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For It After He Was Against It After He Was For It

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Tom-Perez-AP-IAMGASJH

As a follow-up to my piece yesterday, Tim Kaine has decided to change his changed position on the Hyde Amendment:

You can see the interview from this morning here. The quote in Quigley’s tweet isn’t unfairly taken out of context; it’s not preceded or succeeded by him saying that “of course I will support the party’s platform irrespective of my personal views” or something like that.

A few implications of this:

  • Substantively, as vice president it doesn’t matter at all. He’s not going to have any effect on Hillary Clinton’s abortion policy and he’s not going to have any effect on how the public views abortion policy. In terms of the direction of the party, Clinton’s stated views are obviously vastly more important than Kaine’s.
  • If he becomes president because Hillary Clinton has to leave office and the Republicans retain at least one house of Congress, it doesn’t matter at all. Because it’s not a stand-alone provision it’s nearly impossible to veto, so all a president can do to affect abortion policy is nominate Supreme Court justices. And when picking nominees, Kaine’s views on the Hyde Amendment will matter about as much as Obama’s nominal opposition to same-sex marriage mattered.
  • It matters if he becomes president and the Democrats somehow assemble a governing majority before 2024. Very unlikely, given the Republican structural advantage in the House, but not impossible. Given what some of the marginal members of the House would look like if the Democrats were to take it back I suspect the president’s views would be the least of the problems with putting together a majority to get rid of the Hyde Amendment, but it certainly doesn’t help.
  • It’s a reason to oppose him for the Democratic nomination even if he runs for president in 2024. Even if he adopts the position on the party’s platform now, he won’t be trusted and shouldn’t be. (Obama took too long to come out for same-sex marriage, but he didn’t flip back after 2 days.)
  • This is really bad form from Kaine. If he wanted to just say something like “whatever my personal views, our nominee for president and the party platform support repealing the Hyde Amendment,” and stick with it, OK. His comments on the 27th, although not the 29th, are acceptablish. But this immediate flip-flop and miscommunication with Clinton’s staff, while not the biggest deal in the world, is a thumb in the eye to an important part of the Democratic coalition. When the rationale for picking someone is that he’s a boring but experienced politician, he’s not supposed to make mistakes like this.
  • The case for Perez over Kaine was obvious — he’s more progressive than Kaine, he represents a crucial and growing Democratic constituency, and he doesn’t but a crucial Senate seat at risk. Against Perez was the idea that because of the magic of his having held statewide elected office Kaine would be much less likely to make political mistakes. Hmmmm. I don’t really see the basis for this — experienced pols commit blunders all the time. (Cf. Joe Biden, who worked out fine anyway.) I still think the idea that Perez wouldn’t the minimum standards of a vice presidential nominee is baseless and insulting.
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  • cleek

    his flip to being for the repeal is entirely based on second-hand quotes, right?

    maybe the source is mistaken?

    • Katya

      I’ll be honest, I don’t see the flip. He personally supports the Hyde Amendment, but has made the decision to support Clinton’s agenda to repeal it. Just like he personally opposes the death penalty, but allowed it to be carried out in accordance with state law when he was a governor. And he personally opposes abortion, but believes that it should be legal.

      I think that Kaine distinguishes between his personal beliefs and his obligations as a public servant, and when those are in conflict, he chooses the latter.

      • njorl

        The way I read it, as Clinton’s vice president he would break a tie in the Senate to end the Hyde amendment if he is told to do so. As president, he would support keeping the Hyde amendment, but would not necessarily veto a bill which ends it, or sign a bill just because it prolongs it. The totality of the legislation would need to be considered.

      • Scott Lemieux

        That defense works for the comments on the 27th, but not today’s.

        • Denverite

          Do you have a transcript for the interview? I think you really need to know what he was asked and where the cited bit came in the interview. If he was just asked if he supports the Hyde Amendment and that was the totality of his response, it’s problematic. If it came at the end of a string of questions in which he started off by saying he supports Clinton’s agenda but personally would support the Hyde Amendment, then it’s the same thing he said earlier, just selectively quoted.

