Donald Trump and Mike Pence set such a low bar for vice-presidential rollouts that all Hillary Clinton had to do in her first joint interview with Tim Kaine was prove that she’s spoken to her running mate for more than 20 minutes. The soon-to-be Democratic ticket went above and beyond on this week’s 60 Minutes; Clinton was aware that Kaine “plays a mean harmonica,” and it appears they actually put some thought into how they would answer obvious questions.
For instance, how does Kaine feel about being “vice-president in a White House with two presidents,” as Scott Pelley put it? “I mean it’s an embarrassment of riches,” Kaine responded. (Clinton didn’t object to the suggestion that her husband would be involved in her administration, and went even further, saying she’d be calling President Obama for advice, too.)
What failure has shaped Kaine? As Virginia’s governor and now senator, he failed to pass stricter gun-control laws, though he believes, “Our public wants us to fix this. Gun owners want us to fix this. NRA members want us to fix this,” and “we just gotta keep trying.”
And can Kaine step up when it would be unbecoming for Clinton to criticize Trump herself? Well, sort of. On the issue of the Republican National Convention’s anti-Hillary theme, Kaine, who oozes positivity, said, “When I see this, you know, ‘Crooked Hillary,’ or I see the, ‘Lock her up,’ it’s just ridiculous. It is ridiculous. The Republican FBI director makes a decision that there’s nothing here that is, you know, warrants any additional activity.”
Luckily, Clinton has Elizabeth Warren for those times when she really needs to sling some mud.