policy experience and very limited relationships with D.C. lawmakers. Obama almost chose him anyway, even though he would have been a “wildcard” selection. Obviously, he selected Biden instead. Kaine served as Democratic National Committee chairman under President Obama from 2009 to 2011. He was previously governor of Virginia.