          • The Temporary Name

            Tie-breaking vote in the Senate: what happens?

            • Denverite

              I don’t understand the question. If you’re asking what VP Kaine would do if the House-passed budget bill without the Hyde Amendment goes before a 50-50 (or 49-49 or whatever if there are less than 100 Senators), of course he would sign it. If he didn’t, his political career would be over, Clinton would ask for his resignation, and he wouldn’t be on the ticket in 2020.

              But there almost certainly won’t be a House-passed budget bill without the Hyde Amendment in the foreseeable future.

              • The Temporary Name

                You understood the question. I was thinking about what political gymnastics might have to go on for it to be an issue but I was sucking at it, and clarification helps.

              • Tybalt

                Kaine will vote whichever way the political winds are blowing for him personally. That’s likely to always be against Hyde, but it’s not absolutely certain. If he thinks voting against repeal will help him or not hurt him, he’ll vote against repeal.

      • tlaura

        Agreed. Not seeing a flip (definitely not two). Kaine doesn’t support repealing the Hyde Amendment, but will defer to Hil on the issue as vp. I don’t see any place in that stream of quotes where he or anybody else says anything different.

        • Denverite

          Scott’s point isn’t the substance of his views, just the fact that Kaine doesn’t have the “I’m here to help Clinton advance her agenda regardless of my personal views” mantra down pat is a problem.

          • tlaura

            In that case, I agree with the people downthread. This looks to me like the campaign’s fuckup, not Kaine’s.

      • efgoldman

        I think that Kaine distinguishes between his personal beliefs and his obligations as a public servant, and when those are in conflict, he chooses the latter.

        And he’s certainly not the first to do so. This was Ted Kennedy’s position forever.

        • And Mario Cuomo’s and Joe Biden’s, and dates to JFK.

          • efgoldman

            And Mario Cuomo’s and Joe Biden’s, and dates to JFK.

            Probably not. He was dead ten years when Roe was decided. Even Griswold wasn’t decided until 1965.

      • cpinva

        “He personally supports the Hyde Amendment, but has made the decision to support Clinton’s agenda to repeal it.”

        that’s kind of the way I read it as well. and, as you note, he took a similar position, with respect to capital punishment, while he was the Gov. of VA. so, he hasn’t flipped, with respect to his personal position, he has just agreed to support HRC’s position on the Hyde Amendment, should he be called upon to do so. it is entirely in keeping with his history, as regards some of the more contentious social issues of our time.

  • I still think the idea that Perez wouldn’t the minimum standards of a vice presidential nominee is baseless and insulting.

    Agreed 100%. When she selected Kaine, I was totally WTF.

    • Pat

      But this is fighting the last battle. I liked Perez too. It wasn’t our decision, however.

      It’s okay to keep pressure on Kaine to allow each person to follow their conscience on abortion, irrespective of their financial situation. It’s not okay to Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday morning quarterback the person we chose for our nominee.

      • Manny Kant

        This.

      • Nick never Nick

        Sorry, but we don’t elect people to follow their conscience, we elect them to vote how we want them to.

        Note: My apologies, I misread your comment.

    • delazeur

      I agree that Perez is qualified, but I don’t think Lemieux has convincingly explained why he thinks Perez should have been chosen over Kaine. The reasoning seems to be “Perez is qualified for VP, therefore Perez should be VP” which is obviously not how this works.

      • Philip

        Because he’s been a great advocate for labor, and we need more of that in our party leadership.

        • Exactly.

          • Arouet

            It is of course possible that there are other issues facing the country as well which might be relevant to a choice of Vice President.

            • los

              I wonder whether campaign expects that Kaine will pull more “poorly educated white males” than Perez would?

            • Philip

              Yes, but the question was “why Perez?” and the argument is “labor is generally badly represented in our party’s top positions right now, and he would be a step toward fixing that.” You can disagree with the argument, but the question wasn’t whether it’s right, just what it is.

      • Lev

        Perez has had some amazing accomplishments at the Labor Department, often considered a second-tier backwater department. It stands to reason that someone very effective in a minor role could be amazing in a larger one.

        • Manny Kant

          The Peter Principle suggests that this is not necessarily the case.

