Timothy Michael Kaine, 58, is expected to be named this weekend by Hillary Clinton as her Vice Presidential running mate. He will be the second Irish Catholic Democratic choice in a row after Joe Biden. Mike Pence, the Trump pick for VP also began life as an Irish Catholic but converted to Evangelical Protestantism.
Kaine represents the key presidential state of Virginia in the United States Senate and has also served as governor there. He is a deeply religious Catholic who speaks fluent Spanish following missionary work in Central America.
He takes a keen interest in his roots and has been described as “81.25 per cent Irish and the rest Scottish.” He attends Irish events regularly, most recently the American Ireland Fund dinner in Washington where he was honored.
In a recent profile, the Washington Post noted, “For Kaine, religion saturates both life and politics. A former missionary in rural Honduras, he talks frequently of how Catholicism informs his views on race and poverty and his deep embrace of cultural diversity, which he hails as “God’s rich tapestry.”'
He certainly has lots of experience for the job. Tim Kaine has served as a U.S. Senator from Virginia, since January 3, 2013. He was previously the 76th Mayor of Richmond, from July 1, 1998 to September 10, 2001, the 38th Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, from January 12, 2002 to January 14, 2006, the 70th Governor of Virginia, from January 14, 2006 to January 16, 2010, and a Chair of the Democratic National Committee, from January 21, 2009 to April 5, 2011.
Tim Kaine is the son of Mary Kathleen (Burns) and Albert Alexander Kaine, Jr. His father was of Scottish and Irish descent. His mother is of Irish ancestry. He traces his roots to Longford and Kilkenny.
Tim’s paternal grandfather was Albert Alexander Kaine (the son of Alexander “Alex” Kaine and Isabella Potts). Albert was born in Kansas, to Scottish parents. Tim’s great-grandfather Alexander was born in Campsie, Stirlingshire, Scotland, to Peter Kaine, who was evidently born in Ireland, and Jane/Jean King.
Tim’s paternal grandmother was Annabella/Annella Farrell (the daughter of Patrick J. Farrell from Killashee, Co Longford and Mary Catherine Fleming whose roots were in County Kilkenny). Annabella was born in Kansas. Patrick was Irish and was a hugely respected local farmer and parish leader. Mary Catherine was born in Canada, to an Irish father.
Tim’s maternal grandfather was Leo M. Burns (the son of Michael F. Burns and Bridget “Bridgie”). Michael was born in Illinois, to Irish parents. Bridget was born in Missouri, also to Irish parents.
Right off the bat, Tim Kaine shows off his bilingual skills with the Spanish version of "ready for Hillary" pic.twitter.com/QxrL1RMZoB— Monica Alba (@albamonica) July 14, 2016
So there is more than a rub of the green with Tim Kaine when it comes to Irish roots. His Catholicism, heritage and accomplishment in American politics are the backbone of his hugely successful career. Now it seems certain he will rise another step.