On July 23rd, I watched on television as Hillary Clinton first introduced her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine.

I wondered how America was reacting, so I followed along on Twitter.

The sentiments rapidly went from "Who is this guy?" to "I kind of like this guy" to "Wow, I love Tim Kaine!"

And I completely related.

My husband and I were first introduced to Tim by a mutual friend in 2011—and he quickly won us over. Not because of his impressive resume—a former Virginia Councilperson, Mayor, Lieutenant Governor, Governor, and head of the DNC. Nor because he'd been a missionary in Honduras where he taught the people carpentry and welding skills, nor because he'd been a civil rights lawyer for many years, protecting minorities and the disabled from unfair housing practices. It wasn't even because of his extremely cool taste in music or the fact that he played a mean harmonica.

No, the reason we became devoted supporters of Tim Kaine was because he was one of the smartest, nicest, most decent and honorable people we'd ever met, in or out of politics.

He was, as they used to say about President Bartlet on The West Wing, "The Real Thing."

Once Tim was elected to the Senate in 2012, he stood up for Democratic values and the issues he cared about, but he also looked for ways he could work with Senators from across the aisle. He once told me that whenever a new Republican Senator got elected, he already knew plenty of policies they would disagree on, but he liked to get to know them personally, to see if there were any issues they both cared about that they could work on together—like protecting our national parks or our national security. This kind of attitude led to respect and trust for Senator Kaine from both his Democratic and Republican colleagues, best evidenced by Republican Senator Jeff Flake's tweet when Hillary Clinton first named Kaine as her running mate: Jeff Flake—"Trying to count the ways I hate @TimKaine. Drawing a blank. Congrats to a good man and a good friend." 7/22/16 8:59 PM

In a government that's been as divided as ours, having a Vice President who's already won the bipartisan respect and the friendship of his colleagues is just what America needs.

The more you get to know Tim Kaine, the more you like him.

Great choice, Hillary! Clinton/Kaine 2016.


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