          • Scott Lemieux

            But, of course, this is just as true of Kaine.

            • Manny Kant

              Sure, but we at least know that Kaine is good at winning statewide elections in a swing state.

              • Surely this was a pretty important consideration. Perez has never run for office. Also that Kaine has won executive offices (mayor and governor) as well as foreign policy expertise from senate, so that all round he has the widest range of relevant experience to qualify him as potential president (somebody cited this on the radio this morning). FWIW, I’m not arguing that makes it a great idea, I’m just saying it wasn’t a blind-panic pick-the-white-guy decision.

            • efgoldman

              But, of course, this is just as true of Kaine.

              Re-litigating the VP choice after the fact is useless.
              Besides that, this is the vice president we’re talking about. S/he only matters in two circumstances: to break a tie vote in the senate or if the unthinkable happens to the president (which is why Caribou Barbie was such as disaster, given Grandpa Walnuts’ age.)

            • cpinva

              “But, of course, this is just as true of Kaine.”

              what’s also true of Kaine, and this may be why he was selected over Perez, is that he has, twice now, shown the ability to win statewide and national offices, as a progressive democrat, in a state that historically has voted for Republicans in those offices, or very, very conservative Democrats. and, during a period where there is the sharpest division between conservatives and liberals/progressives. or, maybe she just feels comfortable working with the guy?

          • los

            His name Isn’t peter principel! it’s howerd perez!!!
            you cant reed11!

            “If yu dont vot for Dolnnad Trump I wil be sad that america is not gret”
            Ernst T. Blogger

        • liberalrob

          Perez has had some amazing accomplishments at the Labor Department

          Robert Reich for VP!

          • mikeSchilling

            Maybe for one term, but not a second and certainly not a third.

      • Scott Lemieux

        he reasoning seems to be “Perez is qualified for VP, therefore Perez should be VP”

        That is, as you can see, not the reasoning.

    • DrDick

      Same here.

  • piratedan

    considering Pence has just stated that if the GOP ticket wins that they WILL revisit Roe vs Wade with an effort at overturning it, I’m not so sure I’m going to be too concerned over Kaine waffling. He’s always been 100% Pro-Choice with his votes even if his personal feelings are anti….

    • Yankee

      …. and this would be the very epitome of the integrity I would like to see in a Public Servant.

    • los

      WILL revisit Roe vs Wade
      Baptist reincarnation of Antonin Scoldilla, Wednesday, 10 AM

  • Srsly Dad Y

    ETA: reply to cleek 12:14

    Right, imagine this conversation:

    CLINTON PEOPLE: Tim, we need to be sure you’re comfortable with HRC’s opposition to the Hyde Amendment.

    TIM: I am comfortable being on the ticket with that as her position.

    Then:

    CLINTON PEOPLE TO PRESS: “Kaine supports Clinton’s commitment to repeal the Hyde amendment.”

    KAINE TO PRESS, WHEN ASKED: “I have been for the Hyde Amendment. And I have not changed my position on that.”

    Seems plausible that the real mixup was at step 3, and Kaine just answered today’s question honestly with no spin.

    • Manny Kant

      Yeah, the lack of any quotes from Kaine saying he now opposes the Hyde Amendment speaks to a fuck-up by the Clinton people. Ugh.

      Does Biden support the Hyde Amendment, btw?

      • Linnaeus

        According to this Mother Jones article, he was a regular supporter of the Hyde Amendment while in the Senate:

        His disagreements with those groups largely centered on two measures: partial-birth abortions and federal funding. Throughout his time in the Senate, Biden regularly supported the so-called Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funds from being directed to abortions. “Those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them,” Biden wrote in 1994. He also regularly sided with abortion opponents in the 1990s and early 2000s on bans on partial-birth abortion, or medically intact dilation and extraction. Biden approved final passage of the ban on these late-term abortions when it became a law in 2003. (Hillary Clinton voted against the measure.)

        • Manny Kant

          So pretty identical to Kaine, then.

          • Philip

            Yeah, it’s not ideal but the real story is just whatever communication screwup happened.

