Between Friday night’s official declaration that he’d be Hillary Clinton’s running mate and the start of this week’s Democratic National Convention, Sen. Tim Kaine came home to a block party.
Following Saturday’s rally in Miami where Kaine was introduced, he and his wife, Anne Holton, returned to their Laburnum Park neighborhood where they’ve lived for 32 years. Hundreds of neighbors waited in the dark to welcome the couple back.
Kaine got out to speak, while those gathered cheered and carried signs. He said he and Holton, the state’s secretary of education, were beat. And as he began giving a history lesson on presidential politics, Holton reminded him that it was 10:30 p.m.
“We’ve lived in this neighborhood 32 years. We’ve lived in this house nearly 25 years,” Kaine said of his home on Confederate Avenue. “Our whole life revolves around our neighborhood and St. Elizabeth’s, our parish.”
“This is our home and you are our friends.”
Kaine said Virginia had worked to progressively return to the national stage in politics.
“You know, there has not been a Virginian who was a political figure in Virginia on a ticket of a major party since the 1840s,” he said. “John Tyler was vice president and then became president a month after he became V.P. when William Henry Harrison died a month after his inauguration.”
Slavery and the Civil War, Jim Crow and Massive Resistance hindered Virginia’s ability to lead, he said, but the current generation brought Virginia back, including by helping elect Barack Obama president in 2008.
“We’re a battleground state. Everybody has to respect us,” Kaine said. “We’re off the shadows and back on the main stage with the spotlight on.”
Kaine’s name was not listed on the convention schedule as of Monday, but expectations are high that he will be speaking Wednesday. Also on the schedule that night are Vice President Joe Biden and Obama.