Clinton announced the choice to her supporters by text message Friday evening: “I’m thrilled to tell you this first: I’ve chosen Sen. Tim Kaine as my running mate.”
The new Democratic ticket is slated to appear together at a joint rally in Miami, Florida on Saturday.
Kaine, who hails from a swing state, was long considered a top pick for the job. He has a robust resume and embraces his label as “boring,” something Clinton said she applauds.
Throughout the VP vetting process, Clinton emphasized her interest in picking someone ready to be commander in chief. Following the pick, Clinton aides emphasized Kaine’s readiness to lead and said the senator and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee have a strong rapport.
Clinton called Kaine to offer him the job shortly after 7:30 p.m. Friday. She informed President Barack Obama, whom sources say she consulted with throughout her decision making process, of her choice shortly after calling Kaine.
A senator who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kaine is more of a centrist than some others considered for the post – including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Labor Secretary Tom Perez. But he brings more experience than many of his rivals, having served as a mayor, governor and senator in a state emerging as one of the top presidential battlegrounds in the country.
The senator impressed the former secretary of state with his down-to-earth style when the two campaigned together in Virginia, aides said. Clinton invited Kaine back to her Washington, D.C. home for an unscheduled meeting following the rally, and the two met for 90 minutes earlier this month.
Kaine is also fluent in Spanish, a skill that Clinton can deploy to further mobilize a Latino community that already gives Donald Trump historically low marks as a candidate.
Kaine was vetted for the job in 2008 but was a runner-up to then-Sen. Joe Biden.
Clinton finalized her ticket a day after Republicans wrapped up their national convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Democrats begin their convention on Monday.
Late last week, Trump announced his own vice presidential pick, tapping Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for the job.
“Ultimately this is a ticket that represents one thing: four more years like the last eight, just with more corruption and scandal,” Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus said in a statement. “A Clinton-Kaine administration will push our country further down the path President Obama has led us on and that has made us less safe, less prosperous, and less free.”