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5 things to know about Clinton veep pick Tim Kaine

Who is Tim Kaine?

The veep pick is in for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who announced Friday evening that Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine will be joining her on the general election ticket.

Clinton will appear with Kaine, the Harvard-educated lawyer and career politician from Virginia, during a Miami event Saturday.

Here are five important things to know about Kaine before the November election:

He's never lost an election

Over a long political career, Kaine has never lost an election against his opponents.

He was first elected to the city council of Richmond, Virginia, in 1994, later serving as mayor from 1998 to 2001.

He served as Virginia's lieutenant governor from 2002 to 2006, then was elected governor from 2006 to 2010, taking over the executive office after a close race with the state's former attorney general.

In 2006, Kaine was exposed to the national political spotlight when he gave the Democratic response to President George W. Bush's State of the Union address. And from 2009 to 2011, Kaine served as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012.

Here's where he stands on the issues

As Virginia's governor during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, Kaine cut taxes, maintained Virginia's business-friendly climate and expanded early childhood programs.

Kaine is personally opposed to abortion as a Catholic, but when it comes to legislating and governing, he has a strong pro-abortion-rights track record in Virginia, with Planned Parenthood and NARAL giving him perfect scores as a senator.

When he launched a bid for the U.S. Senate, Kaine ran with a focus on immigration reform and supported President Obama's executive actions for undocumented immigrants (recently ruled null by a Supreme Court decision).

Kaine was the governor during the deadly Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, which took the lives of 32 people. After the violence, Kaine shined a spotlight on mental health issues in Virginia and boosted investment in the state's mental health programs.

Kaine also hunkered down on tightening gun control measures after news reports surfaced that the Virginia tech shooter passed a federal background check to buy firearms despite his mental illness record. In 2007, he issued an executive order closing a background check loophole and banning people from buying guns who had undergone involuntary mental health treatment.

In a fundraising email Saturday morning, Mr. Obama praised Kaine's liberal record.

"Like Hillary, Tim is an optimist," the president wrote. "But like Hillary, he is also a progressive fighter."

He makes political sense

That Kaine hails from Virginia could help boost Clinton's standing in the perennial swing state, even if the senator's approval ratings aren't particularly high (though they are significantly higher than his disapproval ratings).

Kaine, the son of a welder raised in Kansas, is also expected to hold some appeal with a demographic Clinton currently struggles with: white men. Recent CBS News polling showed Clinton's rival Donald Trump leading among white voters (Trump was at 43 percent to Clinton's 37 percent last month) and male voters (Trump had 45 percent to Clinton's 37 percent). Among white males, Trump led by double digits: 51 percent to Clinton's 31 percent.

And because the Virginia senator speaks fluent Spanish, Kaine could also draw in Latino voters. His fluency comes in part from when he took time off from Harvard Law School to do missionary work in Honduras, and he's put his language skills to use in his political career. In 2012, Kaine became the first U.S. senator to deliver a speech entirely in Spanish from the Senate floor. Kaine's faith could also be another pull for faith-minded voters to the Democratic ticket.

He hasn't always been #WithHer

In the Clinton vs. Obama race for the White House in 2008, Kaine was one of Barack Obama's first backers.

"Sen. Obama is just in a completely different category than anybody I've ever stood on a stage with," Kaine said in a January 2007 interview with the Washington Post. "There is just a feeling of, you know, kind of a projection of hope on him from an audience that is just unreal. It's unreal." He gave then-candidate Obama his endorsement just a month later and was later on Obama's shortlist for the vice presidential gig.

Still, since that election, Kaine has been a loyal Clinton booster as early as 2014, when he said the former secretary of state should be the next person in the White House. Kaine has since worked for the Ready for Hillary political action committee, and after Clinton officially launched her presidential bid, he campaigned with her during several events in Virginia.

He's boring

Those are his words: "I am boring," Kaine told NBC's "Meet the Press" about a month before the veep announcement was made. "But boring is the fastest-growing demographic in this country."

Just because he's boring doesn't mean Kaine doesn't have some hidden talents.

Kaine plays the harmonica and also sings in a church choir.

Here's a sampling of his musical talents, rocking out with Washington, D.C.'s 19th Street Band on St. Patrick's Day:


Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her running mate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) will appear on "60 Minutes" in their first joint interview. Scott Pelley will conduct the interview, which will be broadcast Sunday, July 24 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.