            • Manny Kant

              Yeah, that is indeed worrisome.

  • pillsy

    However it shook out, it’s incandescently stupid. Whether the problem is that he flip-flopped, or that the campaign didn’t communicate with him correctly, somebody fucked up pretty bad.

    • Manny Kant

      The latter seems by far more likely, just looking at the actual quotes.

    • farin

      In a lot of ways it’s less troubling as a messaging failure than an ideological double-reverse-flip. It makes it a lot easier for hypothetical 2024-Kaine to say that, while he came into office with those views, after working with President Clinton for eight years etc., etc.

      • pillsy

        Yeah. I mean, if Kaine runs in ’24 and adopts the opposition to the Hyde Amendment then, I won’t hold it against him. I mean, to be honest even if it were a triple-axel backflip, as long as he has the right position I’m not gonna care that much.

  • Manny Kant

    Stop trying to make Tom Perez happen. He’s not going to happen.

    • njorl

      But he’s so fetch.

  • jamesepowell

    1) The value Tim Kaine gets from taking a position other than “I support Clinton’s & the party’s agenda” is what exactly? I thought that’s where he was. Why would he stray from that answer?

    2) For the rest of us, given that he is VP and Hillary’s health seems to be good, why do we care if he waffles on an issue that is never – NEVER – going to be up for decision so long as Republicans are more than 40% of the congress.

    • Denverite

      For the rest of us, given that he is VP and Hillary’s health seems to be good, why do we care if he waffles on an issue that is never – NEVER – going to be up for decision so long as Republicans are more than 40% of the congress.

      Actually, because it’s a budget rider, you can’t really filibuster it. You’d just need a majority of Dems to vote for a budget without the rider. Good luck on that though.

    • Scott Lemieux

      The value Tim Kaine gets from taking a position other than “I support Clinton’s & the party’s agenda” is what exactly?

      None. His comments this morning were just dumb.

  • Crusty

    Perez was sitting up there with Bill and Vilsack all week which makes me think she’s got bigger plans for him in the cabinet.

    • Gregor Sansa

      I hope you’re right.

    • Aaron Morrow

      If he’s qualified to be vice-president, shouldn’t he be qualified to be Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense?

      (I’m unfamiliar with the Cabinet power rankings, so I don’t know what else would be a reasonable promotion.)

      • Manny Kant

        AG is obvious choice for Perez. He has no national security/foreign policy credentials.

      • Katya

        I’d peg him for Attorney General, given his resume.

      • Crusty

        Generally, I’d say that at least State, Defense, Treasury and possibly AG rank ahead of the VP. A lot of that depends on what type of relationship the POTUS and the VP have. Obama seems to value Biden’s counsel. Others might have lunch twice a year.

        But for someone who wants to do interesting work rather than just obtain the technically highest ranking position, AG is a better gig than VP.

    • los

      so as with Warren, Perez is more effective than as VP…

  • Gregor Sansa

    On-topic: so, he’s Biden 2, the ReGaffening. Given that, as argued, his position on this almost certainly doesn’t matter in practice, I guess I can live with that.

    Off-topic: any chance we’ll get a thread on the IMF’s Greece mea culpa? Any chance Greece will be able to borrow Wonder Woman for some righteous fucking up of shit?

    • cleek

      so, he’s Biden 2, the ReGaffening

      only if you can produce a direct quote, from the man himself, where he says he was for getting rid of it. otherwise, you have him being consistent and other people speaking for him saying something else.

      IOW: it’s not his gaffe if he was misrepresented.

      • Manny Kant

        Right. It looks much more likely to be fuck up by Clinton campaign sources than fuck up by Kaine.

    • Linnaeus

      Off-topic: any chance we’ll get a thread on the IMF’s Greece mea culpa? Any chance Greece will be able to borrow Wonder Woman for some righteous fucking up of shit?

      What happened?

      • Philip

        the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) said the fund had missed the buildup of banking system risks in some countries and shared the widely held “Europe is different” mindset.

        That and similar stuff (blown, overly optimistic impressions, etc).

        • Linnaeus

          Thanks. That is kind of a big deal.

