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Tim Kaine’s 'sterling reputation' could help Clinton with image restoration, says Virginia Tech expert Bob Denton

Bob Denton

Bob Denton
Bob Denton

Choosing Tim Kaine as her running mate could be just what Hillary Clinton needs as she battles an image of untrustworthiness and carelessness, following investigations into her handling of emails. 

“Tim Kaine’s sterling reputation and character may indeed help Hillary Clinton in image restoration,” said Virginia Tech’s Bob Denton, “especially in the aftermath of FBI Director Comey’s characterization of Clinton’s email usage as extremely careless.”

Denton is a recognized expert on Virginia politics, political communication, the presidency and political campaigns. He has followed Kaine’s political career since he was first elected mayor of Richmond in 1998. 

Denton's full bio can be found here.

“There is a danger to Kaine appearing to be naively dismissing serious concerns raised in the Director’s comments,” said Denton. “He may get caught in the popular narrative that there are two sets of rules, one for the political insider and elites and one for the average citizen.” 

Otherwise, Kaine checks all the boxes as Clinton considers her choices for a vice president. 

“His advantages include extensive executive experience as mayor, Lieutenant Governor and Governor of a swing state,” said Denton. “He served as chairman of the DNC. He reflects mainstream Democratic views and is an increasing voice in the United States Senate on foreign policy issues.”  

“Keep in mind that the primary job of a vice presidential candidate is to attack the opponent and to defend the nominee,” according to Denton. “Kaine will be put in the position to continually defend Clinton’s extreme carelessness that may well have negative impact upon his own character.”

To secure a live or recorded video interview with Bob Denton from the Virginia Tech campus, contact Bill Foy in the Media Relations office at 540-231-8719 or 540-998-0288. 

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