Timothy Michael Kaine was born on February 26, 1958 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Kaine was the oldest son of his family. One of Kaine’s parents was an ironworker, the other was a home economics teacher. Kaine grew up near Kansas City, Kansas and graduated from Rockhurst High School in 1976.
Kaine continued his education and earned a BA in economics from the University of Missouri. He completed his degree in three years. Kaine then earned a JD from Harvard in 1983. While in law school, Kaine took time off to work in a mission in Honduras with the Jesuit order as a Romanic Catholic missionary. When Kaine returned, he met his future wife, Ann Holton. Kaine and Holton married on November 24, 1984 and have three children. His daughter, Nat, was born in 1990, son, Woody, was born in 1992, and daughter, Annella, was born in 1995.
Before Kaine went into politics, he worked as a lawyer at a private practice from 1983 to 2000. He also worked as a professor at the University of Richmond Law School from 1988 to 1993.
In 1994 Kaine was elected to City Council in Richmond, Virginia before he was elected Mayor of the same city in 1998.
As mayor, Kaine reduced gun-related violence by creating and implementing “Project Exile”. His success was recognized by President Clinton, President Bush and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Kaine also cut taxes and built Richmond’s first new schools in a generation.
Kaine served as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia from 2001 to 2005. During this time he was also President of the Senate of Virginia.
In 2005, Kaine was elected Governor of Virginia. According to politico.com, Kaine won by a decent margin when he defeated former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore in his Republican leaning state.
Kaine’s faith has guided many of his political beliefs leading to several instances of Kaine being attacked by Republicans for issues such as opposing the death penalty. He explained that his opposition to capitol punishment was because of his religious beliefs but clarified that he would enforce state laws.
Democratic Party Leadership
In early January of 2009, President Barack Obama asked Kaine to become the head of the Democratic National Committee. He succeeded Howard Dean. According to politico.com, Kaine was chosen as head of the Democratic National Committee because the party felt that an “energetic young leader” would “help the party capitalize on the historic enthusiasm that swept Obama to his landslide win.” Having a “young” reputation could help Kaine be perceived as a good political candidate within the Democratic party.
2016 Election Potential
Kaine will not be running against anyone in the next few years, as his position is one that will be filled by someone in the Democratic party, and he was not voted into his position.
Kaine’s greatest competition lays with some of the Republican party’s high profile candidates, such as Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal.
If President Obama wins re-election in 2012 and remains close with Kaine, he’d have a good chance becoming the next Democratic presidential candidate.
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