Earth & Conservation

Who Is Tim Kaine?

Despite years of dedicated public service, Hillary Clinton's VP running mate has been described as boring and moderate. So who is Tim Kaine?

As the saying goes, the vice president is just one heartbeat away from the most powerful office on the planet. In today's Seeker Daily two-part special, we take a closer look at the vice presidential candidates.

Hillary Clinton's pick for running mate, Tim Kaine is a veteran in the Democratic party, having held public office for more than 20 years in the state of Virginia. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he began his career in 1994 and took the traditional route in state politics, rising through the ranks from city council member to mayor to lieutenant governor to governor.

In 2008, newly elected president Barack Obama appointed Kaine to oversee the Democratic National Committee, where Kaine championed Obama's progressive policies, such as the Affordable Care Act. He left the DNC in 2011 to serve Virginia as a Democrat in the Republican-dominated Senate.

RELATED: Do Presidential Debates Sway Voters?

Despite his left-of-center credentials, Kaine is often criticized by progressives for his policy positions. He's considered hawkish on foreign affairs and has previously backed the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal that critics say will loosen environmental regulations and give too much power to corporations. And while his voting record on abortion rights is solidly pro-choice, Kaine has publicly stated that he personally opposes the procedure, citing his Catholic faith.

Kaine's moderate tendencies may not earn him a lot of friends on the far left, but they serve him well as a vice-presidential candidate. He has a solid reputation for being trustworthy and competent in the legislative trenches. Kaine speaks fluent Spanish and has traditionally enjoyed strong support from minority voters. He's also seen as a friend of the working man -- Kaine's legal career was heavily focused on fair housing and pro bono work.

In short, while Kaine is not particularly loved by progressives, he is generally regarded as a vice presidential choice.

For more on the Republican vice presidential nominee, click on over to our companion report: Who is Mike Pence?

-- Glenn McDonald

Learn More:

Politico: The Left's Beef with Tim Kaine

CNN: Tim Kaine: How to Make Housing Fair in America

NBC: Kaine Cites Faith, Family, Work, as Key Values