          • Gregor Sansa

            Also: “actually it turns out that a lot of the intended benefits were for Europe not Greece so we should have paid more of the costs, sorry, our bad.”

        • Philip

          s/impressions/projections/. Stupid autocorrect etc

        • liberalrob

          The IEO made five specific recommendations, including that the fund’s management and executive board should develop procedures to limit political meddling in the organisation’s technical analysis;

          LOL!

          Christine Lagarde, the fund’s managing director, said: “Overall, the conclusion I draw is that the fund’s involvement in the euro area crisis has been a qualified success.”

          “We saved Portugal, Ireland, and Cyprus. Too bad about Greece, but hey 3 out of 4 is 75% successful!” (Um, and where is Spain? Bueller?)

          Lagarde said she did not accept that there had been political interference in the fund’s technical analysis

          LOL!

      • JKTH

        ETA: Nevermind, answered above.

  • Crusty

    I think Scott underestimates the appeal of a Catholic official who appears to have publicly struggled with his position on abortion.

    • LeeEsq

      Especially since Trump seems really abhorrent to Catholic voters as a group according to 538. The lot of them, even suburban white Catholics, seem to be going for the Democratic Party in this election.

    • Lev

      Maybe in 1986. At this point, I think it’s overrated if anything. It’s such a specifically Catholic kind of conflict and I don’t think the 80% of people who aren’t Catholics care much about angst over the Church’s moral authority, and I’m not sure how many of the rest do either. And to the single issue pro-choicers and increasingly prevalent religious “nones” in the Democratic coalition, the notion that the Catholic Church has any moral authority that must be reckoned with is ridiculous. It did nothing for Kerry in ’04, nor did it help Biden win the nomination in ’08.

      • Crusty

        You may well be right, but I think the Kaine pick has some mild appeal to republicans who are deciding between voting for Hillary and staying home.

        By way of anecdata, I have some republican friends who said they will vote for Hillary as long as she doesn’t crap on the police in her convention speech or go full on Bernie.

        • tlaura

          I don’t think it’s just Catholics. I’ve known a lot of pro-life liberals (none of them Catholics, at least they were not pro life for Catholic reasons) in my life who would appreciate a position like Kaine’s. The Hyde Amendment is terrible though even if you’re personally pro-life but practically pro-choice.

      • Manny Kant

        Catholics are like a huge percentage of swing voters.

        • Lev

          True, but you have to ask yourself if Clinton picks up more swing voters because her VP is slightly more to the right of abortion than her, or if the large chunk of leftist Democrats who deeply distrust the Clintons will take this as a sign that SHE’S GOING TO SELL US OUT AGAIN! and vote for St. Jill. Not actually true in this instance, but still.

          • Manny Kant

            I don’t think that anyone goes to Stein over this. People who’ll make a big deal of this are either going to vote for Stein anyway, or people like Scott who are going to vote for Clinton anyway, but are using this as an opportunity to refight lost battle over VP choice.

          • njorl

            Both groups of voters would be very, very small, but I think the former would be much larger. In addition, PA and VA have large pro-life Democratic voter contingents and Kaine comes from VA.
            I think a VP pick targeted at reassuring the far left doesn’t win over as many voters, and those voters are less strategically located.

            • Manny Kant

              I mean, the hardcore anti-Clinton left people wouldn’t have been satisfied if she’d picked Bernie as her running mate. They’d have used that as the opportunity to decry him for selling out.

              • efgoldman

                It’s the VP nominee. They don’t change votes unless they are so hideous as to be scary (Snowbillie Snookie.) This is a nothingburger – it doesn’t even have nothingcheese on it.

    • Katya

      +1

      If Kaine came out enthusiastically in favor of repealing the Hyde Amendment, people might wonder at the sincerity. I think he truly believes that abortion is a sin, but he also truly thinks that it’s not his place to impose the belief on others. And that’s basically the position of all pro-choice Catholics. Seeing his struggle and its resolution is actually, to me, pretty powerful.

