Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have finally selected running mates, with Trump choosing Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Clinton picking Virginia Senator Tim Kaine.
Both Trump and Clinton have made “safe” choices, selecting an establishment man with Washington experience. Pence is known for his conservative views and support for the Tea Party movement. Kaine is a solid Democrat who served as Chairman of the DNC from 2009-2011. Both potential VPs have a background in law, Pence with a degree from Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law and Kaine with a degree from Harvard Law School.
Both men have served as mayors, as governors, and in Congress – Pence as a House Rep. for the state of Indiana (2001-2013) and Kaine as a Senator for the state of Virginia (2012-present).
Pence and Kaine both have an Irish Catholic background and personally oppose abortion. Pence believes that abortion should be illegal under most circumstances, whereas Kaine does not believe the law should play a role in a woman’s most personal of decisions. Kaine believes we should focus on sex education in an effort to prevent teen pregnancies.
Pence has strict, Trump-like views on immigration and has opposed birthright citizenship. This year, he has tried (unsuccessfully) to prevent any Syrian refugees from moving into the Hoosier state. Kaine supports comprehensive immigration reform. He also supports Obama’s DAPA and DACA programs, which would allow up to 5 million illegal immigrants to work legally in the US.
Pence is firmly opposed to same-sex marriage and has been both applauded and criticized for signing Indiana’s controversial RFRA law in 2015. Kaine fully supports same-sex marriage.
Guns & Military Readiness
Pence is pro gun ownership and firearms training programs. Kaine himself owns guns and is pushing to increase the background check process for those wishing to purchase weapons. He also hopes to restrict the sale of “combat-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.”
Kaine supports the idea of a full restructuring of the US military. He currently serves on the armed services panel in the Senate and has supported Senator John McCain (Armed Services Chairman) for what he wants to do with the idea.
Pence, meanwhile, has joined with over 40 governors in asking Congress to repeal a federal provision impacting the National Guard. The provision would transform a portion of the National Guard’s military technicians into Title 5 federal civilian employees (without uniforms). Pence believes such a move could “impact force readiness and our ability to respond to state emergences as they might arise.”
Pence has made it clear that he does not believe climate change programs should be federally funded. He thinks the very idea that mankind could have an effect on the Earth’s climate is complete hogwash.
Kaine is far more concerned about the planet, having established Virginia’s Climate Change Commission and protected 400,000 acres of Virgina land from development. He is concerned about rising sea levels and hopes to make coal energy production cleaner. Kaine has stated that protecting the planet will be good for the economy. With his experience and similar views, Kaine seems to be a sensible choice for Clinton.
Virginia is considered a swing state, and Clinton’s choice might give her extra votes. Many have noted that Kaine’s tough stance on crime however, might push some black voters away from Clinton. On top of that, Kaine’s support for the TPP has angered many Bernie-turned-Clinton voters.
Trump has repeatedly admitted that he needs a running mate with Washington experience. Many worry that the Indiana Governor doesn’t have what it takes to play damage control when Trump makes a mistake, but the billionaire views Pence as someone who will help him unite the still-divided Republican Party.
Editor’s note: This is eery, they both have 7 letters in their first name and 5 in their last name (Michael Pence vs Timothy Kaine), they are both lawyers, Governors, Congress dwellers and pasty white guys.