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Hillary Clinton taps Tim Kaine for vice president

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and
Sen. Tim Kaine, right, with in Annandale, Virginia last week. | AFP/Getty Images

CLEVELAND – Hillary Clinton tapped Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine to be her vice president pick on Friday, with the new Democratic ticket to appear together for the first time Saturday at a rally in Miami.

Clinton made her vice president pick public in a tweet at 7:12 p.m. Chicago time.

It read: “I’m thrilled to announce my running mate, @TimKaine, a man who’s devoted his life to fighting for others. -H”

Kaine quickly tweeted a response:

“Just got off the phone with Hillary. I’m honored to be her running mate. Can’t wait to hit the trail tomorrow in Miami!”

The selection was to be sent in a text message to Hillary supporters Friday afternoon, but that news was apparently delayed after the terrorist attack in Munich, which killed nine people.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAulliffe, a long-time friend of Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, called Kaine a “moral progressive his whole life.”

“He’ll fight for folks,” McAuliffe said on MSNBC. ” He can reach out to so many different communities.”

Kaine had always been at the top of Clinton’s short list. Other, more remote possibilities, included Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Labor Secretary Tom Perez and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

Clinton is spending Friday and Saturday in Florida, a crucial swing state. She is expected to appear in public with her new running mate for the first time at a Saturday afternoon rally at Florida International University arena in Miami.

The Democratic convention kicks off Monday in Philadelphia.

At a Friday rally in in Tampa, Clinton asked, “Did any of you watch that convention in Cleveland? Well, you know, it was kind of perversely flattering. It’s hard to believe they spent so much time talking about me and no time talking about jobs or education or health care.”

The text message sent out by the Clinton campaign, received 8:15 p.m. Eastern Time.
The text message sent out by the Clinton campaign, received 8:15 p.m. Eastern Time.

Kaine quickly emerged as the speculative favorite for months.

He brings national security credentials as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he is fluent in Spanish and he comes from a key swing state with a Democratic governor — who would make sure a Democrat was selected to fill his Senate seat.

Kaine is a former Virginia governor and former Democratic National Committee chairman who was the second governor to endorse then-Sen. Barack Obama when Obama first ran for president.

Kaine also has been vetted in the past, when he was in the running to be Obama’s vice presidential pick. Obama instead selected then Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., on Aug. 23, 2008 returning to the Old State Capitol in Springfield to make the announcement.

Fast facts about Kaine:

Born Feb. 26, 1958

Graduate of University of Missouri-Columbia and Harvard Law School.

Elected to Senate in 2012

Elected Virginia governor 2006

Religion: Catholic