      • Lev

        I fully disagree. Kaine’s personal and legal views are what they are, but the Hyde Amendment has nothing to do with his principles or anyone else’s, it’s purely politics. If he believes that abortion should be legal and available (regardless of his personal feelings), then he should support eliminating the Hyde Amendment, which makes abortion far less available for the less well off who need it. But Hyde polls well, and therefore it’s not surprising that a swing-state politician supports it. I could see arguing that his opposition to partial birth abortion is about his conflict between his personal and legal views. Not this though.

        • Manny Kant

          Moral argument for Hyde Amendment is that people who believe abortion is morally wrong (i.e. many taxpayers) shouldn’t have to pay for other people’s abortions. I don’t agree, and this obviously isn’t a moral principle that is applied in any consistent way on any other topic. But I don’t think it’s right to say it has “nothing to do with his principles.” In particular, supporting the Hyde Amendment is a very, very common position among pro-choice Catholic politicians. For example, it’s also Joe Biden’s long time position, and Biden, who could have gotten re-elected to the Senate in Delaware for as long as he was breathing, had no particular political reason to do so.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          If he believes that abortion should be legal and available (regardless of his personal feelings), then he should support eliminating the Hyde Amendment, which makes abortion far less available for the less well off who need it.

          That’s ridiculous. Believing that something should be “legal and available” does not logically mandate also supporting government financing for that thing.

          • los

            Government financing of a legal and available medical services makes sense within context of government financing for other legal and available medical services.

          • Pseudonym

            For practical definitions of “available” it does.

  • TM1

    At the end of the day, the Cossacks work for the Czar. With the exception of the mental midget known as George W. Bush, VPs always move towards the position of the President, not the other way around. Look at George H.W. Bush on abortion or Lyndon Johnson on civil rights.

    Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and Al Gore were all moderates who became much more liberal on the national ticket, and they had a longer ways to go than Kaine does.

    • Nick never Nick

      Yeah, but this is the one Cossack who is chosen because they might become the Czar.

      • TM1

        Then see my point about the Veep moving towards the President’s position and not the other way around. The only two times I can think of where this was not the case was Bush/Cheney (where the Veep ran the show because Bush was a moron pushover) and Andrew Johnson (who was actually a Democrat on a fusion ticket w/Lincoln).

        • Nick never Nick

          I did see it, and it’s not wrong but I don’t think it’s relevant. The only useful data points on what Kaine would do as President come from Kaine, not earlier VPs.

    • los

      LBJ seems unusual. It seems he went well beyond JFK’s course, well after JFK was gone… including the course/curse of the Vietnam War.

  • Steve LaBonne

    This was a bit of an own goal, and it doesn’t thrill me, but in a VP I can live with it. He’s still a million miles better than Lieberman on everything (to this day I don’t understand what Gore was thinking).

    • Manny Kant

      Jewish vote in Florida + it gave him space to distance himself from Clinton’s moral failings.

      Edwards, I think, actually a worse choice (though not for ideological reasons)

    • TM1

      Believe it or not, it was considered a good pick at the time. Lieberman didn’t go completely off the rails until after 9/11.

      • Anna in PDX

        It was a huge part of the reason for a lot of Nader voting, though. As I remember.

    • Lev

      It was sort of the whole problem with Gore. He’d been in the DC bubble since he was a child. So he chose a running mate based largely on what the bubble was saying was wrong with Clinton. And it’s so easy to forget that Gore in office had a foreign policy record little different from Lieberman’s, both were AIPAC types close to Marty Peretz.

      As it turned out, Gore’s real problem was that the left was seriously angry with Clinton for shafting them repeatedly for eight years in a (failed) attempt to keep Southern whites in the Democratic Party, and his running mate (despite being from the NE) seemed largely predicated around accomplishing the same goal. Voting Nader out of protest was profoundly stupid and indefensible, but it’s not like the causes are unknown.

    • Scott Lemieux

      This was a bit of an own goal, and it doesn’t thrill me, but in a VP I can live with it. He’s still a million miles better than Lieberman on everything

      I don’t think this is controversial!

  • LeeEsq

    Maybe Perez would have been a better pick for electoral strategy reasons and political reasons but HRC is the one who is going to have to work with her VP pick if she gets elected. Its her decision and she decided that Kaine was a better fit for the VP slot than anybody else.

