While Hillary Clinton introduced Tim Kaine as her new running mate, he sat upstage, beaming past the TV camera and out into the firmament. He clapped when the crowd did, out of habit, even when clapping for himself. Then he stepped forward to greet the crowd. "Bienvenidos a todos," -- Greetings to you all. A roar arose from the Miami audience. The aftershocks can be felt in places as far away as Texas, Arizona and California. Picking Kaine was a very good opening move, even if speaking Spanish fails to answer the question," ¿Y que?" The Latin community is looking for more than lip service from the next administration.
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine is the retail politician this campaign has lacked. He is the new star attraction, a positive charge to offset the negatives. His smile and energy are infectious. And when in Miami, he speaks both its languages. He will be a big help on the campaign trail in places where Hillary Clinton could use a lift. As a progressive, he has taken stands that he now may have to retract, like his opposition to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu or the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Nevertheless, it was clear as well that Clinton was buoyed by his presence, just as Elizabeth Warren's joint appearance made her appear less tense. Hillary is better in a team than as a solo act. Kaine, somewhat like Bill Clinton, enjoys the public side of politics. For Hillary, it seems a necessary part of the package. When a true crowd-pleaser like Kaine takes the stage, she genuinely enjoys it, as well as she appreciates the attention shifting away from her. Unlike Bill Clinton, Kaine is there to play a supporting role, and no doubt he will. But it's not hard to see him soar to the best ratings of the four remaining prospects. Kaine is more than likeable enough.
It's still Clinton's race, of course. She will have to run smart wire to wire. His well-received appearance took the spotlight away from the RNC. Whatever bump they hoped to get, if indeed there was a bump at all, would be overshadowed by the new bright, shiny object.