    • Nick never Nick

      “It’s her decision” isn’t a justification for anything.

      • Anna in PDX

        Well, if that were all, but if “she chose the person she is closest to or gets along best with” is really the subtext there, then I would say that *is* an argument. I want our ticket to be people who get along really well and have rapport.

      • efgoldman

        “It’s her decision” isn’t a justification for anything.

        Of course it is. Otherwise we’d nominate VPs in a primary process or a convention fight. Or did you maybe want her to poll every Democrat, from red state moderates to bernfeelers?

      • lunaticllama

        No, the justification made by Lee, I believe, is that HRC thinks she will have a more productive administration with Kaine as VP (or, put another way, she will work better with and get better results with him as VP.)

  • Steve LaBonne

    BTW I heard Perez on the radio and he was pretty damn good. What state is he from? This is the kind of guy whose future electoral career the party really needs to advance in any way possible.

    • Katya

      Maryland.

      • TM1

        Which sucks because it forecloses him a chance to get into the Senate any time soon. Maybe he could run for Governor next time, but I heard the GOP governor in Maryland is pretty popular.

        • Lev

          Ben Cardin is no spring chicken, and Larry Hogan has stage four cancer.

          • TM1

            Ben Cardin is up there in age, but it’s the Senate we’re talking about. A lot of those guys leave the Senate in a casket.

            I didn’t know that about Hogan though.

            • Lev

              A lot of those guys leave the Senate in a casket.

              That’s a myth. A Senator hasn’t died in office since Kennedy.

              • Manny Kant

                Byrd, Inouye, and Lautenberg all died in office after Kennedy.

                Beyond that, the 21st century has also seen Paul Coverdell, Paul Wellstone, and Craig Thomas die in office. In the 90s, Spark Matsunaga, John Heinz, Quentin Burdick, and John Chafee all died in office. Based on this, 4 per decade seems typical.

                • Manny Kant

                  It does seem to have gotten less common – eight died in office in the 70s, fifteen in the 60s, and nineteen in the 50s.

                • (((Hogan)))

                  Heinz and Wellstone at least are special cases, though–a mid-air collision and a plane crash. I don’t think that’s what Lev is talking about.

                • Manny Kant

                  Senators, who frequently fly in tiny charter planes, are almost certainly far more likely to die in plane crashes than the general public.

                  Regardless, none of the twenty-first century deaths was in a plane crash.

                • efgoldman

                  It does seem to have gotten less common

                  Wealthy people who have the best health care available, as well as better diets and physical fitness, live longer than when they all smoked stogies, drank all the time, and had steak for dinner every night.
                  Also there are more women in the senate.

          • Manny Kant

            Cardin will turn 75 in 2018 – I suspect he’ll run again, but definitely a possibility he won’t. And even if Hogan runs, I don’t think it’s a done deal – yes, he’s reasonably popular, but a Republican in Maryland should always be vulnerable to a strong candidate.

      • snarkout

        What Katya said. As I mentioned in a previous thread, he was planning on running for AG in Maryland in 2006, but was disqualified on a technicality (he hadn’t been admitted to the bar in Maryland for long enough, having been practicing in Washington as a lawyer for the DoJ and HHS).

  • TM1

    If you want to see more minorities on the national ticket, work at getting them elected to more statewide offices. Because like or not that’s widely seen as a prerequisite for the national ticket. Or at the very least, a significant leadership post in the House.

    • njorl

      Yep. Perez’ total electoral experience is being elected to the county council of Montgomery Co MD one time, and being disqualified from the MD AG race for having insufficient time before the MD bar.
      He is definitely a good speaker, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a good campaigner.

  • TribalistMeathead

    OT: Sully endorsed Hillary.

    No, really.

    • Linnaeus

      In a way, I’m not surprised. I know he despises the Clintons, but he’s also a Tory in nearly every sense of the word.

  • NewishLawyer

    As faux paus go, this is rather minor but the Democratic Party base seems more determined to jump on these minor differences.

    I already see people concern trolling over the small amount of boos yesterday instead of the overwhelmingly positive convention because people have it engrained that the Ds can’t do right and snatch defeat from the claws of victory.

    • cleek

      the Democratic Party base seems more determined to jump on these minor differences.

      protest people are protesting.

      [h/t JoeFromLowell]

      • redwoods301

        Off topic, but where’s he been? Haven’t seen him in ages.

  • dave

    I guess I am the only one who doesn’t see anything inconsistent with any of the quotes above.

    I understand how the the quotes can be read as inconsistent, but I don’t think that reading is compelled at all.

    In addition, I think “inconsistencies” like this are bound to happen anytime you have human beings describing something repeatedly.

    • Joe_JP

      I think this can be true though maybe the parsing requires a bit of work. Still, after assuring people he was on their side, saying this right away does look bad. It’s a very sensitive issue.

  • twbb

    “magic of his having held statewide elected office Kaine would be much less likely to make political mistakes.”

    Is that what we’re doing now? Disproving arguments by just appending “magic” to them? There were many good reasons to not pick him.

    • efgoldman

      There were many good reasons to not pick him.

      There might or might not have been. In real-world politics as opposed to Democratic unicorn and pony land, I don’t see any.
      But it’s over and done. Let it fucking go. It’s time to win the goddamned election.

      • twbb

        “In real-world politics as opposed to Democratic unicorn and pony land, I don’t see any.”

        Wait, you think Perez WASN’T the unicorn and pony candidate?

    • liberalrob

      AFAIK nobody’s mentioned that Kaine also did a stint as DNC chair. He’s a party guy.

      • Redwood Rhiadra

        That’s because the Left blames Debbie Wasserman-Schutlz for losing the 2010 election. Kaine’s term has been erased from history so they can blame the woman.

        • twbb

          I have never heard Wasserman-Schultz blamed for 2010; do you have a citation for that?

  • Joe_JP

    Well, after I saw this on Twitter, I personally wondered about your reaction & Irin Carmon (who you cite). She tweeted that “I’ve reached out to Clinton campaign on Kaine’s seeming break on the Hyde amendment, but in the meantime” (the cited article).

    The remark seems stupid but not likely to matter at the end of the day [except to excite a few supporters]… Clinton is the one who is going to pick judges and not thinking it will come down to a tied Senate. And even then, who knows he would vote his conscience over what the House, President and 1/2 the Senate supports? BTW, he also supports a new authorization of force bill which is a sound policy.

    Perez. We might not like that people think “magically” that someone who wasn’t a governor, senator or even a member of Congress is not qualified for v.p., but it’s a major thing in the real world. If something happens to someone in her 60s, we have someone who is fully qualified to be President, not someone who will have to learn the top executive and foreign policy stuff on the job like Scott Adams says they can do in a day or so.

    Clinton is comfortable with Kaine. We know (don’t have to assume) he is a very good campaigner. We saw this in action (his charm alone) in the convention. And, Perez seems more useful in a substantive Cabinet spot. [Likewise, one or more other options would work better in the Senate to promote left leading causes.] As to the Senate seat, figure that is at least a wash to him providing help in VA and probably elsewhere to some degree. I’m fine withe Perez really, but the “safe choice” here — someone lots of people think is a great choice (including many Democrats, not just white guys) — really makes sense too. Except for maybe losing his seat over a year from now, if anything, might be better to have him as v.p. than senator.

    • Joe_JP

      Irin Carmon tweeted an official reply from the Kaine campaign:

      He personally supports the Hyde Amendment but fully supports Hillary Clinton’s policy agenda, which he realizes includes its repeal.

  • Dilan Esper

    Don’t blame me, I wanted Warren. :)

  • Pseudonym

    So maybe it wasn’t completely ridiculous to pay attention to Kaine’s gubernatorial record in addition to his senatorial NARAL rating? Not that this matters in any material way.

  • manual

    Can I also point out that this man was a long supporter of right to work in VA and has yet to renounce that. Other red state Senators (even those who have been governor, like Joe Manchin) do not hold this view. It is an outlier move in the democratic party for one if its most important constituencies.

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